The Taming of the Shrew
How we cite our quotes:
Antonio, my father, is deceased;
And I have thrust myself into this maze, (1.2.9)
This is one of the first things out of Petruchio's mouth when he catches up with his old pal, Hortensio. Fine. Sharing this kind of news with a friend makes sense. The thing is, Petruchio mentions his dead dad an awful lot throughout the play. Is he sentimental? Does he miss him? Or, is he callous? Glad his dad is gone so he can take charge of the family trust and be the boss? If you were a director, how would you suggest an actor deliver these lines?
Signior Baptista, my business asketh haste,
And every day I cannot come to woo.
You knew my father well, and in him me, (2.1.6)
When Petruchio approaches Baptista for Kate's hand, he banks on the fact that Baptista knew his dead father. The good reputation of fathers is important to all the social climbing young men in this play. Here, however, we see that Petruchio sees his identity as being fused with that of his father, as though they are the same person.
What, will you not suffer me? Nay, now I see
She is your treasure, she must have a husband;
I must dance bare-foot on her wedding day
And for your love to her lead apes in hell.
Talk not to me: I will go sit and weep
Till I can find occasion of revenge. (2.1.7)
Kate's accusation that Baptista loves Bianca the most sounds a bit childish, but it's not unfounded. Baptista does treat Bianca as a "treasure." This isn't the first time that word has been used to describe the way Baptista guards his youngest child. Hortensio sees Bianca as a "treasure" as well and accuses Baptista of being miserly with his "riches" (1.2.7).