May 9, 2013
The Merchant of Venice
Tragic or Comedy
Anti-Semitic or not
In my opinion, I think the merchant of Venice is more of a tragic play than a comedy. The merchant of Venice is more of a tragic play because of its negative intents from the characters in the play. Greed, deception, and hatred are couple of negative intents. Shakespeare gives reasons for Shylock’s actions. Antonio is a friend of Bassanio and a Christian. Antonio spits on Shylock whenever he come in contact with him. He gives no reason for doing this. The hatred and greed mostly comes from Shylock because he has been mocked by people. Shylock is portrayed as a greedy character in the play. Shylock is a clownish Jewish stereotype, or a tragic figure that has been spat on. Shylock plays the antagonist. He is a moneylender, father to Jessica, enemy to Antonio. Shylock is also portrayed as an angry man and very greedy. Throughout the play, Shylocks attitude towards money and human relationships is very painful. When shylock hears about Jessica and Lorenzo’s elopement, he rages with a lot of anger. Shylock seems to be more worried about his ducats that Jessica stole than the fact that his daughter is gone. In Shylocks famous speech “Hath not a Jew eyes” is a powerful speech. He exposes the hypocrisy of the Christian characters that are always talking about love and mercy but then go their own way and make Shylock feel isolated because he is Jewish and different. If the merchant of Venice was to be looked at as more comedy, the outline of the plot would not be taken seriously. The merchant of Venice is sometimes referred to as “tragicomedy” because it shares features in common with tragedies but also has tragedies. There are moments in the play when it is humorous. For example, when Lancelot is the jester, Lancelot and Gobbo, when Jessica deceives her father when she disguises as a page boy and elopes with Lorenzo, and when Portia disguises herself as a...
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