The Taming of the Shrew: Act IV Scene I

Grumio arrives at Petruchio’s house after accompanying Petruchio and Kate on a long journey from Padua. Grumio affirms the fact that the servants are well prepared for the new couple’s arrival. He tells Curtis, another servant to Petruchio, of an incident that occurred on the trip. Katherina’s horse had thrown on her off and then remained on top of her. Petruchio’s reaction was not to assist Katherina, but to strike Grumio for letting the horse fall. Grumio also explains how Kate actually tried to stop Petruchio’s physical attack on Grumio. Here, we can plainly see the beginning of “the taming” of Katherina, the shrew.

When the couple arrives at the house, Petruchio demonstates anger toward Grumio for not having someone at the door to welcome them. The two are served food and drink, but Petruchio acts like a tyrant by complaining that the meat is overcooked. He also yells at a servant for accidentally spilling water. Once again, Kate interjects that the meat was cooked fine and the water was spilled accidentally and the servant should not be punished. Petruchio refuses to eat and decides that they should fast for the evening and he shows Kate to her room.

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