Hortensio is another suitor of Bianca. He disguises himself as the music teacher Litio in order to get closer to her. When he sees Bianca kissing her other teacher Cambio (Lucentio in disguise), he gives up on Bianca and marries a wealthy widow, instead. This quick spousal change suggests that he is more interested in money than love in marriage. Hortensio also accompanies Katherine and Petruchio on their journey to Padua, and remarks upon Petruchio's successful taming of Katherine, seeing Petruchio as an exemplary husband worth imitating. At the end of the play, though, he lacks the control Petruchio has over his wife, as illustrated when the widow refuses to come after he calls for her.
Hortensio Quotes in The Taming of the Shrew
The The Taming of the Shrew quotes below are all either spoken by Hortensio or refer to Hortensio. 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:).
Act 1, Scene 2 Quotes
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.
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.
Now, go thy ways, thou hast tamed a curst shrew.
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Explanation and Analysis:
Hortensio Character Timeline in The Taming of the Shrew
The timeline below shows where the character Hortensio appears in The Taming of the Shrew. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Act 1, Scene 1
Baptista enters with his two daughters, Katherine and Bianca. Two men, Gremio and Hortensio, enter as well, seeking to woo Bianca. Baptista reminds them that he has decided not... (full context)
...go inside, and she is polite and deferential, in contrast to Katherine's rudeness. Gremio and Hortensio protest Baptista's condition for the marriage of Bianca, but he says that his mind is... (full context)
...schoolmasters in his house, to instruct Bianca in music and poetry. He asks Gremio and Hortensio if they know of any teachers, then exits, telling Katherine to stay. Katherine is offended... (full context)
Gremio insults Katherine, then says that he would gladly find a teacher for Bianca. Hortensio agrees, but also tells Gremio that they should cooperate in finding Katherine a husband, since... (full context)
Act 1, Scene 2
Petruchio arrives in Padua with his servant Grumio, to see his friend Hortensio. Petruchio tells Grumio, "knock me here" (i.2.8) at Hortensio's gate, meaning knock on the door... (full context)
Hortensio tells Petruchio to end his quarrel with Grumio and asks what has brought Petruchio to... (full context)
Hortensio tells Petruchio that he must accompany him to Baptista's house, since he is in love... (full context)
Hortensio greets Gremio, who tells him that he is on the way to Baptista's house, to... (full context)
...Lucentio, with his servant Biondello. Tranio asks the group how to get to Baptista's house. Hortensio asks if he is a suitor of one of Baptista's daughters. Gremio and Hortensio each... (full context)
...until her older sister, whom he wants as his wife, is married. Tranio agrees with Hortensio that Petruchio's pursuit of Katherine is in all their best interest. Tranio encourages all the... (full context)
Act 2, Scene 1
Gremio enters with Lucentio (disguised as Cambio). Petruchio enters with Hortensio (disguised as a tutor named Litio). Tranio (disguised as Lucentio) enters with Biondello. Petruchio introduces... (full context)
Hortensio enters (still disguised as the music-teacher Litio), pale and with an injury on his head.... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 1
Within Baptista's household, Lucentio (disguised as Cambio) and Hortensio (disguised as Litio) instruct Bianca. The two squabble for Bianca's attention, Hortensio wanting to teach... (full context)
...his true identity to Bianca and tells her that he is in love with her. Hortensio says his instrument is ready, but Bianca pretends it sounds out of tune so that... (full context)
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... (full context)
Act 3, Scene 2
Petruchio enters, along with Katherine. Bianca, Baptista, Hortensio, and Grumio. Petruchio announces that he will leave now, skipping the traditional wedding feast that... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 2
Back in Padua, Hortensio (disguised as Litio) leads the person he thinks is Lucentio (in reality Tranio) to spy... (full context)
Tranio goes forward to 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... (full context)
Act 4, Scene 3
Petruchio and Hortensio enter. Petruchio has brought a large portion of meat with him, and demands that Katherine... (full context)
...deny that the gown is as they ordered. Petruchio sends the tailor away, but has Hortensio go and tell the tailor that he will be paid tomorrow. (full context)
...o'clock. Petruchio tells her, "It shall be what o'clock I say it is," (iv.3.202) and Hortensio marvels at how he orders her around. (full context)
Act 4, Scene 5
Petruchio, Katherine, Hortensio, and some of Petruchio's servants are making the journey from Petruchio's house to Padua. Though... (full context)
...the sun and Katherine is wrong. Katherine agrees with him that the sun is shining. Hortensio comments that Petruchio has tamed Katherine and that "the field is won," (iv.5.26). (full context)
...is playing a joke on him. They all continue their journey to Padua together, with Hortensio commenting on how remarkably Petruchio tamed Katherine. (full context)
Act 5, Scene 2
...are all present. The servants Tranio, Grumio, and Biondello are there as well, as are Hortensio and the widow he has married. Lucentio welcomes everyone to the banquet, calls Petruchio and... (full context)
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 a wager... (full context)
...her to 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)