The Taming of the Shrew

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Lucentio Character Analysis

Lucentio is a young man who arrives in Padua ready to pursue his studies, along with his servant Tranio. Almost immediately, though, he falls in love with Bianca, and devotes all his energy to wooing her. He disguises himself as Cambio, a teacher of languages, so that he can teach Bianca and spend time with her. When he reveals his true identity and intentions to Bianca and she replies favorably, he elopes with her to a church where they are married. Lucentio is young and somewhat irresponsible—it is Tranio who comes up with the ideas for how he can woo Bianca, and Lucentio suffers no real consequences from his deceit. In the end, he is happily married to Bianca, though her disobedience toward him at the end of the play suggests his dreamed-for marriage may not turn out to be exactly what he thought it would be.

Lucentio Quotes in The Taming of the Shrew

The The Taming of the Shrew quotes below are all either spoken by Lucentio or refer to Lucentio. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
). Note: all page and citation info for the quotes below refers to the Simon & Schuster edition of The Taming of the Shrew published in 2004.
Act 1, Scene 1 Quotes

Thou shalt be master, Tranio, in my stead
Keep house, and port, and servants, as I should.

Related Characters: Lucentio (speaker), Tranio
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 1.1.208-209
Explanation and Analysis:

The players have begun the play within the play, and the central plot is underway: Baptista has two daughters, Kate and Bianca, and will not permit the younger Bianca to marry until her older, "shrewish" sister gets married first. A student Lucientio has arrived in the Italian city of Padua, the setting for the play, along with his servant Tranio. Lucentio almost immediately falls in love with Bianca, and is so captivated by her beauty that he needs Tranio to summarize Baptista's conditions. Learning that Bianca will only accept tutors instead of suitors, Lucentio decides to pose as a Latin tutor (later named Cambio, which in Italian means "change").

In the quote, Lucentio responds to prompts from Tranio, who reminds his master that someone aught to pose as Lucentio. The master says to his servant, "Thou shall be master, Tranio," and instructs him to carry out all of the masterly duties. The two then exchange clothes and start on their courtship plan, with Lucentio changed into Cambio and Tranio changed into Lucentio. Note that in this way the first scene of the play within the play echoes the outer play: masters become servants and servants become masters; social hierarchy is inverted and everything is performance. This scene is also the last scene in which Christopher Sly (or any one from the induction) speaks, and the only scene in which the induction bleeds into the play within the play. 

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Lucentio Character Timeline in The Taming of the Shrew

The timeline below shows where the character Lucentio appears in The Taming of the Shrew. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Education Theme Icon
Lucentio enters with his servant Tranio. He has just arrived in Padua, eager to study philosophy.... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Lucentio, meanwhile, has become obsessed with Bianca's beauty. Baptista tells Bianca to leave and go inside,... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...that they may fairly compete for Bianca's hand in marriage. They exit, leaving Tranio and Lucentio alone on-stage. (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Lucentio says that he has suddenly fallen in love with Bianca and is desperate to win... (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Tranio coyly asks who will play the part of Lucentio, if Lucentio is the teacher. Lucentio tells Tranio to pretend to be him. The pair... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Education Theme Icon
Gremio enters with Lucentio, who is disguised as a schoolmaster named Cambio. Gremio tells Lucentio to teach Bianca only... (full context)
Marriage Theme Icon
Tranio enters, disguised as Lucentio, with his servant Biondello. Tranio asks the group how to get to Baptista's house. Hortensio... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Gremio enters with Lucentio (disguised as Cambio). Petruchio enters with Hortensio (disguised as a tutor named Litio). Tranio (disguised... (full context)
Education Theme Icon
Gremio interrupts to introduce "Cambio" (really Lucentio) as a teacher of Greek, Latin, and other languages. Baptista thanks him for the teacher,... (full context)
Marriage Theme Icon
...Bianca will get her. Gremio lists all of his property and riches. Tranio (speaking as Lucentio) catalogues all the wealth of Lucentio's father (which is even more than what Gremio can... (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Baptista says that he will give Bianca to Lucentio on the Sunday after Katherine and Petruchio's wedding, provided that Lucentio's father guarantees Lucentio's inheritance.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Education Theme Icon
Within Baptista's household, Lucentio (disguised as Cambio) and Hortensio (disguised as Litio) instruct Bianca. The two squabble for Bianca's... (full context)
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
While pretending to teach Bianca Latin, Lucentio reveals his true identity to Bianca and tells her that he is in love with... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Bianca declares that she is ready for her music lesson now, and Hortensio sends Lucentio away. Under the pretense of teaching Bianca musical scales, he encourages Bianca, "take [Hortensio] for... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Marriage Theme Icon
It is Katherine and Petruchio's wedding day, and Baptista, Gremio, Katherine, Bianca, Tranio (disguised as Lucentio), and Lucentio (disguised as Cambio) are all present for the ceremony. Petruchio, however, is late.... (full context)
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Left alone, Tranio and Lucentio discuss their plan to get Bianca for Lucentio. Tranio tells him that he will find... (full context)
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...fittingly mad mate. Baptista tells everyone that they can still enjoy the feast, and that Lucentio (actually Tranio) and Bianca can take the places of Petruchio and Katherine. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Back in Padua, Hortensio (disguised as Litio) leads the person he thinks is Lucentio (in reality Tranio) to spy on Bianca and the real Lucentio (disguised as Cambio). They... (full context)
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Education Theme Icon
Tranio goes forward to Bianca and Lucentio and tells them the news about Hortensio. He also tells them that Petruchio is a... (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
...death for anyone in Mantua / To come to Padua," (iv.2.86-87). Still pretending to be Lucentio, Tranio tells the merchant that he will do him a favor. Since the merchant resembles... (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
...Tranio leaves to find suitable clothes for the merchant, he mentions that he will need Lucentio's "father" to make assurances about his inheritance, in preparation for a wedding. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 4
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
In Padua, Tranio (still disguised as Lucentio) brings the merchant, who is dressed up as Vincentio, to Baptista's house. Biondello arrives, as... (full context)
Marriage Theme Icon
...convinced that the merchant is Vincentio. Baptista, the merchant, and Tranio decide to go to Lucentio's lodging to discuss the financial particulars of the marriage in private. Before they depart, Tranio... (full context)
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Lucentio returns and Biondello informs him of their plans. Baptista has asked for Cambio to bring... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
Education Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...himself as Vincentio and says that he is traveling to Padua to see his son Lucentio. Petruchio happily greets him as his father-in-law, since Lucentio is marrying Katherine's sister. Vincentio is... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Outside of Lucentio's home in Padua, Lucentio runs off with Bianca and Biondello to the church where he... (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Biondello returns from the church, where Lucentio and Bianca have been married. Vincentio recognizes Biondello, but Biondello pretends not to know Vincentio.... (full context)
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Biondello, Lucentio, and Bianca enter. Thinking that their deception has been uncovered and fearing punishment, Biondello, Tranio,... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
Marriage Theme Icon
It is finally time for Lucentio and Bianca's wedding banquet. Baptista, Vincentio, Gremio, the merchant who had pretended to be Vincentio,... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
In response to all this teasing, Petruchio proposes a bet. He, Lucentio, and Hortensio will call their wives, and the husband whose wife comes first will win... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...since Katherine is now a completely different daughter. Katherine returns with Bianca and the widow. Lucentio chides Bianca for not coming, telling her that her disobedience cost him money. Bianca replies... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...kiss him, which she does. As they leave together to go to bed, Hortensio and Lucentio marvel at Petruchio's ability to tame Katherine. (full context)