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Comedy ​in five acts by William Shakespeare, produced about 1593 and printed in the Folio of 1623. Considered one of Shakespeare’s bawdier works, the play describes the volatile courtship between the shrewish Katharina and the canny Petruchio, who is determined to subdue Katharina’s legendary temper and win her dowry. The main story is offered as a play within a play; the frame story consists of an initial two-scene “induction”: a lord offers the love story as an entertainment for tinker Christopher Sly, recovering from a drunken binge at an alehouse. Although Katharina repeatedly insults Petruchio, he woos, wins, and tames her by insisting that she is actually the soul of gentleness and patience. After their marriage, he makes her forgo food, sleep, and fancy clothing, and he outdoes her mean tongue by abusing the servants. In the final scene, Petruchio wins a bet that his wife is the most obedient after Katharina gives a speech extolling the virtues of wifely subservience.

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