The Merchant of Venice Is a Tragicomedy....I Got 32/35 so Its a Good Essay

Topics: The Merchant of Venice, Tragic hero, Shylock Pages: 4 (1545 words) Published: November 14, 2010
A tragedy is a drama or literary work in which the protagonist is brought to ruin or suffers sorrow, especially as a consequence of tragic flaw or moral weakness. Where as, a comedy is a drama or literary work, that is light and often humorous or satirical in tone and it usually contains a happy resolution of the thematic conflict. Thus, a tragicomedy is a fictional work that blends aspects of the genres tragedy and comedy. In Shakespeare’s time a tragicomedy referred to a serious play with a happy ending or enough jokes throughout the play to lighten the mood. I consider the ‘Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare a tragicomedy as both tragedy and comedy can be seen throughout the play. There are many factors that give proof to this statement. To begin with, one of the factors of a tragedy is the presence of a tragic hero. The protagonist, the real merchant of Venice, Antonio is the tragic hero. He is sad from the beginning to the end of the play. In the beginning of the play he is displayed as a rich man, who has no reason to be unhappy. This is seen when he says, “In sooth I know not why I am sad…how I caught it, found it or came by it …I am to learn,” When Solanio and Salerio give reasons why he might be sad, he says they are wrong. This is seen when Solanio says, “Why then you are in love,” and Antonio replies saying,” Fie Fie!” Futhermore, another factor of a tragedy is the presence of a tragic flaw in the tragic hero. Antonio has many flaws, which brings about the conflict in ‘The Merchant of Venice’. The first one is his racial prejudice and then his arrogance, which gives him a lack of compassion towards people who are different from him. We see his racial prejudice when Shylock says to him, “You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog and spit upon my Jewish gaberdine,” Antonio’s lack of compassion even when he is asking a favor out of someone is seen when he replies to Shylock statement saying, “I am as like to call thee so again, to spit on thee...
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