Essays on The Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice Analysis
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In act 1 scene 2 of the Merchant of Venice, Portia gives a speech that is built on a series of metaphors. These metaphors progress from a broader theme of doing good to metaphors that connect to Portia’s own situation of choosing a husband. The first two metaphors, are that a “good divine (preacher) is one that follows his own instruction” and that it is easier to teach twenty people to do good than to actually do good myself (Shakespeare…...
The Merchant of Venice
Two Central Themes of The Merchant of Venice
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In the play, The Merchant of Venice, there are two central themes, Vengeance and Mercy. Shylock is the king of vengeance. The contract he has Antonio sign show us his crude sense of revenge. “Go with me to a notary, seal m there your single bond and In a merry sport, if you repay me not on such a day, in such a place, such sum or sums ars are expressed in the condition let the forfeit be nominated for…...
The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice: Is Shylock a Villain?
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Unlike Shakespeare’s other villains, Shylock is not depicted as a clear-cut villain. Which makes us wonder, is he really a villain? Throughout the story, Shylock has been portrayed in numerous ways. A father, a moneylender, and a faithful Jew. Different instances in the play force us to form an opinion on his character. This opinion keeps changing with the change of scenes and events. So the question arises- Is Shylock a villain or a victim throughout this play? When Shylock…...
The Merchant of Venice
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William Shakespeare’s Character Shylock
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In 1594 the Earl of Essex, an English Nobleman who lived during the Elizabethan period in England, was actively involved in the persecution and trials of Roderigo Lopez. Lopez was a Jew of Portuguese descent, who was wrongly accused of attempting to poison the Queen of England, for reasons never fully explained. Lopez, being the Queen's royal physician, was in no position to defend himself once he was accused. Essex, who provided the evidence also presided over the trial of…...
As You Like ItCharacterShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
Shylock The Paradox Villain And Victim English Literature Essay
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In `` The Merchant of Venice '' , Shakespeare portrays Shylock as a self-contradictory character since he is a selfish, heartless, and money-grubbing stereotyped Jew of the clip who experiences persecution by the Venetian citizens. Although Shylock is represented as a cruel and unusual monster there is concluding to his maliciousness due to the fortunes he 's been dealt with by populating in an antisemitism community. The transition, `` I have possessed your grace of what I purpose, '' (…...
EnglishLiteratureShylock Victim Or VillainThe Merchant of VeniceVillains
How does Shakespeare interest his audience with both the moral debate and the action on stage in Measure for Measure?
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In his play Measure for Measure, Shakespeare chooses to explore many moral issues such as human weakness, sexual temptation and above all justice against mercy. However these moral debates are intrinsically linked to the action on stage portrayed by Shakespeare's characters. Therefore to say 'both' is not appropriate or relevant to the question. The word debate suggests a 'prolonged discussion' which may lead an audience to associate Measure for Measure with dull trials and legal language something that may not…...
ComedyJusticeMeasure for MeasureMoralShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
“The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare
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A discussion of the subject of prejudice in the William Shakespeare's play, "The Merchant of Venice" THE ROLE OF PREJUDICE IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE This paper discusses the subject of prejudice in the William Shakespeare play, The Merchant of Venice. I. Introduction William Shakespeare's satirical comedy, The Merchant of Venice, believed to have been written in 1596 was an examination of hatred and greed. The premise deals with the antagonistic relationship between Shylock, a Jewish money-lender and Antonio, the…...
ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
Merchant of Venice – Shakespeare’s Style
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Shakespeare's style and language are very unique, elegant, and are quite complicated to understand for readers nowadays. Even though it is quite tricky, people nowadays are still interested in all of Shakespeare's plays. Shakespeare didn't write his plays in a particular way to make it difficult or to be clever. Like every writer, he writes so that people can enjoy his stories. He created a particular style to try to make his stories more enjoyable. This is the same as…...
ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
Why Is Antonio Sad In The Merchant Of Venice?
