The Taming of the Shrew "Lead Apes In Hell"

William Shakespeare

"Lead Apes In Hell"

(Magill's Quotations in Context)

Context: Bianca, gentle younger daughter of the rich gentleman of Padua, Baptista, is being wooed by several suitors, but Katharine, the shrewish elder daughter is shunned by every eligible man. In a room in Baptista's house Katharine, trying to discover the suitor preferred by Bianca, ties her sister's hands and strikes her. Baptista comes to the rescue of his daughter, who truthfully says she has not fallen in love, while the spiteful and jealous Katharine regales her father:


BAPTISTA
Why how now dame, whence grows this insolence?
Bianca stand aside. Poor girl, she weeps.
Go ply thy needle, meddle not with her.
For shame thou hilding of a devilish spirit,
Why dost thou wrong her, that did ne'er wrong thee?
When did she cross thee with a bitter word?
KATHARINE
Her silence flouts me, and I'll be revenged.
[Makes for BIANCA.]
BAPTISTA [holds her back]
What, in my sight? Bianca get thee in.
[Exit BIANCA.]
KATHARINE
What will you not suffer me? Nay now I see
She is your treasure, she must have a husband;
I must dance barefoot on her wedding-day,
And for your love to her, lead apes in hell.
Talk not to me, I will go sit and weep,
Till I can find occasion of revenge.