Baptista is a wealthy gentleman of Padua, the father of two daughters.
Desperate to have the eldest, Katherina, a rebellious, ranting, sort, out of his house and out of his hair, he refuses to let the younger daughter, a beautiful, docile, and therefore desirable young thing, marry before her sister. He dotes on the younger girl, hiring teachers of every sort to improve her. He has strong doubts about Katherina’s marketability, and discourages suitors from attempting to woo her for their own sake, though he is willing to settle half of his wealth on her at his death. For Bianca, he searches for the richest suitor he can find. He is taken aback at Petruchio’s manner at his wedding and quick departure, but makes no great protest. Though he finally agrees to let Lucentio marry Bianca, he is appalled to discover that the Lucentio he made the bargain with is actually Lucentio’s servant, and the man he thought Lucentio’s father is actually a random pedant. He is so amazed at the change Petruchio has wrought in Katherina’s character that he adds an extra twenty thousand crowns to her dower.