The Taming of the Shrew by William Shakespeare

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Does Petruchio love Katharine?

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It is difficult for modern Americans to understand the institution of marriage in Elizabethan times.  First, Americans are romantic when it comes to love.  We believe couples are fated to meet: a there is only "one true love."  Also, we are usually economically independent of our parents when we get married, so there is much more freedom of choice.  Lastly, we treat women with much more equality when it comes to decision-making and role in the family.

Elizabethans, most Europeans historically, have married for economic purposes: to secure status, maintain property and wealth.  Women were considered property for the most part and given little choice by their fathers to marry whom they choose.  Fathers were expected to marry the eldest daughter first, and they were married to men usually older than...

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