Minola Baptista is one of the wealthiest men in Padua and is the father of Katherine and Bianca. He is a generally good-natured man who values his daughters’ education. However, throughout the course of the play, it becomes clear to the reader that Baptista is unequipped to handle Katherine’s obstinate and shrewish disposition. This leads to resentment on Katherine’s part; she is angry that her father favors the sweet-tempered Bianca over her. For example, in 2.1.35, Katherine claims that Bianca is Baptista’s “treasure” and that he values Bianca more than Katherine. This aspect of Baptista’s characterization is crucial to the overall narrative because it provides some of the context for Katherine’s bitter disposition. 
Baptista is also vital because he generates the entire plot of the play. Baptista is an example of one of Shakespeare’s most commonly used comedic archetypes: the comic blocking character. A comic blocking character is someone who establishes a rule or boundary that prompts the chaos that the characters must overcome in order to reach a happy ending. In the case of The Taming of the Shrew, Baptista blocks Bianca from getting married because he has a rule that she cannot get married until her older sister Katherine is wed. He does so because he wishes to see Katherine married and out of his hands. His rule sets the rest of the play in motion because the gentlemen in Padua, eager to marry Bianca and claim her sizable dowry, suggest that Petruchio woo and marry Katherine. If Baptista had not created his arbitrary rule about Katherine and Bianca’s marriages, the events of the play may never have taken place.