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In this play Shakespeare tackles the foreground theme of animal cruelty, as the male protagonist, having made a bet with the burgomaster, is forced to engage in the obviously impossible task of taming a shrew. He comes to understand that while a rat or a mouse can be tamed, a shrew can never be tamed and it should be allowed to live a natural life. He becomes a better person through this lesson, and is reconciled with his family and also with the burgomaster.
Essentially this is a play that teaches a lesson about living and working together, and being tolerant of those who are different.