In William Shakespeare's comedy The Taming of the Shrew, Hortensio is Petruchio's best friend and sidekick. Like almost every other man in Padua, Hortensio adores the gorgeous Bianca and fantasizes about marrying her. He takes the bold step of adopting the persona of Licio of Mantua, a music tutor.
After his official presentation to Bianca's father Baptista (by Petruchio), the eager "music tutor" races off to begin teaching. His has his first (and last) lesson with Katherine, and it does not go well. Hortensio soon returns to the stage with, to quote the stage directions, "his head broke" and reveals that Katherine has smashed the lute over his head in a fit of anger.
Examine the humorous exchange between Katherines's father Baptista and Hortensio from act 2, scene 1:
What, will my daughter prove a good musician?
I think she'll sooner prove a soldier
Iron may hold with her, but never lutes.
Why, then thou canst not break her to the lute?
Why, no; for she hath broke the lute to me.
Hortensio storms that Katherine is an "impatient, devilish spirit," which makes Petruchio even more anxious to meet Baptista's fiery daughter. Ultimately, Hortensio's injury isn't serious. The lute-incident does, however, foreshadow his lack of control over his wife in the final act of the play, who refuses to come when called.