The Taming of the Shrew
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Petruchio

I come to wive it wealthily in Padua

[1.2.74]

Also called

  • ‘A crab’ [Katherina 2.1.231],
  • ‘Mad-brained rudesby,’ [Katherina 3.1.10],
  • ‘Frantic fool’ [Katherina 3.2.12],
  • ‘A devil.’ [Gremio 3.2.154]

Relationship Status

Chasing Katherina

Character biography

I have come to Padua from Verona after the death of my father to find a wealthy wife who will fund my expensive tastes. Lately I have heard about Katherina, or Kate as I call her, the wealthy daughter of old Baptista who has a large dowry. Gremio, Lucentio and my good friend Hortensio all want to marry her younger sister Bianca, so I have decided to marry Kate and claim my portion of her family’s wealth. The only problem is I hear she’s wild and refuses to settle for any man, so I will have to tame her into being a good wife to me. Baptista is thrilled he will finally be able to marry off his oldest daughter and I am happy to oblige if it means receiving Kate’s large dowry.

Marries the daughter of…

Baptista

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Who’s new in town?

Padua News

PN: Recently arrived in Padua and already causing quite a stir is Petruchio. He took time to talk to us. Welcome Petruchio, can you tell us a little about your background?

Petruchio: I am a soldier and from fair Verona. I have come to Padua as part of my plan to see the world. Sadly, my decision to travel has followed the recent death of my father Antonio.

PN: We are so sorry to hear that sad news but we feel sure that staying in Padua will help you to overcome your grief. Is there a particular reason that you decided on Padua for your travels?

Petruchio: Yes, there is. My great friend Hortensio is one of Padua’s leading citizens and I am looking forward to seeing him once more. I’m sure he will be well placed to introduce me to the city and some of your citizens. He is such a lively person I am sure I will have a wonderful time here with him.

PN: You are right. If there is anyone in Padua who can introduce you to everyone who is worth meeting then it is the famous Hortensio. Now do tell us whether there is a love in your life.

Petruchio: At the moment there is no-one in my life and that is one of the aims of my travels. I think it is high time that I should marry especially now that my father has sadly departed. So, can you tell me whether I will find plenty of choice in Padua?

PN: Indeed there are! The fair maids of Padua are famous throughout the country so you should be spoilt for choice. What are you looking for in a bride?

Petruchio: I am a straightforward man so I will be honest with you. I am looking for someone who is well-off with a large fortune in her family background. I’m sure that any of the maids I meet will be just right as long as she has a wealthy background! I will definitely want a woman who will be subservient and welcome me as her master. I know how to train a dangerous animal like a hawk so I am sure that anyone I meet will soon see me as their master.

PN: Well, that is direct and honest. I’m sure everyone in Padua will wait to see whether you find someone and how it goes. Is there anyone else with you?

Petruchio: My servant Grumio more’s the pity. I need to keep him in check at all times as he seems to make mistakes deliberately just to be awkward or simply silly. We need to find our way around the city but I can hardly rely on him so I think I should have brought another of my servants.

PN: Thank you so much for finding the time to talk to us. I’m sure the citizens of Padua will look forward to meeting you.