Skip Nav

The Merchant of Venice Critical Essays

Navigate Guide

❶Aside from his love for Bassanio, he is unattached.

Popular Topics

From the SparkNotes Blog
Suggested Essay Topics
Sample Essay Outlines

He represents, among other things, the ideal of nobility in friendship. He is also kind and generous, both to his friends and to the poor of Venice. Although he is now more philosophical, gentle, and quiet, he can still appreciate the frivolous nature of youth, as portrayed by his beloved friend, Bassanio. Aside from his love for Bassanio, he is unattached. Perhaps his lack of love is the reason for his melancholy.

He reflects the medieval attitude that money should be lent for Christian charity. His noble generosity for his friend, however, leads him to cast aside these principles and to take a loan from the merchant, Shylock. He borrows money and pledges his flesh as the bond.

When his ships are lost at sea, he cannot repay the loan and accepts the fact that he must pay Shylock with a pound of his flesh. Even though she has never met Antonio, she loves him for his generosity to her husband. As the symbol of Christian warmth, kindness, generosity, and love, Antonio truly receives his just reward during the play when all turns out well for him. Why Shylock wants revenge upon Antonio is because Antonio has repeatedly spit upon him and called him a dog.

And now Antonio and Bassanio come asking him for money. Shylock is ridiculed and mistreated because he is Jewish and a moneylender.

Money lending and being Jewish were both frowned upon during the time that this play takes place. When talking to Antonio, Shylock recalls all of the slanders and cruel things that Antonio has done to him. Shylock receives no mercy from Antonio and is forced to give up everything, accept what he detests, and give up his religion. Shylock adamantly describes the ways in which Antonio finds any means possible to mock and hurt Shylock.

Shylock is the victim of an unjust trial. Shylock is also victimized by his own daughter Jessica. When in trial to retrieve his bond from Antonio, Shylock is also unfairly treated by the law. Although Shylock has some villainous qualities, he is mainly portrayed as a victim because of the disrespect and the undeserved, malicious conduct shown towards him The main reason was the loss Antonio was causing to him by lending money without interest which hurt the money lending business of Shylock.

Shylock being a Jew was always looked down upon by othersand Antonio. In short Shylock was not respected by Antonio. Shylock is a Jew and as such has always been forced to live on the fringes of society. In effect he has an understandable chip on his shoulder. He is not looking for revenge he is just trying to outsmart him. Because the process of getting it will have the effect of killing Antonio, which Shylock wants to gain revenge for the mistreatment he has suffered from Antonio and all the other anti-SemiticVenetians.

They had different beliefs and personalities which caused them to get what they deserved. Antonio was a loveable and generous merchant who cared a lot for his friends, and helped them when they were in trouble.

He was a devoted Christian who followed the commandments from the Bible. In contrast, Shylock, the Jew, was a self-centered, greedy man who craved for money and did not have a lot of friends to accompany him. He was not concerned when his daughter betrayed him but only wanted to take back what he owned.

Although the two characters were both merchants from Venice, they had very different views, values and qualities. First of all, the biggest difference between the two characters was the ways they treated other people. Antonio would risk his life on the chopping block for his friend without even knowing whether he could get the money back from Bassanio to return his debt or not.

Shylock, on the other hand, was not merciful at all. These action are clearly motivated by hatred towards Shylock in a very negative way. They are negative because Antonio is treating Shylock with no respect and also physically abusing him at times. Antonio is asking Bassanio to come see him one more time before he dies.

This action is motivated by love because Antonio is not scared to die; he simply wants to see his best friend, who he loves one last time. Her love for Lorenzo motivated her to run off with him and abandon her father, Shylock.

Jessica hated her father very much. Her hatred for her father motivated her to steal his jewels and ducats before she left. This action is negative because it is wrong for her to steal, especially from her father. From the motivation of both love for Lorenzo and hate for Shylock, Jessica converts to the Christian religion and plans to marry Lorenzo.

They are positive because Jessica is doing what her heart and love is telling her to do, even though her father does not agree. Invoking the supremacy of justice, she says he may have a pound of flesh but not a drop of blood, with the threatened penalty of death if he does not follow her terms exactly. Mercy and justice—forgiveness and vengeance—spar relentlessly in this climactic scene. Shakespeare has laid the thematic groundwork for his climax by repeatedly noting the virtues of a merciful way of life.

Portia forgives Bassanio for leaving Belmont on the night of their engagement, putting aside her own wishes and encouraging him to help his friend. Jessica and Lorenzo repeatedly note the necessity of good humor; it is in the nature of lovers to stray and to make false promises, so we must try to laugh and see what is best in one another.

Each of these characters acts as an occasional spokesperson for the mild-mannered, magnanimous approach to life. Despite his constant sacrifices, Antonio becomes irritating when he seems to brood on his sense of perpetual martyrdom, and Gratiano urges him to abandon his silent grievances and enjoy his life.

A+ Student Essay

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

- The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare The "Merchant Of Venice" is a poem I have studied recently and will be going on to describe it's four themes - Love/Hate/Friendship and Money. I will go .

Privacy FAQs

Merchant of Venice literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Merchant of Venice.

About Our Ads

How does Shakespeare present his ideas (themes, main points, the time, morality and reflection) within the merchant of Venice? Introduction - The play, the merchant of Venice, was written by Shakespeare. The play puts forward ideas and themes which are universal and relevant in today’s life. The Merchant Of Venice Essay May 31, There are two emotions commonly shown to motivate characters in the Merchant Of Venice, both positively and negatively, namely that of love and hate.

Cookie Info

Essay on Portia of William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice Words | 3 Pages Portia of William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice The merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare in which is a drama, it shows us mercy, love and forgiveness. The Merchant Of Venice Essay Examples. total results. An Analysis of the Character of Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. 1, words. 2 pages. A Comparison of Shakespeare's the Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing. 1, words. 4 pages.