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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was written between 1594-1596.It is classified as a comedy; it is also a work of good triumphs over evil, but serious themes are examined and some issues remain unresolved. In the play Shakespeare has woven together plots from different books. Shakespeare gets the bond story and the story of the ring from an Italian novella, LL Pecorone, in a collection put together by Sir Geovanni and published in 1558. The story of the bond occurs in several sources including the Gesta Romanorum. In the modern post- Holocaust 20th century, the problem of Anti-Semitism had been shown; Shakespeare described Shylock as a stereotypical character of a cruel, money-obsessed Jew. The play makes generalisation about Jewish people being the same and using Shylock as a representative. The play revolves around two people; Shylock who is a vengeful, greedy money lender and a Jew, in contrast with Antonio, a generous, faithful Venetian merchant who is a Christian. There are two plots, the pound of flesh trial between Shylock and Antonio and the three-casket test involving Bassanio and Portia. Antonio is the character who is involved in the trial scene against Shylock. He is shown as being a good and faithful person (Christian) as shown when the Duke shows his sympathy towards him at the beginning of the trial "I am sorry for thee". He is a person who would do anything for his friend. In this case Bassanio. Shylock is a Jew vengeing for Antonio's flesh. At t... ... middle of paper ... ... Antonio has done unforgivable things to him in the past. The court room scene has expressed all characters' thoughts and emotions towards each other. The tension between the Jews and Christians are powerfully explored, though my view is that Shylock should be the winner but he is defeated. The trial scene is brilliantly shown in the courtroom as if a real life event. The actors who take part in this scene show their significance in helping to create a dramatic effect. For Shylock justice had been hanging throughout this scene, creating suspense. Antonio has won the case and a sentence has been given; though I think it is unreasonable. Shakespeare has successfully used devices to create a great impact on the audience. The effective use of language style and structure contributed effectively to the play's success.
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