Petruchio is definitely one of the characters in “The Taming of the Shrew” that is most hated by the readers. Petruchio leaves Verona to see the world and find himself a wealthy wife. He arrives in Padua to visit his friend Hortensio, who tells him about the “lovely” and wealthy Katherine. Katherine, however, has been turning aside suitors and is reputed to have a bad temper.Petruchio believes he is up to the challenge and determines to meet her as soon as possible. Petruchio is usually portrayed as a decently handsome man in live-action versions of the play. If Petruchio wasn’t so attractive, he might be a completely different person. Considering he already has the bad attitude around him, he would be treated terribly. People would constantly make fun of him because of his appearance. If he were nicer, he wouldn’t be treated as terribly but, since his kindness is lacking, his life would be a miserable drama film. Petruchio would most likely start out self centered, but after people keep telling him he’s ugly, he would become wore down. He wouldn’t have the confidence that the Petruchio we know has. The Petruchio we know seems pampered, but with a lack of attractiveness, he would be anything but pampered. In fact, he would probably be so emotionally worn down that he wouldn’t even accept the bet on Katherine. The bet on Katherine most likely wouldn’t have even been made. Grumio probably wouldn’t even befriend Petruchio. Petruchio would be much weaker emotionally and would have a lack of confidence if he was less attractive, similarly to Katherine.
Katherine is no shrinking violet, and she lashes out at the men who expect women to be meek and passive. She is clearly intelligent, but she uses her wit to keep suitors at bay. Katherine, surprisingly, is usually shown in live versions of the play as pretty beautiful, some would argue even prettier than Katherine. This is interesting because she is still treated horribly, despite her beauty. She’s already treated horribly when she’s beautiful, so it’s unimaginable how terribly she’d be treated if she wasn’t as beautiful, even ugly. Katherine would be treated like garbage and, similarly to Petruchio, be worn down. People would hate her because she’s both unattractive and the worse sister beneath Bianca. If we carry in the changed Petruchio in this, he wouldn’t even want to take the bet on Katherine, so Katherine wouldn’t feel any love at all, which is even less than the normal Katherine. Katherine, essentially, would already be ‘tamed’ in a way.
Shakespeare’s characters are often pretty well explained when it comes to personality. It’s often set in stone the characteristics of a character, but their appearance is often up to personal interpretation. In “The Merchant of Venice”, Shakespeare leaves appearance quite up to interpretation and one could honestly dress the characters any way they please. However, these costumes could change a character, be it how they are treated, how they treat others, or even how they act. These characters, Bianca, Katherine, and Petruchio, would change wildly as people once their appearance changed, since they have such strong personalities already. Bianca would become self centered, Katherine would be hated even more than she is now, and Petruchio would be emotionally worn down. That is how a character's appearance can change their personality.