The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare


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The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare

The "Merchant Of Venice" is a poem I have studied recently and will be
going on to describe it's four themes - Love/Hate/Friendship and
Money. I will go on to describe contrasting characters in the poem.



The theme Love is mostly shown through Portia & Bassanio, because all
she wanted was to have a choice in the man she married and the reason
she could not do this was because her fathers will had forbidde. When
Portia & Bassanio meet they really feel they want to be with each
other but she does not want Bassanio to chose casket straight away
because if he picks the wrong casket he must not see Portia again. He
feels there is no time like the present. He studies the caskets
carefully then chooses the lead casket and asks Portia for the key. He
opens the casket & surprisingly he sees a picture of Portia and scroll
permitting the man who opens the casket to marry his daughter and
tells them what else they will receive. Hate, hatred comes from
Shylock and his hatred for Christians so naturally Christians will
hate him. As Shylock is Jewish he doesn't feel like he should be 1 of
the crowd, he feels above the crowd. He lends money and makes money on
the interest. Antonio lends money to people with out using interest so
that Shylock will lose money. Antonio feels that Jewish are low and
shouldn't be allowed were Christians go, Antonio will spit & kick
Shylock as he passes as if it were a petty playground fight. In the
end after Shylocks hard as nails look he turns out to have feelings
like any other person.Although Antonio may seem mysterious, isolated
and weary-dissilusional he cares a lot for his friendship with
Bassanio and is willing to bite his tongue and ask the man he hates
most for money all because of friendship. Money only became an issue
because Shylock was Jewish & Antonio was a Christian, if there wasn't
a difference in religion Antonio wouldn't be lending out money for

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nothing so that Shylock would lose money to provide for him and his
daughter. I found it amazing that "Shakespeare" managed to get these
four themes into a poem and the poem can still be easy to read and
understand what was written. The way he accomplished mixing very
different characters with four very different themes was actually
quite astonishing.


I think the four main characters in the play are Antonio & Shylock;
Bassanio & Portia are used most used to bring out the themes more
broadly to increase the impact of themes like the hatred between
Antonio & Shylock or love through Portia & Bassanio. Although these
are the main characters used for this you get the feeling of it
between other characters with out knowing it.


I found the poem really exciting and I was on the edge of my seat all
the way through it and feel that the poem was a positive point to my
English year and I would like to read more Sir William Shakespeare.


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