“Such wind as scatters young men through the world / To seek their fortunes farther than at home, / Where small experience grows” (1.2.48-50). 

In this line, Petruchio claims that he has left home in order to seek his fortune. Instead of taking up a trade or establishing a line of work that would generate an income, Petruchio soon reveals that he plans to find a bride with a sizable dowry. Readers are able to determine that Petruchio views marriage as an economic institution because he discusses his quest for a bride the same way that one might discuss a business deal.

“Why, give him gold enough and marry him to a puppet or an aglet-baby, or an old trot with ne’er a tooth in her head, though she have as many diseases as two-and-fifty horses. Why, nothing comes amiss, so money comes withal” (1.2.76-79).

This line is delivered by Grumio after Petruchio delivers a lengthy speech in which he expresses his desire for a wealthy bride. Here, Grumio makes fun of Petruchio’s lofty ambitions and jokes that he would marry anything so long as he got enough money out of the deal. Grumio’s jest proves to be prophetic because Petruchio is willing to marry the combative and aggressive Katherine for her money even though no other man was willing to do the same.

“For in Baptista’s keep my treasure is. / He hath the jewel of my life in hold, / His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca” (1.2.115-117). 

This line is delivered by Hortensio, one of Bianca’s many suitors. Hortensio’s word choice is crucial because he refers to Bianca as a “treasure,” implying that she is one of Baptista’s expensive possessions that Hortensio and many other men in the play wish to own. Here, Hortensio commodifies Bianca, something that occurs with great frequency in texts that center around economic marriages. Hortensio’s line reiterates that Bianca can be sold the same way that someone could sell an inanimate object.

“Faith, gentlemen, now I play a merchant’s part” (2.1.324). 

This line is delivered by Baptista after Petruchio says that he will marry Katherine that Sunday. Here, Baptista compares the act of marrying off his daughters to a merchant selling his goods. His comparison is apt because Petruchio’s decision to marry Katherine is based entirely on her sizable dowry as opposed to any romantic inclinations. Baptista’s comparison is also appropriate because it characterizes Petruchio and Katherine’s engagement as an arrangement between two men: one buying (Petruchio) and one selling (Baptista). As the object of trade, Katherine’s wishes are not considered.

“I will be master of what is mine own. / She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house / My household stuff, my field, my barn, / My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything” (3.2.222-225). 

Petruchio delivers these lines to the wedding guests after he and Katherine are married, and he likens Katherine to household objects and livestock. This line underlies his belief that marriage is equivalent to ownership because he compares Katherine to his other possessions. He does so because he feels that she is now his property. Petruchio’s comment characterizes marriage as an economic institution as opposed to an idyllic notion that is governed by sentiment and romance.