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PlayShakespeare.com: The Ultimate Free Shakespeare Resource

The Taming of the Shrew Characters

Tranio is Lucentio’s servant and very close friend. 

A long-tongued gabbler and consummate conman, he brings his master back down to earth in the matter of Bianca, forcing him to consider the practicalities of wooing her rather than merely adoring her, much as he encourages him to have fun as well as study while at university. He is quite willing to play the game of being Lucentio, which role he takes to with gusto. As Lucentio, he woos Bianca in full view of her other suitors, distracting them from noticing the schoolmaster who is doing the same. He is able to outbid Gremio in offering for Bianca, though he then realizes that he must find a fake father to sign off on the promises he has made. He tricks Hortensio into swearing never to woo Bianca again by doing so himself. He then convinces the pedant to play the part of his father by swearing that doing so will save his life. When the real Vincentio’s arrival threatens to derail everything, he brazens it out, pretending to find the old man mad and insisting that he has never known him. He runs off as quickly as possible when the real Lucentio arrives, and by that evening is back serving tables, though he is still able to jest on almost-equal terms with Petruchio.

 

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