Pride and Prejudice & The Merchant of Venice Essay
Pride and Prejudice & The Merchant of Venice
Shakespeare and Jane Austen both present strong feeling of love, revenge, hatred and friendship. They are two different types of stories, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ is a novel and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is a play so therefore they both have different ways of presenting strong feelings but they do have some similarities. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ strong feelings are presented by: 1. The Narrator 2. Letters 3. Dialogue Whereas in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ strong feelings are presented by: 1. The characters 2. Long Speech’s One way that Jane Austen presents strong feelings is through letters.
Throughout the play Jane Austen presents strong feelings of love, hatred or sorrow by writing letters, for example when Darcy writes a letter to Elizabeth after their heated conversation when Elizabeth rejects Darcy’s proposal, you can see what Darcy is feeling:- “Pardon me, It pains me to offend you” You can clearly see that Mr Darcy thinks that this letter would upset Elizabeth because he says in the letter that he is so against the relationship between the relationship and possible marriage between Jane and Mr Bingley.
In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Shakespeare present strong feelings through long speeches as “The Merchant of Venice” is a play, so the audience can see the strong feelings:- “’The pound of flesh which I demand of him is dearly bought; ‘tis mine, and I will have it” pg. 70. This is when Shylock demands his pound of flesh of Bassanio. This long speech is when the Duke is questioning Shylocks unusual bond. Shylock the Jew is determined to take revenge and to take the pound of flesh.
The ‘Merchant of Venice’ is a play, so you cannot see feelings through letters; this is why Shakespeare presents strong feelings through speeches. Another way that Jane Austen’s novel and Shakespeare’s play are similar is that both stories have many relationships. Elizabeth and her sister Jane are very close and share secrets:- ‘”When Elizabeth and Jane where alone… expressed to her sister how very much she admired him”’ or pg. 309 Elizabeth has 4 sisters, Lydia, Kitty, Mary and Jane.
Elizabeth and Jane are very close as they are similar in age, whereas the other sisters and much younger and Elizabeth thinks they are very immature. In ‘The Merchant Of Venice’ Antonio and Bassanio have a very close friendship you may even say that they are like brothers. Antonio agrees to the bond so he can lend money to Bassanio so he can go to Portia. You can see that they are very close as Antonio is willing to give his life for Bassanio. When Antonio is in the court and about to die, Bassanio is right by his side. ’I’ll seal to such a bond’” ’” You shall not seal to such a bond for me’” (Bassanio) Even though Bassanio wants to stop Antonio from agreeing the bond, Antonio is determined to seal the bond as he thinks his ships will be back within 3 months, but unfortunately they crash out at sea and all his money is lost. As well as strong friendships Jane Austen and Shakespeare also involve many relationships to show strong feelings of love. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Mr Darcy and Elizabeth have a strong relationship. Similarly, in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Jessica and Lancelot also have a strong relationship.
In both stories they will do anything for love, even if it means betraying their religion or their social class. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Mr Darcy thinks that having money and having social class is very important, so when he falls in love with Elizabeth; who hasn’t got much money and who hasn’t got social class and standing Mr Darcy feels ashamed that he loves Elizabeth but he still proposes to her even though all his friends think that this is wrong:- “’In vain I have struggled. It will not do…You must allow me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you’” pg. 56 In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Jessica and Lancelot betray their religion. Jessica is a Jew and Lancelot is a Christian and even though they are not supposed to mix they still elope and get married:- “’Bestrew me but I love her heartily’” pg. 35 This makes Shylock, Jessica’s dad very angry because when Jessica marries Lancelot she becomes a Christian. Another way that Jane Austen and Shakespeare present strong feelings in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is through strong characters. In both stories there are many characters, but the two main characters are Elizabeth and Shylock.
They are both very strong minded and not afraid to speech their mind. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ Elizabeth is very different to other characters in the novel. Female characters in the novel believe that looking good, behaving well and keeping their feelings to themselves is very important, Elizabeth isn’t bothered about speaking out or not looking well, for example when Elizabeth walks to see her sister Jane in the Bingleys house, Bingleys sister and friend are very surprised that she walked all this way in the mud and they even say that it isn’t very ladylike!
Lady Catherine De Bourgh who is very high in class asks Elizabeth if she wants to come to London with her, and Elizabeth says no. “You are all kindness, Madam; but I believe we must abide by our original plan. ” Pg. 175 In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Shylock is very strong minded and is singled out of the play because he is a mean Jew that charges interest. Shylock is very stubborn and determined to keep to his bond; a pound of flesh of Antonio. “’If every ducat in six thousand ducats, Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them; I would have my bond’” Pg. 9 This is from the scene when the trail takes place. This is when Bassanio offers Shylock 6 thousand ducats, but Bassanio fails as Shylock is determined to take a pound of flesh from Antonio no matter how many ducats Bassanio offers. Shakespeare presents Shylock as a horrid Jew so the story becomes interesting and that there is conflict between the Jew and the Christians. In addition Jane Austen and Shakespeare present strong feelings through the narrator in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and asides is ‘The Merchant of Venice’. This is a great way of showing feelings.
