The Merchant of Venice

Topics: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Portia Pages: 6 (1744 words) Published: March 4, 2013
The Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice deals with sensitive issues which are relevant even in today’s time. Appearance versus reality lies at the core of the play. Also, the social standing of the era is pictured beautifully in the drama.

William Shakespeare is the most legendry English poet and writer. All over the world, he has been regarded as the greatest writer and the most marvelous dramatist. Often described as national poet of England, he was also known as the “Bard of Avon”.

Shakespeare was a prominent writer of Elizabethan era. This era, beginning from 1558 till 1603 has witnessed the most remarkable form of literature, and has also been termed as ‘the golden age of English literature’. The English renaissance was at its best and English literature and poetry flowered and blossomed to the maximum extent. This period is associated with discoveries and explorations. The national mindset prevailing among the people was the Protestant Reformation. This was also the time for flourishing of theatre.

With such enormous activities buzzing in England, Shakespeare came out with the most legendry work. The English Renaissance was the contributory factor as it encouraged people to read more and more. The emphasis of theatre was growing and this background, William Shakespeare strived to create the most splendid literary works.

In the Elizabethan era, drama was not as it is understood today. Availability of props and outfits was very limited. In fact, boys used to disguise as girls to perform. However, it was a serious drama that struck the right note. The work was written in the best manner with the most influential dialogues and scenes to leave the desired effect on the spectators- whether cathartic or humorous.

One of the most popular plays of Shakespeare that is under discussion here is ‘The Merchant of Venice’. In this play Shakespeare has showcased the triumph of love and friendship over greed and lust. Greed, revenge and self centeredness have been showed as the most vicious elements of the society. The play ends with the victory of love over these evils and propagated the age old wised words that love and human relations are far above greed and lust.

The most fitting lines in this [play to reveal the theme of the play is Portia’s speech, when dressed as a lawyer she recites:

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,

It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest;

It blesseth him that gives and him that...

Shakespeare has used his characters in the best possible manner to depict then prevailing social scenario. The play introduces Antonio and Bassonio as the business men of upper class. Moreover, their mannerism depicts the fine character that is grounded in all Christians. On the other hand, Shylock, in the very beginning has been introduced as a beastly character. He has been introduces as a Jew, who is the central villain of the play. He sets out a plan to cut out a pound of flesh from the body of Antonio, who is the representative of all good.

The theme of love and friendship is pre-dominant throughout the play. When Antonio is unable to provide three thousand ducats to Bassonio, the latter takes the loan from Shylock, naming Antonio as his loan guarantor. Antonio agrees to help his friend in every possible manner and this is where the beastly Jew gats a chance to pounce upon his business rival, who incidentally belongs to his rival religion as well.

Bassonio is a doting friend and the moment he comes to know that Antonio has been captured by Shylock, he takes money from Portia to rescue his friend. All this...
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