Shakespeare | The Merchant of Venice | A Review

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Shakespeare | The Merchant of Venice | A Review

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Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice A Review

Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice’-A Review

The Merchant of Venice is one of William Shakespeare’s most famous plays, written sometime between 1596 and 1598. The play is a tragicomedy that explores the themes of love, revenge, greed, justice, and mercy, among others. The story is set in 16th-century Venice and revolves around the characters of Antonio, a wealthy merchant, and Shylock, a Jewish moneylender.

The play begins with Antonio, a successful merchant, lending a large sum of money to his friend Bassanio so that he can woo and marry Portia, a wealthy heiress. Antonio borrows the money from Shylock, who has been mistreated and discriminated against by the Christians in Venice. Shylock agrees to lend the money but only under the condition that if Antonio is unable to repay the loan on time, he must forfeit a pound of his own flesh as a penalty.

The story unfolds with various subplots, including the romance between Bassanio and Portia, and the court case between Shylock and Antonio. The court case is the climax of the play, where Shylock demands his penalty from Antonio, who is unable to repay the loan due to his ships being lost at sea. The trial scene is a powerful depiction of justice, mercy, and revenge.

Throughout the play, Shakespeare portrays the characters with depth and complexity, highlighting their flaws and virtues. Antonio, for example, is a generous and loyal friend, but he is also melancholic and prone to depression. Shylock, on the other hand, is a complex character who is both a victim and a villain. He has suffered a lifetime of discrimination and abuse but is also consumed by a desire for revenge.

One of the key themes of the play is the theme of mercy. Portia, the heroine of the play, delivers a powerful speech on mercy in the court scene, where she argues that mercy is a divine quality that should be shown to all, even to one’s enemies. The play also explores the theme of love, with the romantic subplot between Bassanio and Portia, and the friendship between Antonio and Bassanio.

Another notable aspect of the play is its portrayal of anti-Semitism. Shylock is depicted as a stereotypical Jewish moneylender, and the Christians in the play mistreat and discriminate against him. However, the play also challenges this prejudice, with Portia delivering another powerful speech on the equality of all human beings.

In conclusion, The Merchant of Venice is a powerful play that explores a wide range of themes, from love and friendship to justice and mercy. Shakespeare’s portrayal of the characters is nuanced and complex, and the play remains relevant today with its exploration of prejudice and discrimination. It is a play that continues to captivate audiences with its timeless themes and masterful storytelling. 0 0 0.

Shakespeare | The Merchant of Venice | A Review

N. B. This article originally belongs to the book ‘Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works‘ by Menonim Menonimus.

Books of Literary Criticism by M. Menonimus:

  1. World Short Story Criticism
  2. World Poetry Criticism
  3. World Drama Criticism
  4. World Novel Criticism
  5. World Essay Criticism
  6. Indian English Poetry Criticism
  7. Indian English Poets and Poetry Chief Features
  8. Emily Dickinson’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  9. Walt Whitman’s Poetry-A Thematic Study
  10. Critical Essays on English Poetry
  11. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: Return of the Spirit-An Analytical Study
  12. Tawfiq al-Hakim’s Novel: ‘Yawmiyyat Naib Fil Arayaf’-An Analytical Study
  13. Analytical Studies of Some Arabic Short Stories
  14. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Pre-Islamic Period (500 AD-622 AD)
  15. A Brief History of Arabic Literature: Early Islamic Period (622 AD-661 AD)
  16. Reviews on William Shakespeare’s Works

Additional Searches:

  1. Reviews of Shakesperare’s Best Plays
  2. Shakespeare’s Works
  3. Introduction to Shakespearean Tragedy
  4. Shakespeare’s Sonnets
  5. Shakespearean Comedy ….

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Menonimus
I am Menonim Menonimus, a Philosopher & Writer.

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