This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Merchant Of Venice Essay

1130 words - 5 pages

The Merchant of Venice is a play both about love and hate. Shakespeare illustrates the theme of hate most prominently through the prejudices of both Christians and Jews and their behaviour towards one another. The theme of love is shown amongst the Christians, in the love of friendship and marital love. The themes are emphasised in the settings of the play, Belmont symbolising love and Venice symbolising hate. As well as this the immorality of various characters can be seen in their motives for love and hate.

The entire play is centred around racial prejudices between Christians and Jews and their hate for one another. In The Merchant of Venice Shylock, the Jew, is characterised ...view middle of the document...

(Antonio- 1,3,126-7)

Antonio is the symbol of racism in society and he openly exhibits it. He is not phased in the least after Shylock’s downfall. Shakespeare displays the repugnant effects of hatefulness in The Merchant of Venice.

Shakespeare demonstrates love in The Merchant of Venice amongst the Christians. He also distinguishes between the love of friendship and marital love. In Act 4, Shakespeare implies that Bassanio and Gratiano’s love for their friend Antonio is greater than that for their wives. Both men broke vows that they had with their wives because of Antonio:

“Antonio, I am married to a wife which is as dear to me as life itself; but life itself, my wife, and all the world, are not with me esteem’d above thy life: I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all, here to this devil, to deliver you.”

(Bassanio- 4,1,280-5)

True love seems to be demonstrated in Jessica and Lorenzo’s relationship. Jessica is willing to give up her previous life, even if she wasn’t altogether happy, to marry Lorenzo:

“I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian.”

(Jessica- 3,5,18-9)

The Merchant of Venice is set in Italy in Venice and Belmont, representing the two worlds of the play. Shakespeare uses these two settings to emphasise the themes of love and hate. Love is centred around Belmont, a tranquil paradise to which lovers can escape, and hate around Venice, a hectic place which exploits and corrupts. This can clearly be seen when we look at where various events relating to love and hate in the play take place. All prejudicial activity takes place in Venice, including the trial. This is also the only place where Jews are found (Jessica becomes a Christian when she moves to Belmont). The Christian couples reside in Belmont, and there is rarely any talk of racial prejudice here. Belmont is where the Christians retreat to after their victory over Shylock in Venice. The surroundings complement the events that are taking place in both Venice and Belmont.
...

Other Papers Like Merchant of Venice

Merchant Of Venice Essay

531 words - 3 pages racism is going to be expected with the majority of different kind of people Australia occupies.This kind of behavior was also evident in Shakespeare time. The way Shakespeare represents some characters leaves us to question whether he was an Anti-Semitist, this means he had disregard for Jewish and their customs.In the play the Merchant of Venice the character, Shylock is a Jew. Shylock is described, as being a Jewish alien, living in the ghetto

Merchant of Venice - Casting directors book merchant of venice

1384 words - 6 pages Casting directors book merchant of venice Shylock – In the novel Shylock is portrayed as a greedy Jewish Money lender. He is the father to Jessica and the enemy to Antonio. In act two it is clear that money is very important to Shylock. When Shylock hears about Jessica’s elopement it seems to be that Shylock is more interested in the money that Jessica stole, than the fact that his daughter Jessica is now gone and may never come back

Merchant of Venice: Law and Love

2268 words - 10 pages The Necessity of Choice: Separation of Law and Love in The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice illustrates two cities and a dichotomy surrounding them both. Venice, a city of law, and Belmont, a city of love, are represented by the leading characters that reside in each as well as the events that unfold in Venice and Belmont; however, when the characters move between the two cities, the line blurs between law and love

Merchant of Venice - Conflict and Loyalty

932 words - 4 pages The Merchant of Venice The Correlation between Loyalty and Conflict Loyalty is recognized as the dedication of oneself to another, and is prevalent in nearly all of today’s societies. Its importance is unparalleled, as a bond formed by loyalty and trust is one that should last a lifetime. This play presents the forming of bonds of loyalty, though not all of these bonds end well. In Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, he emphasizes

