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Prior to the first act, an induction frames the play as a "kind of history" played in front of a befuddled drunkard named Christopher Sly who is tricked into believing he is a lord. The play is performed in order to distract Sly from his "wife," who is actually Bartholomew, a servant, dressed as a woman. In the play performed for Sly, the "shrew" is Katherina, the eldest daughter of Baptista Minola, a lord in Padua. Numerous men, including Gremio and Tranio, deem Katherina an unworthy option for marriage because of her notorious assertiveness and willfulness.