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Taming of the Shrew :: Characters

The Taming of the Shrew Characters

A Lord gone hunting has a strange sense of humor which leads him to decide to turn a drunken beggar he finds lying by the roadside into a lord for a night. 

 
 

Christopher Sly is a drunken beggar and tinker who insists that his family is of honorable lineage. 

 
 

A Hostess (possibly Marian Hacket of Wincot) has had quite enough of Christopher Sly’s drunkenness and pennilessness.

 
 

Page (Bartholomew) is the Lord’s page, commanded by him to dress as a lady and pretend to be Christopher Sly’s wife.

 
 

First Player remembers the Lord from previous occasions, and promises that the players can keep their seriousness, no matter how oddly the lord hearing their play may act. He will play one of the roles in the main play.

 
 

Second Player asks the Lord to let the company stay a night at his house and hear a play. He will play one of the roles in the main play.

 
 

First Huntsman is in charge of the Lord’s dogs, and his opinions on their worth diverge from his master’s. He agrees that his master’s psychological experiment on Sly will work and promises to play along.

 
 

Second Huntsman checks to see whether Sly is alive, and recognizes that he is dead-drunk. 

 
 

First Servingman goes to check the source of the trumpeting outside and returns to report that a company of players has arrived to offer their services to the Lord. 

 
 

The Second Servingman willingly joins in the joke on Sly. 

 
 

The Third Servingman willingly joins in the joke on Sly. 

 
 

Baptista is a wealthy gentleman of Padua, the father of two daughters. 

 
 

Vincentio is Lucentio’s father, a respectable, well-respected, and very rich old man from Pisa. 

 
 

Lucentio is a young man of Pisa, son to Vincentio, comes to Padua to go to university. 

 
 

Petruchio is a gentleman from Verona, the son of a well-known father, who comes to Padua in search of a rich wife. 

 
 

Gremio is an old man in Padua, and extremely rich. He is a suitor to Bianca’s hand, and cannot stand her sister. 

 
 

Hortensio is a young man of Padua, a suitor to Bianca’s hand.

 
 

Tranio is Lucentio’s servant and very close friend. 

 
 

Biondello is one of Lucentio’s servants. He is shocked to see his master and Tranio exchange their clothing, but accepts to play along with their switch. 

 
 

Grumio is  Petruchio’s servant. 

 
 

Curtis is one of Petruchio’s servants, in charge of his house. He is a gossip eager for news.

 
 

A Pedant is a schoolmaster from Mantua, on a trip to Rome and Tripoli. 

 
 

Katherina is a sharp-tongued lady of Padua, known throughout the town for her rants. 

 
 

Bianca is Baptista’s younger daughter, a beautiful, docile, and obedient creature. 

 
 

A Widow, daughter to Baptista, has been wooing Hortensio for some time. 

 
 

A Tailor insists to Petruchio that the gown he brings for Katherina is exactly as ordered, and perfectly in vogue. 

 
 

A Haberdasher brings a cap ordered for Katherina for her and Petruchio’s inspection, but is quickly told that it will not do at all. He is not aware that he is merely being used as a prop in Petruchio’s schemes against Katherina.

 
 

A Messenger comes to announce to Sly that his company of players is coming to perform a play for him, at doctors’ orders.

 
 

Baptista’s Messenger brings word to Bianca to stop studying and instead help decorate Katherina’s rooms in anticipation of the wedding.

 
 

Nathaniel is a servant at Petruchio’s house. He is delighted to see Grumio again.

 
 

Philip is a servant at Petruchio’s house. He is delighted to see Grumio again.

 
 

Joseph is a servant at Petruchio's house and he is delighted to see Grumio again. He helps serve at table, confirming the meat is mutton.

 
 

Nicholas is a servant at Petruchio’s house. He is delighted to see Grumio again.

 
 

Peter is a servant at Petruchio’s house, who serves at table.

 
 

Baptista’s Servant [mute role] leads the disguised teachers to their pupils.

 
 

An Officer [mute role] is called up to take the supposedly lunatic Vincentio to jail.

 
 
 
 
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