The Taming of the Shrew
The Taming of the Shrew
by William Shakespeare
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Hortensio

Character Analysis

Hortensio is Petruchio's best friend and sort of his wingman. (He tells Petruchio about Kate and personally escorts his pal to Baptista's house to seal the deal.) Hortensio is also in love with Bianca and dresses up like a tutor ("Licio") to get closer to her. Poor Hortensio really doesn't stand a chance – it's pretty clear from the beginning that Bianca's interested in Lucentio. Still, Hortensio plays an important role. When he gets fed up with what he sees as Bianca's "loose" behavior, he decides to marry the Widow. To do this, he runs off to Petruchio's "taming school," where he hopes to learn how to keep his more experienced lady in line. Problem is, Hortensio really doesn't learn how to tame anything and the Widow ends up playing the dominant role in their relationship after they get married. The moral? It's a huge mistake for any man to leave the theater thinking he's going to go home and try to pull a Petruchio on his wife. Not going to happen. Ever.

Next Page: Gremio
Previous Page: Lucentio

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