1. Where does the action take place?
2. Why do Christopher Sly and the hostess quarrel?
3. Is Sly a modest person?
4. Where is the Lord returning from when he finds Sly asleep?
5. What does the Lord decide to do with Sly?
6. Who arrives at the Lord’s dwelling while he is making preparations?
7. What special instructions does the Lord give to the new arrivals?
8. How does the Lord plan to use his page?
9. What special instructions does the Lord send to his page?
10. Why does the Lord want to be present when Sly awakens?
1. The action takes place in England, in front of an alehouse and near a lord’s home.
2. Sly has apparently broken some glasses in the alehouse, after drinking too much.
3. No. He tries to claim that his ancestors descended from France with William the Conqueror. Therefore, he at least had access to the aristocracy if not membership in it.
4. The Lord is returning from hunting.
5. The Lord plans to move Sly into his own home so that Sly will wake up to find himself dressed as a nobleman with servants.
6. A theatrical group comes to the Lord’s house and asks to give a performance.
7. The Lord instructs the players to ignore any protests or signals from Sly. The Lord is afraid that Sly might not play along.
8. The Lord plans to dress up Bartholomew, his page, as the noble wife of Sly.
9. The Lord gives instructions that his page should use an onion to cry for joy should he not have a woman’s gift to summon tears on command.
10. The Lord wants to be present to enjoy his joke on Sly, and to make sure that his servants do not ruin the gag by laughing too much.
1. Where does Sly awaken?
2. How is Sly treated once he is awake?
3. How does Sly first respond to this treatment?
4. How does Sly describe himself?
5. What activities does the Lord suggest might be to Sly’s liking?
6. What classical text do the Lord and his servants allude to when they mention mythological characters, such as Adonis and Io?
7. How does the Lord ultimately convince Sly that he is a lord and not just dreaming?
8. Describe Sly’s reaction to his “wife.”
9. Does Bartholomew join Sly in bed?
10. What sort of play is announced to Sly?
1. Sly awakens in a bedroom at the Lord’s home.
2. The Lord’s servants treat Sly as a gentleman, and offer him wine and rich clothing.
3. At first, Sly tries to renounce his new identity and all the ministrations of the Lord’s servants.
4. Sly describes his ancestry, and his current vocation as a tinker (pot-mender), but does so in a pretentious way, as if he were a gentleman.
5. The Lord mentions riding, hunting, and hawking.
6. They refer to Ovid’s Metamorphoses, a text alluded to in various ways in most of Shakespeare’s works.
7. The Lord switches from talk of clothes and courtly activities, of which Sly is ignorant, to mention of Sly’s beautiful wife.
8. Sly is instantly attracted to Bartholomew dressed up as a woman.
9. No. Bartholomew cannot join Sly because that would lead to Sly finding out that his “wife” is nothing but a cross-dressed boy, and reveal the joke the Lord has played on him.
10. The play is at first described as a comedy, but on further questioning Bartholomew calls it a kind of history. The first description is accurate.
1. Under what special circumstances does Act One begin?
2. Where do Lucentio and Tranio arrive in the first scene, and why have they come to this town?
3. Whom do Lucentio and Tranio witness quarreling?
4. Why will Baptista not give away Bianca at present?
5. How does Katharina treat the suitors of Bianca?
6. What scheme does Hortensio concoct in order to marry Bianca?
7. With whom has Lucentio fallen in love?
8. How does Lucentio intend to woo Bianca?
9. What is Tranio’s role in Lucentio’s plan?
10. How does Sly like the play so far?
1. Act One begins with Sly and his “wife” sitting above the stage in a loft, so as to view the play the Lord has prepared as entertainment for Sly.
2. They arrive in Padua, a city famous for its university. Lucentio has come to study philosophy.
3. They see two suitors, Gremio and Hortensio, speaking with Baptista and Katharina. Bianca speaks only four lines.
4. Baptista knows that if he does not marry off Katharina before Bianca, he will have to spend the rest of his days listening to her sharp tongue. He uses Bianca as leverage to send away Katharina as soon as possible.
