In Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew, Gremio is one of Bianca's suitors. He is told by Baptista that he cannot woo Bianca until her elder sister Katarina has married and so he privately agrees with his competitor Hortensio that this should be their first objective.

When Gremio first appears, he is described as a "pantaloon" - a specific stock character in early modern Italian comedy. This role is an old man who makes himself look foolish by pursuing a young girl and Shakespeare clearly intended Gremio to act as a foil for the antics of the younger characters. There is no sympathy for the old lover in the play - the audience is meant to laugh at his antics.