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The extract in context is a part of Act 1 Scene 1 of the novel 'Merchant of Venice' written by William Shakespeare in the 16th century. Written as a Romantic Comedy, it is set in Venice and in the first few paragraphs Shakespeare portrays the elements of male friendship, wealth and trade. He begins the play by introducing the characters of Antonio and his friends Solanio and Salarino. The scene opens with a sense of uncertainty. The uncertainty is depicted…...
MetaphorThe Merchant of Venice
Jewish Gaberdine
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Shylock can be seen as cunning and deceitful character, this can be seen all the way through between Antonio and Shylock. When Antonio asks Shylock for a loan. "But lend it rather thine enemy, who, if he break, thou mayst with better face exact the penalty" It is clear that Antonio has abused Shylock for a long time due to the list of insults Antonio has called Shylock. "You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish Gaberdine".…...
CharacterI Am SamThe Merchant of Venice
How Money Killed?
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A discussion of how money leads to stress and greed with examples from real life and literature.Many of our friends at Wall Street have serious heart problems; some of them even die years before they should because of the stress that is brought on by the money and greed of Wall Street. Money is also evident as a health risk in Macbeth and The Merchant of Venice, both written by William Shakespeare. On Wall Street people are driven by the…...
MoneyThe Merchant of Venice
Christainity in “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare
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The Christain characters in The Merchant of Venice displayed extreme prejudice towards Shylock and his daughter. The Venice society seemed to create separation between charistians and jews by calling the jews 'others' and by doing so it a shared bond that all of the christians had. This can be seen when even the clown Launcelot left Shylock to serve Bassanio. I believe Shakespeare himself shares his characters’ certainty that the Jews are inferior to Christians because of Shylock's refusal to…...
ReligionShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
How does the presentation of Jessica shed light on some of the play’s major themes ?
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Portia is generally considered as the heroine of William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice, while the play's second-most prominent female character, Shylock's daughter, Jessica, is largely ignored in lots of feminist criticisms of the play. This might be due to Portia's more evident adherence that Shakespeare used in his comedies to create the class of characters we now view as modern feminist ideals: she is witty, confident, brave, and altruistic, and Jessica is none of those things. Portia is…...
ChristianityLightThe Merchant of Venice
Shylock in the Merchant of Venice
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J. R Brown writes in his introduction to "The Merchant of Venice" that as modern readers we "carry our knowledge of the holocaust throughout the text. " Due to the atrocities of the Nazi regime, modern readers are quick to sympathise with the play's Jewish character Shylock and pity his isolation and rejection by Christian society. However when examining Shylock, we must distance ourselves from current, more enlightened attitudes towards the Jewish people and closely analyse the use of language…...
The Merchant of Venice
Merchant of Venice Essay Outline
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I. INTRODUCTION: A. Is Shylock a man "more sinned against than sinning,” or does he take his revenge too far in the pursuit of his pound of flesh? B. The wrongs against Shylock climax in the courtroom scene. He has lost his ducats, daughter, and now his religion. C. Thesis: The absolute epitome of selfishness can be described from within Shylock’s character; that selfishness is what prevents any would-be sympathizers from being able to fully commit themselves to Shylock’s case.…...
The Merchant of Venice
Relation Between “Jew of Malta” and “The Merchant of Venice”
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The two novels, Christopher Marlowe’s ‘The Jew of Malta’ and William Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’, the main characters are Jews, a characteristic that makes the comparison of the books easier. However, the way the characters are presented has made the two stories have deep and active anti-Semitic notions and messages. Right from the beginning of the play, we can see some clear negative stereotypes towards Jews. Barabbas is undoubtedly portrayed as a man who loves money to an extent…...
PrejudiceRacismThe Merchant of Venice
Properties of Friendship in The Merchant of Venice
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From ancient times, through to the Renaissance, friendship between two men was regarded as the highest form of social relationship, even surpassing that between a man and a woman in matrimony. This is portrayed through “The Merchant of Venice”, written by William Shakespeare which was written between 1556 and 1558. This platonic natured friendship is still portrayed in modern literature, but due to changed opinions because of the society in which it was written it is more subtle in expressions…...
