William Shakespeare 's The Merchant Of Venice

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The plot, characters, and relationships present in William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice all revolve around the concept of money; a theme that is strongly linked to the religious dichotomies explored throughout the comedy. At the beginning of the play, Antonio and Bassanio 's money-rooted relationship is introduced. Bassanio asks Antonio to lend him three thousand ducats. Antonio agrees to take out a loan for his friend, even though Bassanio had previously borrowed money and had not yet returned it. Antonio’s willingness to help out his seemingly untrustworthy friend, demonstrates his belief that friendship is more imperative than money. As a Christian, Antonio is following the expected trend; he is valuing life over stuff. Another aspect of money is uncovered when Antonio and Bassanio confront Shylock to arrange a money loan. Shylock, a Jewish man, believes in usance, while Antonio is strongly opposed. It is during this scene that the stereotype of a greedy Jewish man obsessed with tangible items is first depicted. Shylock is portrayed as greedy because he wants more money from Antonio. An additional example of the influence of money and greed is demonstrated in Portia’s casket game. The potential suitors that express greed are rejected from becoming Portia’s husband. Greed is viewed as a negative characteristic by the Christians because it entails valuing objects like money over life. Initially it appears that there is a clear distinction between the two religions; Christians value life and Jews value money. However, this correlation is soon proven amiss with Lorenzo’s characteristics and actions. When Jessica sneaks out of her father’s home to marry Lorenzo, she carries jewels and gold with her to present to Lorenz... ... middle of paper ... ...masquerade. He addresses concerns regarding the party in a prompt manner. In this regard, Salarino is very formal. Salanio- Salanio is an outsider to the group. He isn’t as close to the other members as the other members are amongst themselves. This makes Salanio feel uncertain while conversing. Salanio is very close with Salarino and tries to act normal by following Salarino’s lead. Shylock- Shylock is truly a genuine man, make sure to reflect this in your acting. Shylock is motivated by the love he holds for his daughter. When acting out angry Shylock, ensure that the anger is brimming with despair. Shylock doesn’t mean for his anger to be hurtful. Jessica- Jessica feels encapsulated in her father’s anger. The blind love she feels for Lorenzo is simply an allusion. She yearns for freedom from her father’s ways, and doesn’t fully comprehend the love he has for her.
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