Act 3, Scene 2: Padua. The Street in Front of Baptista's House. Notes from Taming of the Shrew

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Taming of the Shrew Act 3, Scene 2: Padua. The Street in Front of Baptista's House.

Kate, Bianca, Baptista, and all the suitors and their servants, await Petruchio in front of Baptista's house. He does not appear, leaving Kate heartbroken, tearful, and stood-up at her own wedding:

"No shame but mine. 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 in leisure.
I told you, I, he was a frantic fool,
Hiding his bitter jests in blunt behavior."
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 8-13

She exits, followed shortly by Bianca. Biondello enters, excited with news of Petruchio's impending arrival. He proclaims that he has just seen Petruchio sitting upon his horse on its way over to the house. He seems to be mad, dressed in ridiculous attire that includes candle holders on his feet, pants worn inside out, feathers on his head, and so on and so forth. His horse is dressed just as crazy as he, shocking everyone present. He seeks his bride-to-be, with wonderment and desire. Baptista tells him that he will not marry Kate dressed as he is. He can borrow some clothes and change inside before the ceremony. Petruchio refuses, saying that his clothes will wear and tear and tatter; however, the difference is that Kate is not marrying his clothes. Kate is marrying him. He leaves to seek Kate and seal the marriage with a kiss:

"To me she's married, not unto my clothes.
Could I repair what she will wear in me
As I can change these poor accoutrements,
'Twere well for Kate and better for myself.
But what a fool am I to chat with you
When I should bid good morrow to my bride
And seal the title with a lovely kiss."
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 117-123

Topic Tracking: Mistaken Identity 8

Tranio believes that Petruchio has something up his costumed sleeve and is in fact using his brain in the department of wooing. Baptista leaves with his servants and Gremio. Tranio is left with Lucentio to ponder the prospects. Lucentio plans to elope with Bianca and underhand all her other suitors. Gremio returns to exalt and describe the bizarre wedding that has just taken place offstage between Petruchio and Kate. It consisted of carousing, caroling, insults, and was finally sealed with a kiss. The wedding party returns to celebrate the nuptials. However, the celebration is soon truncated by Petruchio's shocking announcement of departure. He intends to leave town immediately, for that is and always has been his plan. Everyone begs him to stay, even Kate. He loves the fact that Kate urges him to be with him; she even states that if he loves her, he will stay. Upon hearing such words, he beckons her go with him and leaves the street in a fanfare of wonderment and excitement:

"They shall go forward, Kate, at thy command.
Obey the bride, you that attend on her.
Go to the feast, revel and domineer,
Carouse full measure to her maidenhead,
Be mad and merry, or go hang yourselves.
But for my bonny Kate, she must with me.
Nay, look not big, nor stamp, nor stare, nor fret;
I will be master of what is mine own.
She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,
My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ax, my ass, my anything,
And here she stands. Touch her whoever dare,
I'll bring my action on the proudest he
That stops my way in Padua. Grumio,
Draw forth thy weapon, we are beset with thieves.
Rescue thy mistress, if thou be a man.
Fear not, sweet wench; they shall not touch thee, Kate.
I'll buckler thee against a million."
Act 3, Scene 2, lines 222-239

Topic Tracking: Loyalty/Obedience 6

After Petruchio leaves with Kate and Grumio, Lucentio and Tranio question Baptista as to the inclination of Bianca for marriage. He claims that Bianca will take Kate's place at home and is next prepared to wed. The two men are thrilled.

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