In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ the narrator is one of the main ways of showing feelings:- “The contents of the letter threw Elizabeth into a flutter of spirits” The narrator has been very successful putting an image into our heads of Elizabeth being thrown into a state or turmoil, having read her aunts letter in which she said how much she liked Mr Darcy. In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ asides are used as it is a play, so there can’t be a narrator. Asides are where the character is talking to the audience and the other characters on the stage can’t hear:- “[Aside] how like a fawning publican he looks!
I hate him for he is a Christian” pg. 13 From this aside you can tell that Shylock has very strong feelings of hatred for Bassanio. In this scene the only people on stage are Shylock and Bassanio, so an aside is the perfect to show how Shylock is feeling without Bassanio knowing. In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Shakespeare uses repeated phrases to make an impact of strong feelings:- “My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats! My ducats and my Daughter! ” pg. 40 This is when Solanio is mocking Shylock when he realises that his daughter has eloped with a Christian.
From these repeated phrases the audience can see that Solanio is emphasising Shylocks utter despair for his ducats and his daughter. Jane Austen and Shakespeare present strong feelings through prejudice. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ there is prejudice against woman and people without lots of money. In ‘Pride and Prejudie’ woman only existed to be married off. Unless there family’s had lots of money this was very difficult and they would be at the mercy of men who might take pity of them or who had no chance of marrying well themselves. “She is luckily too poor to be an object of prey to anybody” pg. 92 This quote shows prejudice.
Mr Bennet and Elizabeth are talking about Lydia’s trip Brighton, Elizabeth is worried that she will marry the wrong man, but Mr Bennet isn’t too worried as Lydia is too poor so no man will take interest in her. In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ the Christians are prejudice against the Jews. All the Christians hate them just because they aren’t Christians, they are only tolerated because they are good business people and money lenders. When they go out of the ghetto they have to where reds barets so everyone could see that they are Jews and so they stand out. Shakespeare presents strong feelings.
There are many times that Antonio calls him a dog. This shows that Shakespeare also uses repeated phrases to make a big impact to the audience:- “You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gabardine” pg. 15 This shows how Antonio despises the Jews, and this is what prejudice is. Jane Austen’s novel, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and Shakespeare play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’ where written in two completely different time periods. ‘The Merchant of Venice’ was written in 1596, because it is so late in history the language that Shakespeare uses is very old and different from other plays.
In 1596, many people could not read so a play was very useful. The audience for ‘The Merchant of Venice’ would manly be suited for the older generation. ‘Pride and Prejudice’ was written in 1813, many more people could read in 1813 so an interesting novel was well suited. The novel was aimed at readers like characters in the novel. Both Jane Austen and Shakespeare wrote many stories that people still read today. Another way that Jane Austen and Shakespeare present strong feelings is through the behaviour of the characters.
From showing strong feeling through behaviour the reader or audience can clearly see what the characters feeling for whatever the emotion is. In ‘Pride and Prejudice’ the behaviour of the characters is very important as we can see what they are feeling:- “Oh my dear Eliza! Pray make haste and come into the dining room, for there is such a sight to be seen! ” pg. 132 From this quote you can clearly see that Maria, Charlotte’s sister, is incredibly excited that Lady Catherine has arrived at her house, but she makes a mistake, it’s only Mrs Jenkinson.
Jane Austen presents strong feeling in this quote of excitement and anticipation. In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ there is many strong feelings presents by Shakespeare through behaviour. Shakespeare presents these strong feelings through behaviour so the audience can see what the character is feeling. “O noble judge, O excellent young man! ” pg. 76 This is when Portia, disguised as the judge says Shylock can have his bond; a pound of flesh of Antonio. Shakespeare present Shylock very excited and happy through his behaviour and the tone of voice that Shakespeare makes Shylock use.
Furthermore, Jane Austen and Shakespeare present strong feelings in ‘Pride and Prejudice’ and ‘The Merchant of Venice’ through points of great intensity. This is a great way that the reader and audience can see strong feeling and great intensity! Elizabeth finds out that Darcy has been instrumental in getting her sister and Bingley together, which makes her very happy. After rumours of a forthcoming engagement between Darcy and Elizabeth start to surface before Darcy has even proposed, Elizabeth is more than a little anxious when she and Darcy take a walk together.
Elizabeth’s feelings towards Darcy have completely changes since his first proposal, the two are now both in love with each other, by Darcy is not sure of this and says: – “If your feelings are still what they were last April, tell me so at once” pg. 303 This moment is a moment of great intensity for the reader as you are not sure that Elizabeth is going to say! The reader can become very anxious for Darcy and Elizabeth. Jane Austen shows feelings through this scene because it is a very good way for the reader to become a part of the book.
University/College: University of Arkansas System
Type of paper: Thesis/Dissertation Chapter
Date: 13 September 2016
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