Merchant of Venice Essay: The Role of Jessica

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The Role of Jessica in Merchant of Venice The character of Jessica, in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice serves an important function in respect to her father, Shylock. By deserting him for a Christian husband, Shylock loses the last person with whom he has any kind of tie. Shylock’s isolation becomes a vital part of his character, and drives his merciless actions against Antonio. Throughout the play, everyone who could claim any type of social or familial tie to Shylock leaves him. Launcelot the Clown, moves to a Christian master, who has the,"grace of God..." (II,ii L.139) His own daughter Jessica forsakes him, and his entire Jewish culture, to marry Lorenzo, and become a Christian. Thus Shylock has no one from whom he can receive solace. Shylock, therefore, becomes a character motived by isolation, and a feeling of desertion. His emphasis on the binding values of money and law are the only thing he can claim as his own. When Shylock finds out about his daughter’s trickery, he begins to forsake the bonds of family, in sake of temporal laws defining right ...
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