FriendshipThe Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice: Analysis of Portia
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“Oh, me, the word ‘choose’! I may neither choose who I would nor refuse who I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father. Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none? (Act 1 Scene 2 lines 22~25) “In terms of choice I am not solely led by nice direction of a maiden’s eyes. Besides, the lott’ry of my destiny bars me the right of voluntary…...
The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice Shylock
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In the play The Merchant of Venice Shylock, a rich Jewish moneylender in Venice agrees to loan Bassanio three thousand ducats on Antonio’s guarantee. Shylock is made to be the villain in the Merchant of Venice because of some of the things he does. But even though he may not have been the only one in the wrong, he is still guilty of the deadly sins of, avarice, envy, and wrath. Shylock is guilty of avarice for these reasons; for…...
The Merchant of Venice
Gender and Sexuality in “Twelfth Night” and “The Merchant of Venice”
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"Twelfth Night" and "The Merchant of Venice" are 2 of William Shakespeare's comedies which are popular for their theme of sexuality and cross-dressing characters. "Twelfth Night" tells the story of a girl named Viola who pretends to be a man to be able to discover operate in the family of the Duke of Illyria. On the other hand, "The Merchant of Venice" is a story of a merchant called Antonio who assists his buddy Bassanio to win the hands of…...
Gender And SexualitySexualityThe Merchant of VeniceTwelfth Night Theme Love
Globe Theatre
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William Shakespeare was born on April 26, 1564. William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, an alderman and a successful glover originally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon. He was the third child of eight and the eldest surviving son. Scholars have surmised that he most likely attended the King's New School, in Stratford, which taught reading, writing and the classics. THEATRICAL CAREER Some of Shakespeare's plays were…...
The Merchant of VeniceThe TempestTheatreTitus Andronicuss
Theme of Discrimination in Merchant of Venice
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“The tragic feeling is invoked in us when we are in the presence of a character who is ready to lay down his life, if need be, to secure one thing, his sense of personal dignity” – Arthur Miller. Leading up to Shylock’s trial he undergoes a lot of struggle with regards to his bond with Antonio where. Antonio deceives Shylock when he doesn’t pay him and escapes the clause of the bond (pound of flesh). Shylock At the same time…...
The Merchant of Venice
Feminist Perspective in the Merchant of Venice
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The feminist critical perspective examines the roles that women play in literary works and their true significance to the text. Their roles are usually decided on by the society or time period in which the story is set. In "The Merchant of Venice," females were suppressed by the societal ideals of Shakespeare's Elizabethan era, which is portrayed through the characters of Portia and Jessica, who could not establish their own powerful identities because they were women. Portia and Jessica are…...
The Merchant of Venice
Analysis on “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare
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In life, things are not always what they seem. People may appear to be one way but turn out to be an entirely different. The romantic-comedy, The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, shows the deliberate use of deception by the characters. Deception is a tool that is used for many purposes. The purposes can be harmful, protective or for personal gain. In The Merchant of Venice, Portia, Jessica, and Shylock are all characters who use deception to carry out…...
DeceptionShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
Prejudice in the Merchant of Venice
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Prejudice is a significant theme in The Merchant of Venice. This is expresses at various occasions throughout the novel. One of the most significant examples of prejudice in this novel is the Anti-Semitic views of the Christian citizens in Venice. A second act of prejudice in The Merchant of Venice occurs when the Prince of Morocco arrives in Venice. The third example, though more subtle, is the prejudice towards the Prince of Arragon. These three examples fall in to two…...
PrejudiceThe Merchant of Venice
“A Merchant of Venice” Essay
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In the play The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare reveals Portia's character in a variety of different ways. She seems to have multiple personalities, and it is very difficult for one to conclude whether she is kind or cruel. For example, she could be said to be prejudiced and sly, while also very caring. Portia is quick to judge others on appearances and first impressions. In scene II, when Portia is discussing her suitors with Nerissa, she explains all of the…...
