The Taming of the Shrew
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Hortensio

He that runs fastest gets the ring.

[1.1.139]

Also called

  • ‘Rascal’ [Katherina 2.1.156],
  • ‘Preposterous ass’ [Lutencio 3.1.9]

Relationship Status

Chasing Bianca

Character biography

I am a merchant in Padua and I am in love with the beautiful Bianca but her father Baptista won’t let her marry until her older sister Katherina is married too. Unfortunately Katherina scares away any potential husband because she is so unruly, so to fix this I have convinced my friend Petruchio to pursue her. He says he can tame her and claim her large dowry, but I just want her married so I can be with Bianca. I have competition, however, as Gremio and Lucentio also want to marry Bianca, so I have a cunning plan to disguise myself as a music instructor to get closer to her without Baptista knowing.

Woos the wealthy…

Widow

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The Padua Club

The Exclusive Club for Padua’s leading male citizens

Name: Hortensio

Who is he?

Hortensio is a well-respected member of The Padua Club and a well-known citizen of Padua. He is one of the younger members of the club and brings a welcome liveliness to our meetings and activities.

Family

Hortensio comes from one of the leading families of Padua. He is currently single but hopes that this circumstance will be changing in the not too distant future.

Interests and concerns

Hortensio is an outgoing person and has many friends and both in Padua and beyond. One of his greatest friends is Petruchio who is a member of one of the leading families in Verona. Hortensio is close to Petruchio and is concerned that his friend may be in a state of sadness as Petruchio’s father has recently passed away.

As an eligible bachelor, Hortensio is looking to be married as soon as he can. Hortensio is particularly drawn to Bianca the younger daughter of Baptista, but he is aware that she is also courted by Gremio. Hortensio is confident that his youthfulness will win him Bianca’s hand in marriage as it has to be said that Gremio is rather too old for her. Hortensio knows that, in the background, there is a wealthy widow who will marry him if Gremio succeeds in marrying Bianca.

Wealth and circumstances

Hortensio is a man of means as befits a member of the exclusive Padua Club. He is well-placed to provide the necessary money to be sure of winning Bianca’s hand though he knows his wealth may not quite match that of his chief rival Gremio. The wealthy widow who is in love with Hortensio will provide the right kind of financial reward if Gremio wins the battle of the wooing of Bianca.