Merchant of venice character essay


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The Merchant of Venice

Life could not be any more different for the two. The same cannot be said of Shylock. With only a handful of friends, Shylock was hated by many and even betrayed by those closest to him. From the beginning of the play, Antonio was surrounded by men who cared for him, asking him if he was alright.

Merchant of Venice: Character Profiles

This exemplified the amicable relationship between Antonio and his friends. Even his own daughter, Jessica — one of the closest to him, deserted him for a Christian, despite her knowledge that her dad hated Christians. The complete contrast in the popularity of the two characters helped to fuel the acrimony and bitterness Shylock harbored towards Antonio. Antonio and Shylock were enemies that had commonalities as well as differences. Both were quick to offer their lives in return for saving another being or object.

Because of their different religious backgrounds, their practices of money-lending were vastly dissimilar.

Merchant of Venice

The interplay of these similarities and differences contributed to the creation of an intense atmosphere of animosity between the two in the play. You are commenting using your WordPress.


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You are commenting using your Google account. You are commenting using your Twitter account. You are commenting using your Facebook account. Notify me of new comments via email. But did Shylock ever love Jessica in the first place? According to Heinrich Heine, yes. Excluded from public life and Christian society, and forced into the narrow consolation of domestic happiness, there remain to the poor Jew only family feelings, and these come forth from him with the most touching tenderness.


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However, Shylock shows very little tenderness toward Jessica herself. Merchant does not contain enough scenes of interaction between Shylock and Jessica for the audience to determine whether Shylock is definitely abusive, but their conversation in the one scene of this Act 2, Scene 5 is at least symptomatic of emotional abuse. Shylock intentionally isolates Jessica from the outside world, forbidding her to even look out the window at a Christian parade when he leaves the house.

Character Analysis

Shylock shows his daughter little affection or kindness — she is his flesh and blood and therefore an extension of himself, not a person in her own right. You cannot expect a bird to remain on its perch when someone opens its cage and offers it a chance to escape. Works Cited. Shakespeare, William, and Leah S.

New York: W. Norton, In the play. In her essay, Christine Hoff Kraemer writes, with a feminist approach, about women in this play and their role in power.

Anti-Semitism in The Merchant of Venice: Key Theme Analysis

The Merchant of Venice features a Jewish character that is abused and slandered by nearly every character in the play. Throughout the play the behavior of these characters seems justified. In this way, The Merchant of Venice appears to be an anti-Semitic play.

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However, The Merchant of Venice contains several key instances, which can be portrayed in a way that criticizes anti-Semitism. The first instance occurs in Act 1, scene 3 when.

The Character of Portia in Merchant of Venice In his Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare wants the reader to admire Portia, arguably the most powerful character in the play. Rather, we should like Portia because of those things that make her a multi-faceted character.

Bassanio chooses the lead casket, which contains

Three examples that effectively show her prowess and as a result win our admiration of her occur during the casket, the trial, and the ring scenes. One reason why Shakespeare wants us to appreciate Portia is because of the respect that radiates from her during …show more content…. This is one of the very few times in the play that Portia finds herself not in control, fate having the upper hand.

When Bassanio choose the correct casket, Portia is elated and gives him a ring, which she is sure will seal their fate together forever: I give them with this ring, Which when you part from, lose, or give away, Let is presage the ruin of your love And be my vantage to exclaim on you.

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