Last Updated on June 19, 2019, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 297
Petruchio is known as the "tamer." He marries Maria after the death of his first wife, Katherine. His tactics and manipulation are proven inferior to that of Maria's. At the end he is able to come to an agreement with his wife to start a new life together.
Maria is the second wife of Petruchio and becomes his "tamer" in a turn of the gender tables. She is resistant to his domination and joins a band of women in abstinence. They declare that they will not take their husbands until they change their ways. Her strategies are cunning and witty. She ultimately agrees to start a new life with her husband at the end of the play.
Livia is Maria's sister and is in love with Roland. She, like the other characters, is able to evade marriage to an older man she does not love.
Bianca is the cousin who encourages Maria to show strength.
Moroso is in love with Livia. He helped to match Petruchio and Maria. He is also tricked into signing for the marriage between Rowland and Livia.
Rowland is Livia's sweetheart. He fears that Livia will fall for Moroso's wealth. Once the misunderstanding is cleared, he marries his sweetheart.
Petronius is the father of the sisters. While he loves them very much, he sets high expectations and is controlling.
Tranio is Petruchio's good friend. He is at the center of all the tricks and aids in fooling his friends.
Sophocles is another good friend to Petruchio. He has a calmer demeanor than the other men. Maria flirts with him in order to make Petruchio jealous.
Jacques is the servant of Petruchio. He is told of Maria's plans to make her husband sleep outside their bed. He has to inform Petruchio of Maria's refusal.
Last Updated on May 5, 2015, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 304
Petruchio (peh-TREW-kee-oh), a widower, famous as the tamer of his shrewish first wife, Kate. Angered and confused by the various husband-taming tricks of Maria and beaten at every point, he at last surrenders to her and is rewarded with a generous love.
Maria, Petruchio’s second wife. A lesser Lysistrata, she is determined to win a signal victory for her sex over the man most famous for conquering a member of it. She is clever and witty, turning Petruchio’s angry bull-like sallies with affected mildness and concern or with passionate displays of her own temper. After she overwhelms him completely, she graciously promises to make him a perfect wife.
Livia (LIHV-ee-uh), Maria’s sister, in love with Rowland. She succeeds in fooling her father and her ridiculous elderly suitor, and after several complications she succeeds in marrying her sweetheart.
Bianca (bee-AHN-kah), their cousin. Also showing kinship with Lysistrata, she is active and resourceful on behalf of both sisters in the battle of the sexes.
Petronius (peh-TROH-nee-ews), the father of the sisters. A well-meaning but somewhat tyrannical father, he rages furiously but impotently at his daughters’ independence. He accepts their eventual triumphs with good grace.
Rowland, Livia’s sweetheart. Misunderstanding Livia’s behavior toward him and Moroso, he renounces her, but when the misunderstanding is clarified, he marries her joyfully.
Moroso (moh-ROH-soh), a foolish, wealthy old man in love with Livia. He is tricked into witnessing and approving her marriage contract with Rowland without realizing what he is signing.
Sophocles (SOF-oh-kleez), a friend of Petruchio. He is used by Maria, who flirts with him, to arouse Petruchio’s jealousy.
Tranio (TRAH-nee-oh), another of Petruchio’s friends.
Jacques (zhahk), Petruchio’s servant. He is bewildered by his master’s reversal of marital fortune.