Act 2 Scene 1
Katherina torments Bianca about her suitors; tying her up, physically attacking her and making her a ‘bondmaid and a slave’. Katherina wants to know who Bianca wishes to marry, however Bianca states that she ‘never yet beheld that special face’. Baptista despairs over what to do with the ‘devilish spirit’ of his daughter.
Gremio arrives at Baptista's house with a Latin teacher Cambio (who is Lucentio in disguise), and Petruchio arrives with a music teacher Licio (who is Hortensio in disguise). Petruchio says that he has heard of Katherina and ‘her beauty and her wit’ and wishes to marry her, offering Licio as a gift. Baptista welcomes Licio but warns Petruchio against Katherina. Gremio puts forward Cambio as a gift and Baptista welcomes him into his household. Tranio introduces himself to Baptista as Lucentio and expresses his interest in Bianca, gifting her some books and a lute.
Petruchio and Baptista discuss the marriage of Katherina further, including Katherina’s dowry of ‘one half of [Baptista’s] lands’. Baptista’s only stipulation is that Petruccio must first win ‘the special thing’, her love. Petruchio accepts, promising that ‘where two raging fires meet together’ / They do consume the thing that feeds their fury’. Hortensio, as Licio, has tried to teach Katherina the lute and she has broken the instrument over his head. This excites Petruchio and he plans to react in opposition to everything she says and does in order to confuse her. Katherina and Petruchio war with words, and she tells him to ‘beware [her] sting’ and hits him.
Petruchio tells Katherina that they will marry because he was ‘born to tame’ her. Petruchio leaves to buy wedding clothes and asks Baptista to prepare for the wedding on his return that Sunday, leaving an angry Katherina who does not wish to marry ‘A madcap ruffian and a swearing Jack’. Gremio and Tranio (as Lucentio) argue over who will win Bianca’s love now that she is free to marry. Baptista stops the argument by saying that whoever offers the biggest dowry can marry Bianca. Tranio promises ‘two thousand ducats by the year’ so Baptista agrees that on the Sunday after Katherina and Petruchio marry, Bianca will marry Lucentio, as long as Lucentio’s father gives assurance of the dowry money.