ACT 1 SCENE 1: Lucentio and his servant, Tranio, travel to Padua to study. He falls in love with Bianca, Baptista's youngest daughter. Baptista tells Bianca's other lovers, Gremio and Hortensio, that they cannot marry her until Kate, Baptista's oldest daughter, marries first. The problem with this is that she is a shrew, and doesn't intend to marry. So, Lucentio makes a plan to disguise as a schoolteacher to get close to her, as a loophole around this restriction.
ACT 1 SCENE 2: Petruchio, with his servant Grumio, come to Padua to see his friend Hortensio. Petruchio says he's looking for a rich wife, and Hortensio mentions Kate. Petruchio dosen't seem bothered by his description of her! Hortensio asks him to disguise and present him. Then, Lucentio, disguised as a schoolteacher, tells Gremio that Petruchio is willing to marry Kate. Lucentio had already convinced Gremio of his plea. Tranio, dressed as Lucentio, will try to woo Bianca.
ACT 2: Petruchio explains to Baptista that he has come for Kate, convincing him by saying he is related to Baptista's friend. He also brought Hortensio. Gremio then presents the disguised Lucentio. Tranio adds to the chaos by saying he's a son of Vincentio. Hortensio enters with the lute over his head, and yet, Petruchio is still not deterred. He tries to woo Kate, and carries her out of the room past the others. They think he succeeded, and that she just had to maintain her facade.
ACT 3: Lucentio gives a "music lesson" to Bianca, confessing his love, but it doesn't go well. Hortensio doesn't do any better, getting his lute serenade rejected. Petruchio and Kate's wedding arrives, and everyone is there, except Lucentio and Tranio, who try to plot a disguise scheme. Petruchio arrives late, on an ill horse, and wearing hideous clothing. The crowd is horrified. The wedding goes horribly, and Petruchio says he cannot stay for the reception, and takes Kate with him.
ACT 4: When Kate and Petruchio get home, he acts cruelly towards his servants, and refuses them to eat dinner because the meat was overcooked. He later explains the deprivation is to wear her ego out, for love. He continues to do this on the road to Padua later. Hortensio and Tranio decide to stop going for Bianca because she flirted with Lucentio in disguise. The Pedant, disguised as Vincentio, gives Lucentio permission to marry Bianca, and Baptista agrees.
ACT 5: Lucentio, no longer disguised, quietly marries Bianca. The Pedant and Vincentio argue who's Lucentio's father, while Kate and Petruchio watch. When the couple returns, Tranto and the Pedant run away. Vincentio is angry, but approves of Bianca and Lucentio's union. Hortensio and the Widow also marry. Later, at Lucentio's feast, the three husbands wager who's wife is the most obedient. When all of the wives were called, only Kate answered, dragging the others with her.