When Lucentio and Hortensio, who are respectively disguised as Cambio and Litio, argue as to who should be tutoring Bianca, Bianca objects, arguing that she is no schoolboy who should be forced to keep to a schedule and that she will learn when and with whom she pleases. Thus, she engages Lucentio to review her Latin, while she has Hortensio tune his instrument.
Unbeknownst to Hortensio, Lucentio uses Latin to declare his love for Bianca, stating his true identity and disclosing his ruse to be an act meant to undermine Gremio, Bianca’s elderly suitor. Likewise, Bianca reveals her feelings through Latin: As they are practically strangers, Bianca argues that she really can’t trust Lucentio, but she urges him not to five up and to persist.
By and by, Hortensio gets his chance to woo Bianca, but his advances are rejected by Bianca. Consequently, Hortensio decides to keep a close eye on Lucentio and to give up on Bianca if she is so indiscriminate as to fall for any man.
Presently, a messenger arrives to tell Bianca to attend to her sister Katherine who is scheduled to get married tomorrow.
When Katherine weeps and confines herself to her room on account of Petruchio’s absence on their wedding day, Baptists can’t and doesn’t blame his daughter. However, Tranio, who is disguised as Lucentio, assures Baptista that Petruchio is an honest man and that he must have a perfectly good reason for failing to show up for his wedding.
By and by, Biondello appears and informs Baptista of strange news: Petruchio is on his way but his appearance is so transformed that he resembles a beggar. Baptista is gladdened by the news, but when Petruchio appears dressed in virtual rags, Baptista is offended that Petruchio would presume to get married to Katherine in such a state. Petruchio assures Baptista that he has a perfectly good reason for being the way he is and that Baptista will be satisfied with Petruchio’s explanation when the time is right for the telling. For now, Petruchio demands to see Katherine who he intends to marry right away. Tranio offers Petruchio to have his clothes changed to some of Tranio’s, but Petruchio declines the offer and rushes off to see Katherine. Baptista follows in the hopes of persuading Petruchio to change into something more appropriate for the occasion.
Meanwhile, Tranio proposes to his master Lucentio, who is disguised as Cambio, that he will have someone assume the role of Lucentio’s father Vincentio who will promise Baptista such a dower for Bianca, that Lucentio will by and by be married to Bianca. But Lucentio argues that on account of prying eyes, most notably Gremio’s, his best move might be to secretly marry Bianca. Tranio assures his master that he will do whatever it takes for his master’s benefit.
Presently, Gremio appears and informs Tranio and Lucentio of the scandalous events which have transpired at church. Not only had Petruchio gone to church just as he was, i.e. looking like a beggar, but his boorishness had startled the priest into dropping his book in the middle of the ceremony, not to mention making the sexton the victim of Petruchio’s abuses. Presently, accompanied by Katherine, Baptista, and the rest, Petruchio appears and announces his intention to return to Verona immediately. He apologizes for not attending the post-wedding celebrations which have been arranged in his and Katherine’s honor. Everyone entreats him to stay, including Katherine who threatens to stay and let Petuchio return to Verona on his own. But Petruchio is adamant that he will go and that Katherine will accompany him.
Baptista suffers them to leave and encourages the rest to enjoy the prepared banquet. He decides that Bianca and Lucentio will assume the places vacated by Katherine and Petruchio.