Homosexuality in the Merchant of Venice

737 words - 3 pages Homosexuality in The Merchant of Venice Key words: homosexuality theme Antonio Shakespeare Renaissance Humanism Abstract: In Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, one hidden theme is the idea of homosexuality. This essay attempts to analyse the hidden homosexual love in The Merchant of Venice, and expound homosexuality in the Renaissance briefly. The intriguing contradictions of The Merchant of

Othello and the Merchant of Venice Comaprison

1581 words - 7 pages Both ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and ‘Othello’ are set in Venice. In Shakespeare’s time, Venice was the most important trading centre in the world. Goods from the Far East were traded in Venice and with them came some new ideas and discoveries. The great explorer Marco Polo was Venetian and he had opened up trade routes with many new countries. To the English, living on an island and frequently cut off by war, the land we know as Italy held great

Merchant of Venice: Shylock, Victim or Villain?

784 words - 4 pages “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare is a thought provoking play in which Antonio, a Christian, displays his anti-semetic views towards Shylock, a man of Jewish religion. It is easy to see Shylock being portrayed as both a victim and a villian, but I feel that Shylock is a victim. In the play, Antonio borrows a sum of money from the Jewish money lender, Shylock. Shylock hates Antonio for he is a Christian, and Antonio

Theme Of Disharmony In "The Merchant Of Venice" And "Hamlet"

1251 words - 6 pages killing Claudius, even when the opportunity is before him. But when he does choose to act, he does so blindly, stabbing his anonymous "enemy" through a curtain. It is as if Hamlet is so distrustful of the possibility of acting rationally that he believes his revenge is more likely to come about as an accident than as a premeditated act.In "The Merchant of Venice" Antonio's psychological disharmony is seen throughout the play since he seems

The Charater Of Shylock In Shakespeare’S The Merchant Of Venice

1676 words - 7 pages The Charater of Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice In his chapter “Shakespeare and Dissident Reading,” Alan Sinfield argues that viewing Shylock as anything but an evil villain is “achieved only by leaning, tendentiously, on the text” (Sinfield 1994, 6). This is an oversimplification of Shylock’s character as portrayed in The Merchant of Venice. Sinfield portrays Shylock as static and unchanging. However, emotions and portrayal

Shylock As Helpless Victim In The Merchant Of Venice

2777 words - 12 pages Shylock as Helpless Victim in The Merchant of Venice         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.  Lopez, being the Queen's royal physician, was in no position to defend

The Merchant Of Venice

1188 words - 5 pages made about Mythology.When trying to conclude this play everything came back to class and society, because Venice was a class-dominated society. Where as if it was set in a more democratic or neutral country then the story may not of began and would not have finished in the way it did.

Related Essays

The Merchant Of Venice Essay

899 words - 4 pages Name College Course Instructor Date Law in The Merchant of Venice The works of William Shakespeare have always been the most favorite of the readers. His works are not just written in beautiful and poetic language, but touches different problems, actual in every period. Shakespeare’s works are full of sense and poetry; they are able to evoke deep feelings and make consider our life from different perspectives. The present paper is

Merchant Of Venice Essay

983 words - 4 pages Merchant of Venice Essay Kayla Baker The Merchant of Venice is a play written by William Shakespeare and is set in Venice around the time 1956. The three main characters are named Antonio, Shylock and Bassanio. The title character is the leading merchant Antonio who is a wealthy, respected, and popular man. During the play Antonio asks a Jewish money lender named Shylock to borrow money, Shylock

The Merchant Of Venice Essay

1501 words - 7 pages The Merchant of Venice Act I: Scene 1 Summary Walking along a street in Venice, Antonio (the "merchant" of the title) confesses to his friends Salarino and Salanio that lately he has felt unaccountably sad. They have noticed it, and they suggest that Antonio is probably worried about the safety of his merchant ships, which are exposed to storms at sea and attacks by pirates. Antonio denies this and also denies that he is in love

Merchant Of Venice 1 Essay

676 words - 3 pages Two recent adaptations of The Merchant of Venice are portrayed very differently, especially in Act 4 Scene 1. The two versions use camera angles, lighting and music in different ways. For example, in the latest version the camera is pointed down at Shylock to make him seem small. In the 2004 version we are supposed to have some sympathy for shylock but in the 1996 version it is quite the opposite. Even the crowd acts differently. In the latest