While there are many fundamental themes in The Merchant of Venice, only one seems to drive the play to its inevitable conclusion. There is a constant theme of self interest versus love. On the surface, this seems to be the dividing factor between the Christians and the Jew, as Shylock is supposed to only care about money, profits, and such, while the rest of the cast value human relationships more.
Men such as Antonio and Bassiano lend money without interest or even thought at times, and end up taking far more risks for those they care about. “He lends out money gratis, and brings down | The rate of usance here with us in Venice.”(1.3.45) Shylock complains to the audience in an aside. Antonio agrees to Shylock’s nasty terms simply because he loves Bassiano that much.
Further on in the play, Shylock reportedly runs through the streets crying “'My daughter! O my ducats!” (2.8.15). Through this statement he seems to value his money at least as much as his daughter and this suggests that his love balanced with hi...
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- Self Interest versus Love in The Merchant of Venice While there are many fundamental themes in The Merchant of Venice, only one seems to drive the play to its inevitable conclusion. There is a constant theme of self interest versus love. On the surface, this seems to be the dividing factor between the Christians and the Jew, as Shylock is supposed to only care about money, profits, and such, while the rest of the cast value human relationships more. Men such as Antonio and Bassiano lend money without interest or even thought at times, and end up taking far more risks for those they care about.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
604 words (1.7 pages)
- Religion was a major factor in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. Religion motivated action and reasoning. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. In the “Merchant of Venice,” “a Christian ethic of generosity, love, and risk-taking friendship is set in pointed contrast with a non-Christian ethic that is seen, from a Christian point of view, as grudging, resentful, and self-calculating.” (Bevington, pg.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1944 words (5.6 pages)
- Trust is used in “The Merchant of Venice” to make conflict more alive and the love that is in the story line more prevalent. Portia hooks in Bassanio with the gift she bestows upon him. For example, “In “The Merchant of Venice” spotlights shiny displays of sacrifice and gift giving. At the same time he (Shakespeare) lets the shadows of darker motives encroach on the glitter of those displays”(Berger 1). The darker motives show that Portia is a little bit conniving in her way the she bestows the ring onto Bassanio.... [tags: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Usury, Portia]
1700 words (4.9 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice In Act 1 Scene 1 we are introduced to Antonio, Salerio, Solanio, Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano. Antonio is a wealthy businessman. He is a trader. He also gives people loans but he does not charge them any interest. Salerio, Solanio, Bassanio, Lorenzo, and Gratiano are all good friends of Antonio and of each other. Lorenzo is in love with Jessica the daughter of Shylock. Bassanio is also in love with Portia and wants to marry her. In Act 1 Scene 1 Antonio is feeling unhappy, so his friends try to cheer him up.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
914 words (2.6 pages)
- Appearance vs. Reality in The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice explores the theme of Appearance versus Reality. The theme is supported with many examples in the form of characters, events and objects. During the discussion of the bond, Shylock says to Antonio “ I would be friends with you and have your love” and “this kindness will I show”. He pretends to be Antonio’s friend, but he has an ulterior motive, which is to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh from whatever part of his body he pleases.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1066 words (3 pages)
- Analysis of Act Four Scene One of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare In Shakespeare’s, ‘The Merchant of Venice’, Act 4 scene 1 has an extremely important role in developing the drama, messages and characters in this play. At the same time it also works on a part of the play turned ‘comedy’. In the Merchant of Venice, many messages are portrayed throughout and in this significant scene. These include the self-interest of Shylock against the love of Antonio, Antonio putting himself at risk for those he loves, that mercy is more important than justice, women are in fact wise and capable as in those days they were always undermined by men.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
1097 words (3.1 pages)
- The Power of Act IV Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare This scene is so powerful because it is the climax of the whole plot. We know that Shakespeare gives it a lot of importance because it is a very long scene. It is given great importance because all the characters are there. Its location is very important because it is set in a court and as soon as the certons are lifted, the audience know this is a serious scene. It is also important about the location because in the olden days the Venetian court were seen as a powerful place so this means that they could not show mercy to Antonio because this would make the court look week.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
1059 words (3 pages)
- One major theme that can be seen in The Merchant of Venice is blindness. This shows up in several forms through the duration of the play. It is displayed physically, mentally, and spiritually. The various forms of blindness create tension between characters. The blindness corrupts their actions, causing them to hurt others for their own personal gain. This theme starts with Old Gobbo, Launcelot's father, who is physically almost blind. He does not even recognize his own son. He approaches Launcelot and asks, 'Master young man, you, I pray you, which is the way to Master Jew's?'; (Pg.... [tags: Shakespeare plays]
648 words (1.9 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice “The Merchant of Venice” is a Shakespeare play about Bassanio, an ambitious young man of Venice, asking his friend Antonio, a merchant of Venice, for a loan in order to enable him to woo Portia, a rich heiress in style. Antonio approach Shylock, a Jewish money-lender, who agrees to the loan only if Antonio undertakes to give him a pound of his flesh if he is unable to repay the money. Each character plays an important role in bringing out the various themes of the play.... [tags: Papers]
1172 words (3.3 pages)
- Shakespeare's Presentation of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice This essay is an analysis of how the character of Shylock, in the play 'The Merchant of Venice', is presented to the audience, by Shakespeare, in different ways. The riveting play shows the best and worst aspects of human nature and contains one of Shakespeare's most reviled, complex and compelling characters. Love and romance end this play, yet before that come bigotry, racism, hatred, death threats and money-especially the money.... [tags: William Shakespeare Papers]
828 words (2.4 pages)
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