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The Taming of the Shrew

William Shakespeare

Character List

Plot Overview

Analysis of Major Characters

Katherine -  The “shrew” of the play’s title, Katherine, or Kate, is the daughter of Baptista Minola, with whom she lives in Padua. She is sharp-tongued, quick-tempered, and prone to violence, particularly against anyone who tries to marry her. Her hostility toward suitors particularly distresses her father. But her anger and rudeness disguise her deep-seated sense of insecurity and her jealousy toward her sister, Bianca. She does not resist her suitor Petruchio forever, though, and she eventually subjugates herself to him, despite her previous repudiation of marriage.

Read an in-depth analysis of Katherine.

Petruchio -  Petruchio is a gentleman from Verona. Loud, boisterous, eccentric, quick-witted, and frequently drunk, he has come to Padua “to wive and thrive.” He wishes for nothing more than a woman with an enormous dowry, and he finds Kate to be the perfect fit. Disregarding everyone who warns him of her shrewishness, he eventually succeeds not only in wooing Katherine, but in silencing her tongue and temper with his own.

Read an in-depth analysis of Petruchio.

Bianca -  The younger daughter of Baptista. The lovely Bianca proves herself the opposite of her sister, Kate, at the beginning of the play: she is soft-spoken, sweet, and unassuming. Thus, she operates as Kate’s principal female foil. Because of her large dowry and her mild behavior, several men vie for her hand. Baptista, however, will not let her marry until Kate is wed.
Baptista -  Minola Baptista is one of the wealthiest men in Padua, and his daughters become the prey of many suitors due to the substantial dowries he can offer. He is good-natured, if a bit superficial. His absentmindedness increases when Kate shows her obstinate nature. Thus, at the opening of the play, he is already desperate to find her a suitor, having decided that she must marry before Bianca does.
Lucentio -  A young student from Pisa, the good-natured and intrepid Lucentio comes to Padua to study at the city’s renowned university, but he is immediately sidetracked when he falls in love with Bianca at first sight. By disguising himself as a classics instructor named Cambio, he convinces Gremio to offer him to Baptista as a tutor for Bianca. He wins her love, but his impersonation gets him into trouble when his father, Vincentio, visits Padua.

Read an in-depth analysis of Lucentio.

Tranio -  Lucentio’s servant. Tranio accompanies Lucentio from Pisa. Wry and comical, he plays an important part in his master’s charade—he assumes Lucentio’s identity and bargains with Baptista for Bianca’s hand.
Gremio and Hortensio -  Two gentlemen of Padua. Gremio and Hortensio are Bianca’s suitors at the beginning of the play. Though they are rivals, these older men also become friends during their mutual frustration with and rejection by Bianca. Hortensio directs Petruchio to Kate and then dresses up as a music instructor to court Bianca. He and Gremio are both thwarted in their efforts by Lucentio. Hortensio ends up marrying a widow.
Grumio -  Petruchio’s servant and the fool of the play—a source of much comic relief.
Biondello -  Lucentio’s second servant, who assists his master and Tranio in carrying out their plot.
Christopher Sly -  The principal character in the play’s brief Induction, Sly is a drunken tinker, tricked by a mischievous nobleman into thinking that he is really a lord.

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Tranio's Character in Scene 1- Act1 (scene- when he and his servant reach Padua, when they are at Baptista's house)

by TTOSfreak, September 12, 2013

Lucentio is a very kind and obedient servant. He agrees to every thing that his master Lucentio says. Lucentio's father had told Tranio to take good care of his master while in Padua [ Lucentio had come to study at a famous university, but he fell in love with Bianca later ]. Since Tranio is aware of his master's love Bianca( the youngest daughter of Baptista Minola ), he helps him [Lucentio] in all ways possible.

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Comparison of the nature's of Katherina and Bianca

by TTOSfreak, September 12, 2013

Katherina and Bianca are like the north pole and south pole. They both have different characteristics and different natures.

KATHERINA:- Katherina is Baptista Minola's eldest daughter. She is an intolerable, curst, ill favored and shrewd young lady. She is famous in Padua for her scolding tongue. She is so "wild", unpleasant and hot tempered that no man wants to marry her. She thinks her father loves her sister Bianca more than he loves her. Katherina does not care about marriage and does not want any man to love her. She is disliked... Read more

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Petruchio's "Image" on how he arrives for the wedding [Act-3, Scene-2]

by TTOSfreak, November 16, 2013

Petruchio is late for his wedding. All the family members and guests are worried about the fact if he is coming or not.
[Note: this is just an overview of the topic]

Petruchio comes dressed up in a new hat, an old jerkin, a pair of old breeches (that were turned thrice), a pair of boots, with a broken hilt an chapless, and with two broken points. Even his horse was looking messed up. The horse was hipped-- with an old mothy saddle and some stirrups of no kindred-- besides, possessed with the glanders and like to mose in chine; t... Read more

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