The Taming of the Shrew

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Petruchio Character Analysis

Petruchio is a gentleman who comes to Padua from Verona seeking a wife. He is loud, stubborn, and boisterous—in some ways a male version of Katherine. He accepts the challenge of taming Katherine and is confident in his ability to exercise male dominance over her. He explains that he approaches taming Katherine as a falconer tames a hawk, by depriving her of sleep and food. Petruchio is violent and rude toward his servants, and heavily misogynistic toward Katherine. Nonetheless, he may at least be admirable in his individuality. As demonstrated when he wears bizarre clothes to his wedding and disregards everyone else's jokes and jibes about marrying Katherine, Petruchio generally does not care what other people think of him or his actions.

Petruchio Quotes in The Taming of the Shrew

The The Taming of the Shrew quotes below are all either spoken by Petruchio or refer to Petruchio. 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 2 Quotes

And I have thrust myself into this maze,
Happily to wive and thrive, as best I may.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker)
Page Number: 1.2.56-57
Explanation and Analysis:

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I can, Petruchio, help thee to a wife
With wealth enough, and young and beauteous,
Brought up as best becomes a gentlewoman.
Her only fault, and that is faults enough,
Is that she is intolerable curst,
And shrewd and forward, so beyond all measure
That, were my state far worser than it is,
I would not wed her for a mine of gold.

Related Characters: Hortensio (speaker), Katherine, Petruchio
Page Number: 1.2.86-93
Explanation and Analysis:

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But will you woo this wildcat?

Related Characters: Gremio (speaker), Katherine, Petruchio
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 2.1.198
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 2, Scene 1 Quotes

Then tell me, if I get your daughter's love,
What dowry shall I have with her to wife?

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Baptista Minola, Katherine
Page Number: 2.1.126-127
Explanation and Analysis:

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Say that she [Katherine] rail, why then I'll tell her plain
She sings as sweetly as a nightingale.
Say that she frown, I'll say she looks as clear
As morning roses newly washed with dew.
Say she be mute and will not speak a word,
Then I'll commend her volubility
And say she uttereth piercing eloquence.
If she do bid me pack, I'll give her thanks
As though she bid me stay by her a week.
If she deny to wed, I'll crave the day
When I shall ask the banns, and when be married.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 2.1.178-188
Explanation and Analysis:

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Thus in plain terms: your father hath consented
That you shall be my wife, your dowry ‘greed on,
And will you, nill you, I will marry you.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Baptista Minola, Katherine
Page Number: 2.1.284-286
Explanation and Analysis:

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For I am he born to tame you, Kate,
And bring you from a wild Kate to a Kate
Conformable as other household Kates.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 2.1.291-293
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 3, Scene 2 Quotes

No shame but mine. I must, forsooth, be forced
To give my hand, opposed against my heart,
Unto a mad-brain rudesby, full of spleen,
Who wooed in haste and means to wed at leisure.

Related Characters: Katherine (speaker), Petruchio
Page Number: 3.2.8-11
Explanation and Analysis:

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To me she's married, not unto my clothes.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 3.2.119
Explanation and Analysis:

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I will be master of what is mine own.
She is my goods, my chattels; she is my house,
My household stuff, my field, my barn,
My horse, my ox, my ass, my anything.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 3.2.235-238
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Scene 1 Quotes

Thus have I politicly begun my reign,
And ‘tis my hope to end successfully.
My falcon now is sharp and passing empty,
And, till she stoop, she must not be full-gorged,
For then she never looks upon her lure.
Another way I have to man my haggard,
To make her come and know her keeper's call.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Related Symbols: Animals
Page Number: 4.1.188-194
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Scene 2 Quotes

Tranio: Faith, he is gone unto the taming school.

Bianca: The taming school? What, is there such a place?

Tranio: Ay, mistress, and Petruchio is the master,
That teacheth tricks eleven and twenty long
To tame a shrew and charm her chattering tongue.

Related Characters: Bianca (speaker), Tranio (speaker), Katherine, Petruchio
Page Number: 4.2.56-60
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Scene 3 Quotes

Well, come, my Kate, we will unto your father's.
Even in these honest mean habiliments.
Our purses shall be proud, our garments poor,
For ‘tis the mind that makes the body rich,
And as the sun breaks through the darkest clouds,
So honor peereth in the meanest habit.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Related Symbols: Clothing
Page Number: 4.3.175-180
Explanation and Analysis:

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It shall be what o'clock I say it is.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine
Page Number: 4.3.202
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 4, Scene 5 Quotes

Now, by my mother's son, and that's myself,
It shall be moon, or star, or what I list,
Or e'er I journey to your father's house.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Baptista Minola, Katherine
Page Number: 4.5.7-9
Explanation and Analysis:

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Forward, I pray, since we have come so far,
And be it moon, or sun, or what you please.
And if you please to call it a rush candle,
Henceforth I vow it shall be so for me.

Related Characters: Katherine (speaker), Petruchio
Page Number: 4.5.14-17
Explanation and Analysis:

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Act 5, Scene 2 Quotes

Let's each one send unto his wife,
And he whose wife is most obedient
To come at first when he doth send for her
Shall win the wager which we will propose.

Related Characters: Petruchio (speaker), Katherine, Bianca, Petruchio, Hortensio, Widow
Page Number: 5.2.68-71
Explanation and Analysis:

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Thy husband is thy lord, thy life, thy keeper,
Thy head, thy sovereign, one that cares for thee.

Related Characters: Katherine (speaker), Petruchio
Page Number: 5.2.162-163
Explanation and Analysis:

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Now, go thy ways, thou hast tamed a curst shrew.

