Christopher Sly: a beggar who
falls into a drunken stupor. A lord finds him and makes him the center of an elaborate gag.
Lord: a man that plays the
joke on the beggar. It's his household in which the players come to show the play that commences.
Page: boy who the Lord dresses
up as Sly's wife in the trick.
Baptista Minola: one of the rich men in Italy, who has two daughters, named Katherine and Bianca.
He makes the rule that the older daughter must marry before the younger. He tries to find the
richest suitor for his youngest daughter, and throws elaborate feasts for their weddings.
Katherine: "The Shrew" Baptista's
daughter that none of the men like because of her sharp tongue. She is not interested in men and
marriage, though when forced, is easily tamed by Petruchio.
Bianca: the younger of the Minola sisters that all of the men want to marry. She is interested
in music, and her studies, but gets angry with her sister for not marrying.
Petruchio: Katherine's suitor who is the only
one who knows how to tame the shrew. He marries Katherine for her mother, which makes his friends
: a rich noble who is a suitor of Bianca's. He is not rich enough however to win her from Lucentio.
Hortensio (Litio): A suitor
of Bianca's who dresses up as her music teacher so he can woo her. Once he finds out she fell
in love with someone he thinks is beneath her status, he is disgusted with her, and marries another
: A rich noble from another city that falls in love with Bianca the first time he sees her. He
disguises himself as her tutor so he can woo her and his plan works.
Vincentio: Lucentio's rich father who shows up in Padua only to be almost thrown in jail.
Tranio (Lucentio): A servant
to Lucentio who switches places with his master in order to help him win Bianca. Tranio does all
of the formal negotiations for the real Lucentio's marriage to Bianca.
Biondello: Another servant to Lucentio that helps them in their disguises.
Merchant (Vincentio): At the behest of Lucentio,
the Merchant dresses up and plays the part of the rich noble Vincentio. However, when the real
Vincentio appears, trouble starts.
Grumio: A servant to Petruchio that helps in his taming of Katherine.
Widow: Woman Hortensio marries who latter makes
fun of Katherine for being a shrew.