illustration of Kate and Petruchio standing and staring at one another

The Taming of the Shrew

by William Shakespeare

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"Who Wooed In Haste, And Means To Wed At Leisure"

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Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 178

Context: The suitors of gentle Bianca, younger daughter of a rich gentleman of Padua, Baptista, cannot hope to win her until her waspish older sister, Katharine, has married. Petruchio, who comes from Verona to make a fortune, is convinced by his friend, Hortensio, a suitor of Bianca, that marrying the heiress, Katharine, is the solution to his problem. Petruchio's bid for Katharine's hand is accepted, and a hasty marriage planned, but at the appointed time Petruchio does not appear, thus beginning his course of action to subdue the shrewish bride. Shamed, Katharine says to the assembled wedding party:

. . . I must forsooth be forced
To give my hand, opposed against my heart,
Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen,
Who wooed in haste, and means to wed at leisure.
I told you, I, he was a frantic fool,
Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behaviour;
And to be noted for a merry man,
He'll woo as husband, 'point the day of marriage,
Make feast, invite friends, and proclaim the banns,
Yet never means to wed where he hath wooed.
. . .

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