The Taming of the Shrew
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Tranio

I am tied to be obedient

[1.1.211]

Also called

  • ‘Youngling,’ [Gremio 2.1.341],
  • ‘Young gamester,’ [Gremio 2.1.403]

Relationship Status

Single

Character biography

I am the servant of Lucentio and I am dedicated to helping him marry Bianca. He has a plan to disguise himself as a tutor named Cambio and I have agreed to pretend to be Lucentio while he’s in disguise – I love taking part in plans like these! I am like a mentor to Lucentio and can always offer him advice when he’s in need, and it was me who suggested that he puts his studies on hold to woo Bianca.

Serves the house of…

Vincentio

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The Good Servant Guide

The essential guide for everyone looking for the best servants

The Gentleman’s Man


GSG: This month we focus on the Gentleman’s Man and we are very fortunate to have with us Tranio. Tell us a little about yourself Tranio.

Tranio: Well, I am from Florence where I am in the service of my master Lucentio. We have just come to Padua where my master is to take up his studies at the famous Padua University.

GSG: Is it a good position?

Tranio: Yes, very much so. My master Lucentio is from one of the most esteemed families in the whole country descended from the Bentivolii family of Pisa. Lucentio’s father is the brilliant and wealthy merchant Vincentio who is so well known in cities all around. So, yes, I think you could say it is definitely a good position.

GSG: What should anyone wanting a good manservant be looking for?

Tranio: A gentleman’s man is like a combination of a best friend, a counsellor and a solver of problems for the gentleman he serves. He needs to be ready to give advice, to listen to the concerns and worries of his master and always to have a plan for anything tricky that arises.

GSG: Can you give us an example of the kind of advice you might be called upon to give?

Tranio: One thing comes to mind. Lucentio has come to Padua as I said but one thing I am encouraging him to do is to find time for enjoyment as well as studying. Everyone knows that all work and no play is a bad thing so I am hoping to find plenty of time for him to enjoy himself with parties and entertainment and you never know perhaps love as well! Of course, if Lucentio accepts my advice that will be good for me as it will make my time more enjoyable too!

GSG: What about tricky events?

Tranio: To be honest, my master does sometimes get himself into difficulties having done things he doesn’t want Vincentio his father to discover! I am called upon to help him out by reassuring and sometimes coming up with ways of hiding things from his father. Still, it is all part of the job and can be quite exciting too.

GSG: How would you sum up what is required of a gentleman’s man?

Tranio: You need to find someone who is reliable, trustworthy and can think on their feet.

GSG: Thank-you Tranio, I’m sure anyone looking for a gentleman’s man will find what you have said very useful indeed. Let’s just hope that Lucentio’s father Vincentio doesn’t read this!

Tranio: Yes, that’s a point!