Merchant of Venice - a Tragedy or Comedy

Topics: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Judaism Pages: 2 (463 words) Published: May 13, 2013
Why the Merchant of Venice is more tragic than comic

* “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 Shylock loses his daughter, whom he loves very much, to a Christian man. Shylock was betrayed by his daughter and deceived by Antonio and the rest of the Christians. * I would my daughter were dead at my feet, and jewels in her ear! Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! * Therefore it is tragic when Shylock is stripped of his money and forced to convert religion. Against all his struggles he was just conducting his way of business and has to suffer so much.

* This story is also tragic for the Jewish communities:

* They were mocked and scorned by the Christians and perceived as “different” from other people (personality and physical attributes) * They were forced to live all together in a separate part of the city known as “ghettos” * When they exited the “ghettos” and went to different areas amongst Christians they had to wear red hats (this is a sign of the segregation of religions) * They could not engage in any other jobs except merchandise. This is why the Jews were mostly known as ‘usurers’.

* Revenge is a theme of tragedy
* Revenge is dark and hateful and particularly in this play Shylock is consumed with it. * He wants revenge with his daughter because he feels betrayed and hard one by. She disobeyed him and their religion and stole money from him. * He is consumed with revenge towards Antonio and his Christian friends because of the way Antonio deceived him where he did not pay off his bond...
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