The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice is a play full of different relationships

ranging from love and friendships to hate. These relationships are

affected by gossips and rumours, which due to the close community are

flying around all the time. Money is involved in everything in the

play; it is at the centre of work, relationships and rumours. It also

holds together and makes the main tension of the play.

There are many relationships in The Merchant of Venice. The most

common one is friendship. The friendships cross sex, age, race, and

class boundaries. And range from very strong ones such as between

Antonio and Bassanio to mere acquantancies such as the one between

Solanio and Antonio.

There are many friendships, which link all of the characters together.

The one between Bassanio and Antonio is the most obvious, and you feel

that they are so close, they could be brothers. This is how Antonio

was described when Bassanio left to find Portia.

"And even there, his eye being big with tears, turning his face he put

his hand behind him"

But even in such a close relationship, money is still involved, as

Antonio lends money to Bassanio, which has to be paid back. Another

friendship is the one between Solanio and Solerio, they are very

useful characters, because they are gossips and so can keep us

informed on what is happening. Generally there is a quite tight knit

community within the Christians, and they have a rivalry with the

Jewish community who are also quite close to each other. Two specific

friends within the Jewish community are: Tubal and Shylock - Tubal

comforts and tells the truth to S...

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... I feel that everything has a price tag, and largely human

relationships can be bought and sold for financial gain. Friends,

enemies, lovers, all evolve through financial activities. Venice back

in Shakespeare's day was a busy, bustling, buoyant commercial centre.

Change was inevitable with people coming and going, money swapping

hands, and huge risks involved in day to day life. Merchants chanced

their fortunes being tied up in the ships and the goods they carried.

A constant uncertainty being the fear that they might lose everything

if the ships ran into stormy seas or rocks. Despite much talk and

action revolving around finance I still feel that passion manages to

emerge in the form of love, hatred, friendship and selflessness. These

act to enrich the lives of the characters and to add depth to the

story line.
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