Act 5, Scene 1: Padua. The Street in Front of Lucentio's House. Notes from Taming of the Shrew

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Taming of the Shrew Act 5, Scene 1: Padua. The Street in Front of Lucentio's House.

Gremio enters the scene before anyone else, and therefore is not seen. Lucentio (as Cambio) enters with Biondello and Bianca. They worry about being seen together before a wedding, so they quickly leave. Biondello then remarks to himself about seeing his master and beloved wed at the church later that day, and exits.

Kate, Petruchio, Grumio, and Vincentio enter the street. Petruchio directs him to Lucentio's house and informs him of his son's beloved presence in Padua. When he knocks on the door, the Pendant looks out from the window of the house above, inquiring about the visitors. Vincentio proclaims that he is seeking his son, Lucentio. The Pendant is outraged and exclaims that he is Vincentio and that the man below at the door is an imposter. Petruchio reprimands the real Vincentio for impersonating another man. Biondello enters, shocked to see Vincentio and fears that all is now lost. However, he quickly returns to the original plan, calling the Pendant Vincentio and Vincentio an imposter. When Vincentio questions Biondello, he calls him a rogue and a villain, and proceeds to beat him. Biondello exits, as does the Pendant above who seeks Baptista.

Topic Tracking: Mistaken Identity 10

Kate and Petruchio remain so that they may witness the conclusion to the controversy that has come alive in front of them. The Pendant enters from below (on the street) with Baptista, Tranio (as Lucentio), and several attendants. When Tranio questions Vincentio, he becomes irate, crying:

"What am I, sir? Nay, what are you, sir? O immortal gods! O fine villain! A silken doublet, a velvet hose, a scarlet cloak, and a copatain hat! O, I am undone, I am undone! While I play the good husband at home, my son and my servant spend all at the university!" Act 5, Scene 1, lines 63-68

Tranio continues to proclaim Vincentio a wealthy ancient madman. Baptista confirms Tranio's title as Lucentio, while the Pendant continues to call himself Vincentio, making the true Vincentio even more livid by the moment. He urges Baptista to believe that the man he believes is Lucentio is actually his servant Tranio, who he has known since birth. Suddenly, Vincentio comes to the realization (in his mind) that Tranio has murdered Lucentio and taken his place, and attacks Tranio desperate to know the whereabouts of his only son. He calls an officer to arrest him and detain him in jail to await a trial. Gremio tries to stop the entire arrest, however, Baptista orders that it continue.

Topic Tracking: Loyalty/Obedience 7
Topic Tracking: Deceit 10

In the middle of the crisis, Biondello returns with Lucentio and Bianca. He shows Lucentio that his father is present and urges him to continue with the deceit or else they are all in severe trouble. However when Lucentio sees his father, he immediately bows down to his honor. Vincentio is blissfully shocked to see his son alive and well. All costumes and roles are revealed and the true Tranio, Vincentio, and Lucentio come forth to Baptista, informing him of the courtship between Bianca and Lucentio. Although he appears to be angry, Baptista still agrees to the marriage, and although Vincentio vows to be revenged by Tranio's 'villainy,' he also supports the marriage. Lucentio explains his actions to everyone:

"Love wrought these miracles. Bianca's love
Made me exchange my state with Tranio
While he did bear my countenance in the town,
And happily I have arrived at the last
Unto the wished haven of my bliss.
What Tranio did, myself enforced him to.
Then pardon him, sweet father, for my sake."
Act 5, Scene 1, lines 122-128

Topic Tracking: Loyalty/Obedience 8

Gremio accepts his defeat in trickery and continues with the rest of the group to support the nuptials of Lucentio and Bianca. After everyone exits, Kate and Petruchio remain in the street. Petruchio requests another kiss from his beloved wife. Kate does not feel comfortable granting amorous affections in such a public place as a street. However, content at seeing Lucentio and Bianca together and delightfully in love with one another, he continues to convince her. "Come, my sweet Kate. / Better once than never, for never too late" Act 5, Scene 1, lines 149-150.

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