Act II, Scene 1
Bianca, with her hands bound, asks Katherine to let her go and she will do whatever Katherine asks. Katherine asks her which suitor she loves more. Bianca insists she hasn’t felt a special connection to anyone yet. Katherine asks if she like Hortensio better. Bianca tells Katherine she can have Hortensio. Katherine assumes then that she likes Gremio better because he’s rich. Now Bianca figures that Katherine must be joking. Katherine slaps her to show she wasn’t joking.
Baptista enters and scolds Katherine for being so cruel to Bianca,, when Bianca didn’t do anything to her. Katherine says that Bianca’s very existence, her good nature makes Katherine look bad. Katherine lunges at her again. Baptista protects Bianca, scolds Katherine, and sends Bianca away. Katherine realizes that Bianca is Baptista’s favorite and goes off to cry.
All of the suitors enter to speak with Baptista. Petruchio starts by asking Baptista if he had a fair and virtuous daughter named Katherine. He also offers a music tutor, Licio (Hortensio in disguise). Baptista confirms that he has a daughter named Katherine, but makes no comment on the fair or virtuous part. Gremio tells Petruchio to stop messing around. Petruchio assures them that he is here to marry Katherine because he heard of her beauty and her modest nature. Baptista says that Katherine is probably not for Petruchio. He asks if Baptista doesn’t like him. Baptista assures him that he seems perfectly nice, but Katherine is not as he I’d describing her.
Gremio grows impatient and insists on having his turn. He offers the tutor Cambio (Lucentio) to Baptista as a tutor for his daughters. Baptista thanks Gremio and welcomes Cambio. Then, he turns to Tranio and wonders why this stranger is there. Tranio introduces himself as Lucentio and expresses his desire to woo Bianca. Baptista takes his gifts of a lute and books. He sends the tutors in to see his daughters and asks the men to walk with him in the orchard.
Petruchio asks about Katherine’s dowry. Baptista and Petruchio agree on the terms of the marriage. Baptista explains that all he has to do is win Katherine’s love now. Petruchio insists that it won’t be a problem at all. He’s more stubborn than she is.
Hortensio (as Licio) enters rubbing his head. Katherine broke the lute over his head when he tried to correct her finger position. Petruchio is excited at the prospect of meeting her. Baptista takes Licio to Bianca and promises to send in Katherine.
Before she enters, Petruchio lays out his plan to win her over with kindness. The more she yells at him and insults him, the more he will insist she is fair and beautiful. Katherine enters and he tries to call her Kate. She tries to correct him, but he insists she is called Kate and she is just as virtuous as all other Kates. She brushes him off and tells him he can just leave because he is clearly moveable. Their back and forth quickly evolves into a series of insults and double-entendres. She even slaps him, but it hardly slows down the banter. Petruchio delivers a short speech where he mostly compliments Katherine, but then insults her under the guise of a rumor. She rebukes him again, but he insists they will be married.
Baptista and the others come back in to see how the wooing is going. Katherine asks how she can want her to marry such a loon. Baptista sees that Petruchio has failed to win Katherine over. Petruchio denies this and insists that they will be married the next Sunday. He is going back to Venice to get some clothes for the wedding. Baptista expresses some doubt, but Petruchio insists they are happy. Katherine says nothing and they go off to start preparations.
Baptista turns to Bianca’s suitors and asks them who can offer Baptista the most. Gremio details all of his riches. Tranio, as Lucentio, explains that he has more than three times as much to offer. Gremio concedes that his is not that rich. Baptista has a suspicion that Tranio is not being truthful, so he says he must have assurances from Lucentio’s father, Vincentio. If he can provide that, he will marry Bianca two Sundays from now. Once he’s alone, Tranio wonders how he is going to cover his lie.
Act III, Scene 1
Hortensio tries to start his music lesson, but Lucentio insists it is time to study. Bianca explains that the choice should be hers. She decides she will study with Lucentio while Hortensio tunes the lute.
Lucentio pretends to dictate a Latin speech to Bianca, but in between each line whispers the truth about who he is and how he loves her. She repeats the speech but in between each line she explains that she doesn’t know him or trust him so he shouldn’t presume anything, but he shouldn’t despair either.
Hortensio repeatedly tries to insist that the instrument is tuned, but Lucentio or Bianca repeatedly tell him to try again so they can talk more. Bianca finally turns her attention to Hortensio and he gives her a letter disguised as a music lesson that praises Hortensio.
Before Bianca can say much, she is called away to help prepare for the wedding.
Act III, Scene 2
Baptista asks Tranio why Petruchio is late for his own wedding day. Tranio insists that he will come. Katherine is doubtful and says this is what happens when you promise a woman to a crazy man. He woos fast, but never intends to actually marry. She runs off weeping. Baptista doesn’t blame her for being upset.
Biondello arrives to tell them that Petruchio is on his way, but he looks absolutely ridiculous. They engage in a little Abbott and Costello style dialogue before Petruchio arrives. They try to convince Petruchio to change his clothes to avoid humiliating Katherine further, but he refuses and goes in to marry Katherine.
Lucentio and Tranio check in with each other while everyone is at the wedding ceremony.
Gremio comes out and explains that Petruchio is a terrible person. He even makes Katherine look like a dove. He swore in front of the priest, who dropped the book. Then, Petruchio hit the priest and raised even more hell. Poor Katherine didn’t know what to do.
The newlyweds enter and Petruchio insists that they have to leave for Verona immediately. Everyone pleads with him to stay for the wedding feast. He says it can’t be avoided. Katherine insists that she is going to stay for the wedding feast. Petruchio explains that she is his property now and she will go with him. He drags her off.
Everyone marvels at how well matched the two outrageous newlyweds are. Baptista tells Tranio (Lucentio) and Bianca to play the part of bridegroom for the night.