Shakespeare at 400: 'The Taming of the Shrew'

Shakespeare at 400: 'The Taming of the Shrew'

For a new look at another play by William Shakespeare (1564-1616) as shown in Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations, let’s consider one of the comedies, “The Taming of the Shrew.” You may know its modern version, “Kiss Me Kate” better, but “Taming” is still full of interesting and funny observations. For instance:

“And if the boy have not a woman’s gift

To rain a shower of commanded tears,

An onion will do well for such a shift.”

— “Induction” (sic), Scene 1


A little something that explains life before payday, perhaps?

“Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor,

For ’tis the mind that makes the body rich.”

— Act IV, Scene 3


Ladies, let’s face it, he’s right here:

“A woman moved is like a fountain troubled,

Muddy, ill-seeming, thick, bereft of beauty.”

— Act V, Scene 2


And I’ll close with something both sides in “the battle of the sexes” could stand to think about:

“Such duty as the subject owes the prince,

Even such a woman oweth to her husband.”

— Act V, Scene 2


Margaret Serious has a page on Facebook.

Make your mind rich — subscribe! Just e-mail me at and I’ll add you to my select list. I never send spam, and you may unsubscribe at any time.


Leave a comment