5. Katharina returns the insults of Gremio and Hortensio, and goads them.
6. Hortensio enlists Gremio to find a suitable man to marry Katharina, despite Gremio’s disbelief that such a man exists. Hortensio thinks that some man, desiring her rich dowry, will marry her.
7. Lucentio has fallen in love at first sight with Bianca; he has hardly noticed Katharina.
8. Lucentio plans to dress himself as a schoolmaster in order to be introduced into Bianca’s presence, where he intends to make covert overtures for her affection.
9. Lucentio asks Tranio to dress as his master so that the people of the town will still know that Lucentio has arrived.
10. Sly probably does not appreciate the play, for he has fallen asleep. Servants have roused him so that he will watch the rest.
1. Why has Petruchio come to Padua?
2. Why does Petruchio box Grumio’s ears?
3. Whose house does Petruchio enter?
4. What does Hortensio suggest to Petruchio?
5. With whom does Gremio conspire to achieve Bianca?
6. What is Gremio’s attitude toward Petruchio’s attempt to marry Kate?
7. What does Grumio mean when he says that Petruchio will disfigure Kate so that she will not be able to see?
8. Why does Tranio appear at Hortensio’s home?
9. What is Lucentio doing in the meantime?
10. Why does Tranio go along with the men’s scheme?
1. Petruchio arrives in Padua partly to visit friends but mainly to find a wealthy wife.
2. Grumio incurs Petruchio’s wrath when he does not knock on the door for him as a servant should for his master.
3. Petruchio enters Hortensio’s home.
4. Hortensio mentions the wealthy dowry of Katharina, and suggests that Petruchio try to marry her.
5. Gremio arranges for Lucentio, now disguised as a school¬master, to woo Bianca for him while reading selected works of love poetry to her.
6. Gremio does not believe anyone can find a fit mate in Katharina, but he will be pleased if Petruchio marries her.
7. Grumio seems to have picked up Petruchio’s knack for figurative language here. He means that Kate will be so blinded by Petruchio’s rhetoric that she will readily give her hand in marriage and submit to his every whim.
8. Tranio comes dressed as Lucentio to ask directions to Baptista’s home.
9. Lucentio, who has just agreed to woo Bianca on Gremio’s behalf, keeps out of the way and listens to the conversation.
10. Tranio has nothing at stake here. He must simply help his master to marry Bianca, and Tranio realizes that Katharina must be wedded first.
1. What color is Kate’s hair?
2. Why has Kate bound Bianca’s hands?
3. Who offers Baptista gifts?
4. Why do the men believe that Petruchio has successfully wooed Kate when she rejects him publicly?
5. How does Baptista resolve the strife between Gremio and Tranio, who both seek the hand of Bianca?
6. What does Gremio offer to give Bianca?
7. How does Tranio’s offer compare to Gremio’s?
8. When are Katharina and Bianca to be married?
9. How does Gremio react to Baptista favoring Tranio’s offer?
10. What does Tranio mean when he says that a “child shall get a sire”(408)?
1. She is probably a brunette, as Petruchio refers to her as a hazel-twig, and brown in hue.
2. She is interrogating Bianca about which suitor she prefers.
3. Strictly speaking, only Tranio does. He presents Baptista with a lute and some books. Both Petruchio and Gremio offer the services of teachers.
4. Petruchio has invented a clever story. The couple will be mean in public and mild in private. The men have a conflict of interest and are bound to believe Petruchio’s story.
5. Baptista will choose the suitor who is best able to provide for his daughter.
6. Gremio can only offer his land and what little he has in his house, so he takes pains to enumerate all his minor possessions.
7. Tranio’s offer far surpasses Gremio’s. Tranio could give many properties and their rents to Bianca if she outlives her husband.
8. Katharina and Petruchio will marry on the upcoming Sunday, while Bianca and presumably Tranio will be married on the following Sunday, one week later.
9. Gremio suffers from sour grapes. He implies that Bianca is not worth all the money that Tranio has promised her, and that Tranio’s father was a fool to have entrusted so much wealth to his son.
10. On the one hand, he refers to himself as a child, a young man, who must find an old man to play the part of father for “his” upcoming marriage. On the other hand, this line suggests the age-old problem of conception out of wedlock and a man forced to marry.
