The Taming of the Shrew Act 4 Scene 4

Synopsis of Act 4 Scene 4

Tranio/‘Lucentio’ and the Pedant/‘Vincentio’ have a meeting with Baptista to confirm arrangements for Tranio/‘Lucentio’ to marry Bianca, then invite Bianca’s father to supper to finalise the transaction. However, Tranio/‘Lucentio’ has already made arrangements for a real wedding to take place (whilst they are eating) at St Luke’s church, which he uses Biondello to convey to the real Lucentio, so that he can marry Bianca.

Commentary on The Taming of the Shrew Act 4 Scene 4

Baptista may remember me: The Pedant is now speaking ‘in role’.
hold your own / Set your countenance: Play your part and assume your disguise.
to stay him not: So he doesn’t have to wait.
Or both dissemble deeply: Unwitting dramatic irony, since all but Baptista are acting a role.
affied .. assurance ta’en: Betrothed and the legal arrangements made.
by your servant here: Tranio/‘Lucentio’ is referring to Lucentio/Cambio.
I pray the gods .. Dally not with the gods: Don’t waste time with praying (i.e. Get on with it!). Lucentio is within reach of attaining Bianca.
cum privilegio ad imprimendum solum: With exclusive rights of reproduction.
against you come: When you are ready.
with your appendix: Biondello’s malapropism is funny although it belittles Bianca to regard her as a mere ‘appendage’ to Lucentio.
if she be so contented: Lucentio’s hesitation hints that Bianca may not be so compliant as he believed.
roundly go about her: Take her there by force.

Investigating The Taming of the Shrew Act 4 Scene 4

  • The Pedant acts his part very effectively. What might Shakespeare be saying about people’s behaviour here?
  • Consider the implications of Lucentio and Bianca’s deception on their relationships with their fathers and with each other.
  • Lucentio seems to be insecure in his last lines in this scene. What do you understand about his relationship and character from his words?
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