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Vocabulary: The Taming of the Shrew

Stoic: A follower of the ancient philosophy that stated a man should be free from emotion.

Stocks: a block of wood, without feeling.
“Let’s be no stoics nor no stocks, I pray.” Tranio 1.1.31
Please, lets not be boring like a block of wood.

Mew: to shut up or lock away
“And therefore has he closely mewed her up, because she will not be annoyed with suitors.” Tranio 1.1.156
And now he has carefully locked her away and will not allow any suitors.

Dam: the female parent of an animal
“You may go to the devil’s dam!” Gremio 1.1.108
You can go straight to the devils mother.

Pith: the essential part, the core.
“Perhaps you marked not what’s the pith of all.” Tranio 1.1.137
I wonder if you missed the point.

Readiest: Quickest, easiest, most available…
“Tell me, I beseech you, which is the readiest way?”-Tranio 1.2.192
Which is the fastest way?

Gawds: ornaments
“But for these other gawds- unbind my hands, I’ll pull them off myself.” Bianca 2.1.3
But if you want these other accessories, untie my hands, I’ll take them off myself.

Hilding: a base and menial wretch
“For shame, thou hilding of a devilish spirit!” Baptista 2.1.27
Shame on you, you good for nothing feind.

Peremptory: absolute, not open to debate
“I am as peremptory as she is proud minded.” Petruchio 2.1.124
I am as stubborn as she is prideful.

Rail: scold harshly
“Say that she rail; why then I’ll tell her plain she sings as sweetly as a nightingale.” Petruchio 2.1.164
If she rants and raves I’ll say she sounds like a bird singing.

Pedant: A boring, self-important schoolteacher
“But, wrangling pedant, this is the patroness of heavenly harmony.” Hortensio 3.1.4
But, you annoying teacher, this is the queen of harmony.

Breeching: in breech, erring, needing punishment
“I am no breeching scholar in the schools.” Bianca 3.1.18
I am not a misbehaving child in school.

Habit: Costume, apparel
“Fie, doff this habit, shame to your estate, an eyesore to our solemn festival.” Baptista 3.2.73
Get rid of that outfit. It’s a shame to you and not appropriate for a wedding.

Domineer: to have one’s way, indulge
“Go to the feast, revel and domineer.” Petruchio 3.2.197
Go to the party, have a good time, and in indulge yourselves.

Buckler: shield or defend
“I’ll buckler thee against a million.” Petruchio 3.2.212
I’ll defend you against a million others.

Dresser: table meat is prepared on
“How durst you, villains, bring it from the dresser and serve it thus to me that love it not?” Petruchio 4.1.98
How dare you jerks bring it from the dresser like this and try and serve it to me when it’s obvious I don’t want it.

Choler: anger of spirit, bad humor
“For it engenders choler, planteth anger; and better ’twere that both of us did fast.” Petruchio 4.1.108
It brings about indigestion and anger, it’s probably better neither of us eats any.

Continency: self-control
“Making a sermon of continency to her…” Curtis 4.2.119
Lecturing her about self-control.

Neat’s foot: cow foot.
“What say you to a neat’s foot?” Grumio 4.3.18
How would you like a calf foot?

Cockle: a sea muscle-shell
“Why, ’tis a cockle or a walnut shell, a knack, a toy, a trick, a baby’s cap.” Petruchio 4.3.67
It’s tiny, like a cockle shell, or a wlnut shell. It must be a joke or a trick or a doll’s cap.

Censer: an incense burner with a perforated lid used for Catholic mass.
“Like to a censer in a barber’s shop.” Petruchio 4.3.93
It has more holes in it than a censure.

Habiliments: clothes
“Well, come, my Kate. We will unto your father’s even in these honest mean habiliments.” Petruchio 4.3.166
Well, Kate, we’ll go to your fathers even in these simple clothes.

Jarring: discordant, out of tune
“At last, though long, our jarring notes agree.” Lucentio 5.2.1
At long last we are in agreement.

Giddy: dizzy
“He that is giddy thinks the world turns round.” Widow 5.2.20
He that is dizzy thinks the world is spinning.

Holidame: referring to the Virgin Mary
“Now, by my holidame, here comes Katherina.” Baptista 5.2.108
Mother of God, here comes Katherina.

Meads: meadows
“It blots thy beauty as frosts do bite the meads.” Katharina 5.2.148
It tarnishes your beauty the way that frost take away the beauty of the fields.

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What's On

The Taming of the Shrew

June 19 - September 7, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Henry VIII

June 17 - September 5, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Much Ado About Nothing

June 21 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

The Mountaintop

July 13 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

The 39 Steps

June 22 - October 5, 2024

Randall L. Jones Theatre

The Winter's Tale

June 18 - September 6, 2024

Engelstad Shakespeare Theatre

Silent Sky

July 12 - October 5, 2024

Eileen and Allen Anes Studio Theatre

© Utah Shakespeare Festival 2023 www.bard.org Cedar City, Utah