1. What does Cambio recite to Bianca?
2. Assess Lucentio’s control of Latin.
3. What lesson does Hortensio give to Bianca?
4. Why does Hortensio lose interest so suddenly in Bianca?
5. Why is Kate upset on her wedding day?
6. Why does Petruchio arrive underdressed for his own marriage?
7. What happens during the ceremony?
8. Why does Petruchio insist that he must leave immediately?
9. To which poet does Shakespeare allude in Petruchio’s speech about a wife’s duty to her husband?
10. How do the guests react to the newlyweds’ early departure?
1. He recites a few lines from Ovid’s epistolary poem the Heroides.
2. We cannot judge his skill with Latin. Lucentio and Bianca don’t try to translate the lines they read.
3. As the musician Lito, Hortensio devises a message, much like that of Lucentio, based upon the arpeggios of the scales. But Bianca notices a minor error in its beginning and rejects it.
4. Bianca has just rejected him, and she begins to show favoritism to the younger schoolmaster.
5. Petruchio fails to show up at the appointed time.
6. He is presumably trying to humiliate Kate, whom he perceives to be spoiled.
7. We learn from Gremio that Petruchio has struck the priest for fumbling the Bible, and that he has given Kate a roaring kiss.
8. He never provides a full explanation.
9. By juxtaposing the words field and barn, Shakespeare alludes to Richard Barnfield, whose Affectionate Shephard had just been published the year of Shrew’s first known performance. His sonnets probably circulated among the nobility and close friends, who perhaps included Shakespeare.
10. After entreating Petruchio to stay for the banquet, they remain to enjoy the meal.
1. Why does Grumio arrive ahead of Petruchio and Kate?
2. How was their journey from Padua?
3. What do Kate and Petruchio eat when they arrive?
4. Why does Petruchio reject the mutton?
5. What plan does Petruchio concoct to tame Kate after he rejects their meal?
6. Which Ovidian text does Lucentio name to Bianca?
7. Why does Tranio swear not to court Bianca?
8. What is the taming school to which Tranio refers?
9. Why is origin of the pedant important to Tranio?
10. Why does the pedant offer to play the part of Vincentio while in Padua?
1. He has been sent ahead to...
(The entire section is 276 words.)
1. What does Grumio give to Kate for breakfast?
2. How long has Kate slept on her wedding night?
3. What reason does Petruchio give for rejecting the cap?
4. Does Petruchio accept the gown?
5. When was the last time Kate has eaten?
6. Where did the pedant encounter Baptista twenty years ago?
7. To whom does Baptista think he is giving away his daughter, Bianca?
8. Why does Baptista not make immediate arrangements for Bianca’s dowry once he has met the pedant disguised as Vincentio?
9. How will Lucentio be able to marry Bianca before the public ceremony with Tranio as groom to Bianca?
10. To what...
(The entire section is 286 words.)
1. What time of day is it when Petruchio declares that the moon shines bright?
2. Whom do Kate and Petruchio encounter on their journey?
3. How does Kate give in to Petruchio?
4. Why is Vincentio headed to Padua?
5. To what does Petruchio refer when he mentions being crossed?
6. How does Petruchio greet Vincentio?
7. How does Kate earn Petruchio’s favor when meeting Vincentio?
8. How does Vincentio respond to their games with him?
9. Why is Hortensio with Kate and Petruchio?
10. What does Hortensio plan to do when he returns to Padua?
1. It is daytime.
(The entire section is 262 words.)
1. Why is Gremio present in this scene?
2. Where is Tranio’s father from?
3. Why does Vincentio think that Lucentio has wasted his fortune while in Padua?
4. Why does Vincentio accuse Tranio of murdering Lucentio?
5. Why is Gremio eager to defend Vincentio?
6. Why does Tranio call for a constable?
7. Who finally gives away Lucentio’s scheme to marry Bianca privately?
8. How much time has passed since Petruchio and Kate were married?
9. How much money has Baptista lost on account of Petruchio’s bet with the husbands?
10. According to Kate, why should women obey their husbands?
(The entire section is 331 words.)