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The Taming of the Shrew Characters

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

A blunt fellow, he does not hide what he intends, and has no fears of what his wife may be like so long as she brings money with her. He accepts to present Hortensio in disguise as a music-teacher at Baptista’s so that he can woo Bianca while he himself goes after Katherina. This he does with rapid-fire wit, refusing to take "no" for an answer and verbally overbearing her. Intending to take her down a notch or two, he arrives late at their wedding, dressed like a madman, and then takes her away to his home without even attending the wedding feast. He applies to her the methods used to tame wild falcons, keeping her almost starved and without sleep, bellowing at her and all around her, not to mention taking away dresses and other attires he had promised her on specious excuses, swearing that all of his objections are for her own good and out of his care for her. He never hits her, though he does warn her that he will if she strikes him again after she deals him a blow. Given to dressing in everyday attire, he insists to his wife that inner virtue counts far more than gaudy clothes, and takes her to visit her father for her sister’s wedding without buying her new clothes. He soon has Katherina agreeing to anything he tells her to, lecturing other women on how to best obey their husbands, and kissing him in public.

The further adventures of his married life are chronicled in John Fletcher’s The Woman’s Prize, or the Tamer Tamed.


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