The play begins in Venice where the wealthy merchant Antonio is
talking to his young friends about the reasons for the depression.
Antonio claims not to understand himself his sad nature.
Bassanio arrives with the news that he wishes to court a wealthy,
beautiful heiress named Portia. In order to present himself to Portia
he wants to borrow 3000 ducats. Bassanio is in terrible debt and he
sees marriage to Portia as a way out of financial problem. Antonio
claims he cannot raise 3000 ducats himself but he offers to stand as
security for any loan which Bassanio can arrange.
The subplot introduces Portia and Nerissa. Shakespeare provides
himself with an opportunity to comment on the position of women in the
society of his day. Portia was unable to choose her own husband. Her
father’s will made her the subject of a lottery. As in Romeo and
Juliet we see the ambivalence of the writer’s attitude to the
domination of women by authoritarian fathers. “I be obtained by the
manor of my father’s will”. Further more Shakespeare mocks the
European stereotypes that pursue Portia eager to claim not only her
beauty but also her father’s money. The audience learn that Portia
would choose Bassanio if indeed she had a choice.
Meanwhile in Venice, Bassanio has approached Shylock, a Jewish money
lender, for a loan of 3000 ducats. Shylock appears to prevaricate
about whether or not he should make the loan of 3000 ducats. He shows
he is most knowledgeable about the business affairs of Antonio “he
hath an Argosy bound to Tripolis, and other to the Indies…”
Immediately the audience can see that S...
... middle of paper ...
...ers the scales to weigh the amputated flesh, Bassanio
and Gratiano offer their wives lives in exchange for Antonio’s life.
Shylock scorns their exaggeration and bombasity, “These be the
Christians husbands”, Shylock then mentions his own daughter to bring
Jessica to mind at this point in the play, his daughter to the
Christians in the true root of his desire to kill Antonio.
At the last moment Portia points out the flaw in Shylocks bond, the
facts that a drop of blood may not be spilled. With glee the
Christians begin to torment Shylock, taking his money, threatening his
life and ultimately insisting he is baptised and that Antonio will be
his Godfather. Amidst execrations Shylock “totters” from the play
probably to hang himself.
I have come to the conclusion that Shylock is only a product of his
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Iago's Motives in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Iago, having the typical attributes of a Machiavelli character; seems to be inherently evil. He revels in his ability to dissemble and destroy. Defending himself through constant reassurances- Iago claims to disgrace Cassio because of his `daily beauty' and the fact that a `Florentine' who knows nothing about battles `more than a spinster' becomes lieutenant. This seems to outrage him- a spark that sets of the fire raging in his heart. As a result, he fabricates an ingenious plan- one by one he would make everyone pay.... [tags: William Shakespeare Merchant Venice Essays]
768 words (2.2 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
385 words (1.1 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
2196 words (6.3 pages)
- 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.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1565 words (4.5 pages)
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The famous play 'The Merchant of Venice' by William Shakespeare concerns several plot lines, including the bond, the ring, the caskets and the elopement. The bond is the main plot and usury is a key part of this. It is because Shylock is a moneylender who lends money to a Christian. Shylock is crucial because he is a crucial character to 2 plots including the main one. When Antonio first meets Shylock he is immediately unkind to Shylock because he is a Jew.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
522 words (1.5 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare, having spent most of his youth in England, was influenced by England’s beliefs. England was going through a Christian reformation that had caused friction between Christians and Jews. Jews and Christians did not see eye to eye on almost everything and especially on usury, the practice of lending money with interest. Boyce, a Shakespearean critique, sums up the negative attitude that Christians had on Jews in the 16th Century: “Sixteenth-Century Englishmen tended to attribute to Jews only two important characteristics, both negative: first, that Jews detested Christians and gave much energy to devi... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1878 words (5.4 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare features, Shylock a very controversial character due to his religion, profession and personal traits. Professionally Shylock lends money to people in debt, in order to gain interest and profit. Although, this is very much central to our modern way of life, in the Elizabethan period, money lending was not accepted as an acceptable profession. Throughout "The Merchant of Venice" Shylock is portrayed as menacing, inhumane and slightly eccentric, yet at times misunderstood and induces sympathy from the reader.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1254 words (3.6 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is the story of a man who wishes to wed a woman, in order o do so he needs to borrow money from his good friend. The play is that of an anti-semitic one. The play is an anti-semitic one because the Jews are looked upon as evil and untrustworthy. For the entire play the Jew is never meant to look as a good person, and he is abused by almost everyone in the play. When the Jew does have his sympathetic lines, they were actually meant to be comedic.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
678 words (1.9 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice In this piece of work, I am to discuss whether Portia is a modern woman of the sixteenth century. I am aiming to discuss many of her elements, relating and comparing them with the time in which the play is set. I will be looking at what aspects mark her out as a ‘modern’ woman and those that mark her out to be a ‘renaissance’ woman. When William Shakespeare wrote, ‘The Merchant of Venice’, he included a female character that leads the play dramatically.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
1190 words (3.4 pages)
- William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice In many ways, shylock is a more difficult character for a modern audience than for an Elizabethan audience. With close reference to Act 1 scene 3, Act 3 scene 1 and Act 4 scene 1 show how an actor might reveal the human being behind the stereotype. The merchant of Venice is a play written in Elizabethan times by William Shakespeare. The play is set in Elizabethan Venice. The play starts with Antonio, a rich merchant, who is depressed without any obvious reason.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
2277 words (6.5 pages)