The Merchant of Venice
The play The Merchant of Venice is a comedy about a man named Bassanio who wants to travel to Belmont to try and win the love of a rich, beautiful and intelligent heiress, names Portia. Bassanio has his friend Antonio borrow money from a Jewish money lender for him so that he could travel to Belmont. The Merchant of Venice has many different themes, including the two themes; revenge & love and friendship.
The first theme in the play The Merchant of Venice is revenge. In the beginning of the play, Shylock (the Jewish money lender) tells the audience of his hatred for Antonio. Shylock hated Antonio for many reasons. Antonio had disgraced him, hindered him half a million, laughed at his losses, mocked his success, scorned his nationality, and more, but Antonio was in need of money to help out his friend Bassanio. Bassanio had asked Antonio for the money, but Antonio could not give it to him. He told Bassanio that he could borrow from a money lender, in his credit and he would pay the money back. Even though Shylock disliked Antonio, he agreed to lend the money on one condition, If the money was not paid on time, Shylock was entitled to one pound of flesh from anywhere on Antonio’s body. Antonio agreed and signed the bond because he knew that he had ships with money and they would be back before the bond was up. Shylock made his dislike of Antonio very clear, and that he would have his revenge if the money was not paid. The second example of revenge shown in the play was during the trial scene. Antonio had gotten news of his ships crashing before their returns. Antonio was not able to pay the bond off. Shylock had him arrested and taken to court. During the trial, Bassanio and Portia (dressed as a lawyer) tried to convince Shylock to take two, three, or even four times the amount of the bond. Shylock refused, he was set o his revenge on Antonio. Shylock had no mercy for Antonio. Portia however convinced the duke that Shylock was not...
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