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The scene employs its fair share of humor. Lucentio’s mock Latin lesson pokes fun at the fact that foreign languages are often more compact than English. He translates a ridiculously long English phrase from one or two Latin words: “‘Simois,’ I am Lucentio, ‘hic est,’ son unto Vincentio of Pisa,” and so forth (III.i.31–32). Hortensio’s wooing is just as clever. He uses the scale of notes and their syllable names to convey a series of puns: “B—mi—Bianca, take him for thy lord,” with the play on “Be my Bianca,” and so forth (III.i.73).
The scene provides more than just clever comedy, however. It establishes the foundation, or perhaps the lack of foundation, of Lucentio and Bianca’s love. In contrast to the previous oppositional scene between Petruchio and Kate, the courting here is much more effortless. Lucentio does not have to work as hard as Petruchio did. Bianca expresses some misgivings because she does not know Lucentio, but she makes it clear that she already prefers him to Hortensio. In many ways, it seems natural for two young, attractive, and sympathetic characters of the play to come together, but this quick and easy match has consequences later on.
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