What are some love themes in the story The Taming of the Shrew?

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blacksheepunite eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the themes Shakespeare develops is whether love is something that can be arranged, or whether love is something that comes directly from attraction. Bianca's affairs arise out of her attractiveness, and in the end, she chooses her suitor. Her marriageĀ starts happily enough, but she and her husband have to work through the power dynamics before they will live peacably (and Shakespeare seems to imply that they may not get there); the widow's marriage is a rebound marriage that is in part attributed to her feelings for her spouse and in part, also, to her wealth. They, too, start happily enough, but are experiencing tension by the end of the play. On the other hand, Kate's marriage is arranged against her will. It is the least likely to succeed; neither partner is particularly attractive to the other, and both partners seem to have a nature that would predispose them to hostile relations. Yet, they fight their way to a peacable arrangement. Whether Kate truly capitulates to her new "master" or not is debatable (many think not); however, she gives the outward appearance of submission and, through her appearance of submission, we see the seeds of harmonious relations between the couple. Ironically, it seems that the worst match has become the best matched couple. You never know about love.