Related Characters: Hortensio (speaker), Katherine, Petruchio
Page Number: 5.2.205
Explanation and Analysis:

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Petruchio Character Timeline in The Taming of the Shrew

The timeline below shows where the character Petruchio appears in The Taming of the Shrew. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 2
Social Hierarchy Theme Icon
Petruchio arrives in Padua with his servant Grumio, to see his friend Hortensio. Petruchio tells Grumio,... (full context)
Marriage Theme Icon
Hortensio tells Petruchio to end his quarrel with Grumio and asks what has brought Petruchio to Padua. Petruchio... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Hortensio tells Petruchio that he must accompany him to Baptista's house, since he is in love with Baptista's... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...responds that he has found someone to teach Bianca music. He then introduces Gremio to Petruchio, who he says "Will undertake to woo curst Katherine," (i.2.185) for her dowry. Gremio asks... (full context)
Marriage Theme Icon
Petruchio informs Tranio that Bianca cannot marry until her older sister, whom he wants as his... (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 as Lucentio) enters with... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Petruchio discusses the dowry for Katherine and assures Baptista that he is strong enough to make... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...to play the lute, but she got frustrated and broke the lute over his head. Petruchio is amused and says he loves her even more than before. Baptista tells "Litio" (Hortensio)... (full context)
Marriage Theme Icon
Alone on-stage, waiting for Katherine, Petruchio plans how he will woo her. Regardless of what she says, he plans to compliment... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
Katherine strikes Petruchio and he threatens to "cuff" her if she does so again. The two continue to... (full context)
Gender and Misogyny Theme Icon
Theater, Performance, and Identity Theme Icon
Marriage Theme Icon
...as Lucentio). Katherine complains to her father that he has wed her to a lunatic. Petruchio says that Katherine is modest, patient, and chaste, and announces that they have agreed to... (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. Otherwise, Bianca will be married to Gremio.... (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... (full context)
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Biondello enters and announces that Petruchio is coming, but he is dressed in bizarre and old clothes (including two mismatched boots)... (full context)
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Petruchio and Grumio finally arrive. Petruchio acts as if nothing is strange about his attire, and... (full context)
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Gremio enters, having just come from the church where Katherine and Petruchio were wed. He calls Petruchio "a devil, a devil, a very fiend," (iii.2.157). Tranio counters... (full context)
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Petruchio enters, along with Katherine. Bianca, Baptista, Hortensio, and Grumio. Petruchio announces that he will leave... (full context)
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Katherine says she will not go with Petruchio, but rather will enjoy the feast without him. Petruchio insists that she come with him,... (full context)
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Everyone is astonished at Petruchio's behavior. Bianca says that Katherine is mad and has found a fittingly mad mate. Baptista... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 1
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At Petruchio's country home, Grumio complains about how cold it is and prepares to start a fire.... (full context)
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...the house, Katherine fell off her horse into the mud. Instead of helping Katherine up, Petruchio beat Grumio, whom he blamed for the horse falling. Katherine finally had to pull Petruchio... (full context)
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Petruchio and Katherine arrive. Petruchio is angry that the servants did not meet him outside and... (full context)
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Petruchio re-enters and announces, "Thus have I politicly begun my reign," (iv.1.188). He says that he... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
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...Bianca and Lucentio and tells them the news about Hortensio. He also tells them that Petruchio is a master at taming shrews. Biondello arrives and tells Tranio that he has found... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
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At Petruchio's home, Katherine complains to Grumio about Petruchio's behavior, telling him she is starved and has... (full context)
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Petruchio and Hortensio enter. Petruchio has brought a large portion of meat with him, and demands... (full context)
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Katherine protests, telling Petruchio, "I am no child, no babe," (iv.3.79) but he sends the haberdasher off and asks... (full context)
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Petruchio tells Katherine that they will go to her father's in their humble, everyday clothes, minimizing... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
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Petruchio, Katherine, Hortensio, and some of Petruchio's servants are making the journey from Petruchio's house to... (full context)
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Katherine relents and agrees that it is the moon shining, not the sun. Petruchio immediately changes his mind and says that it is the sun and Katherine is wrong.... (full context)
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Pleased that Katherine is obedient, Petruchio prepares to continue the journey, but just as they are setting out again, they encounter... (full context)
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...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 confused... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 1
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...how long Cambio is taking to bring Bianca. After Lucentio leaves with Biondello and Bianca, Petruchio arrives with Katherine, Vincentio, and Grumio. Vincentio knocks on the door and asks for Lucentio.... (full context)
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Petruchio and Katherine, meanwhile, have been watching all this commotion. Katherine suggests they go see how... (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
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...wedding banquet. Baptista, Vincentio, Gremio, the merchant who had pretended to be Vincentio, Lucentio, Bianca, Petruchio, and Katherine are all present. The servants Tranio, Grumio, and Biondello are there as well,... (full context)
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As the guests at the banquet trade jokes and jibes, the widow teases Petruchio for being married to a shrew, offending Katherine. The women leave, and Tranio also teases... (full context)
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In response to all this teasing, Petruchio proposes a bet. He, Lucentio, and Hortensio will call their wives, and the husband whose... (full context)
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Petruchio tells Grumio to find Katherine and tell her that Petruchio commands her to come to... (full context)
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The men are amazed at Katherine's obedience. Baptista says that Petruchio has won the bet, and jokes that he'll give him even more money as a... (full context)
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Petruchio asks Kate to tell the other wives what duty they owe to their husbands. The... (full context)