The Taming of the Shrew
Marriage Quotes Page 1
How we cite our quotes:
Faith, gentlemen, now I play a merchant's part,
And venture madly on a desperate mart.
'Twas a commodity lay fretting by you:
'Twill bring you gain, or perish on the seas. (2.1.22)
Baptista's metaphor gives voice to his role as a "businessman" in negotiating the marriage of Bianca. Marrying his daughters is a precarious business venture for him, as he seems that he stands to lose more than his daughter does.
Tarry, Petruchio, I must go with thee,
For in Baptista's keep my treasure is:
He hath the jewel of my life in hold,
His youngest daughter, beautiful Bianca,
And her withholds from me and other more. (1.2.7)
Hortensio's insistence that Bianca is a "treasure" withheld from him by Baptista echoes Petruchio's earlier claims about the importance of "wiving it wealthily" in Padua. Although Hortensio's figure of speech is not as crude as Petruchio's overt equation of wives and wealth, the metaphor treads dangerously close – especially since Hortensio accuses Baptista of hoarding his daughter. Monetary wealth may not be as important to Hortensio as it is to Petruchio, but he does equate Bianca with a commodity.
I come to wive it wealthily in Padua;
If wealthily, then happily in Padua. (1.2.10)
Although crude and offensive, Petruchio is completely up front and open about his fortune-seeking ways. Marriage brings happiness, not for love's sake, but because marrying a wealthy wife brings in a lot of cash, which, according to Petruchio, is happiness.