Taming of the Shrew Induction, Scene 2: Bedroom in the Lord's House
The serving men begin to play with Sly as he awakens in shock of his surroundings. He insists on his identity as a drunkard, a card maker, a bear herder, none other than Christopher Sly, a peddler from Burton-Heath. They insist that he is their sir, their noble Lord, who has been ensconced in sleep for nearly fifteen years. They make him believe that he suffers dementia (or a medieval form of the disease) and cannot remember anything about himself or his beloved. Eventually, Sly comes around to their game, and begins to believe that he is, in fact, a noble Lord, just now awakening from fifteen years of slumber. They tell him that his long-lost wife has come to see him.
"Am I a lord and have I such a lady?
Or do I dream? Or have I dreamed till now?
I do not sleep: I see, I hear, I speak,
I smell sweet savors and I feel soft things.
Upon my life, I am a lord indeed
And not a tinker nor Christopher Sly.
Well, bring our lady hither to our sight
And once again a pot o' th' smallest ale." Induction, Scene 2, lines 68-75
The page walks in dressed as a woman and convinces Sly that he is his wife. Then, the serving men tell Sly that he is to watch a play - a comedy - with his wife, that they hope will entertain him and lighten his spirits. The play begins as Sly, dressed in costumed royal garb, and the Page, dressed as a woman (his wife), watch on.