The Merchant of Venice
“The Merchant of Venice” as a Tragicomedy
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Consider the play as a tragicomedy Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' is a comedy with a difference. It was written almost certainly between 1596 & 1598. The play is classed as one of the 16 comedy plays but it is also a 'problem' play due to the tragic elements woven throughout the intricate plot. The play concludes with a harmonious ending but all through the plot, reoccurring themes of sadness and tragedy are included. In terms of dramatic structure, "The…...
Mistaken IdentityThe Merchant of Venice
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice Analysis
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One of the most central issues in 'The Merchant of Venice' is that of the antagonism between the Jews and the Christians. The unconscious, inborn dislike of cultures which jeopardise our way of life. Ever since people have left their homelands to settle in other places there has been conflict between different cultures. So, in the play, Antonio, Bassanio, Gratiano and many more of the Christians feel resentment towards Shylock the 'alien'. This is partly because of the trap that…...
ShakespeareThe Merchant of Venice
Women in “Merchant of Venice”
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In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, there are many controversies over religion and friendship, but the idea of the play that interested me the most was the role of women. The two women that are in this play take on the role of the saviors of the men who seem helpless and hopeless compared to them. Influences of the Radical Feminist Perspective in The Merchant of Venice Angela Caravella 2006 Role that women play within many Shakespearian plays The role…...
The Merchant of VeniceWomen
The Merchant of Venice the Three Caskets
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The Three Caskets Three caskets; one of gold, one of silver, and one of lead. Three caskets are set before many suitors who all would like to take Portia of Belmont’s hand in marriage. But Portia’s father’s will states that each suitor who wishes to take Portia’s hand in marriage, must choose one of the three caskets and the one who chooses the correct casket may have the fair Portia’s hand in holy matrimony. This trial, designed by Portia’s late…...
The Merchant of Venice
Merchant of Venice – Romantic Comedy or Not
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A romantic comedy is a play that integrates romantic elements as well as humour. In Shakespeare’s romantic comedies, the protagonists live happily ever after, and more often than not, the play ends with the tolling of wedding bells, with more than one couple getting married to create a joyful atmosphere. Love always seems to triumph over adversity in his romantic comedies. Besides, evil is also brought to light, exhibiting enlightenment and reformation. The genre of romantic comedy depicts societies that…...
The Merchant of Venice
The Merchant of Venice and Othello
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The Merchant of Venice and Othello are similar Shakespeare plays with a number of occurrences where both non-whites and non-Christian characters are victimized on the basis of race and prejudice. The plays have expressed this outright marginalization through language power and terms of reference. (McNeil & Carey, 2000) Shakespeare’s’ suspense play “The Merchant of Venice portrays Shylock as a socially unlikable character which evokes a mixed feeling within the mind of the reader. This character often takes advantage of economically…...
OthelloThe Merchant of Venice
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FAQ about The Merchant of Venice

How does Shakespeare interest his audience with both the moral debate and the action on stage in Measure for Measure?
...However it seems that Shakespeare is indeed punishing his characters as all these marriages seem destined to be unhappy both that between Angelo and Mariana and Lucio and the misfortunate prostitute "Marrying a punk, my lord is pressing to death/Whip...
Why Is Antonio Sad In The Merchant Of Venice?
...Having their second attempt refuted, Solanio tries to work out an answer. He feels Antonio is sad just because he is not happy. In Solanio's speech, Shakespeare again makes a comparison. Shakespeare makes an implied comparison between the two headed ...
How Money Killed?
...Many of our friends at Wall Street have serious heart problems; some of them even die years before they should because of the stress that is brought on by the money and greed of Wall Street. Money is also evident as a health risk in Macbeth and The M...
How does the presentation of Jessica shed light on some of the play’s major themes ?
...In conclusion, Jessica's flight from Shylock was only as selfish as that of a bird from its cage; the bird does not worry about leaving its trapper lonely. Jessica had respected her father's feelings all her life, but he gave little in return. You ca...

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