Review of the Play 'The Merchant of Venice'

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Title: The Merchant of Venice Author of the Book: William Shakespeare First published in year: 1597 Genre of the Book: Play One of Shakespeare’s short plays. The language is easy. It is basically put under the category of comedy, but personally I take it more as a tragedy, because it actually depicts Christian and Jewish racialism, that was very common in the era when the play was written. It was kept under comedy because English people enjoyed insulting and ridiculing the Jews. The important characters of the play are Antonio (the merchant), his friend Bassanio, Shylock (money lender Jew) and Portia (Bassanio’s wife). The first scene of The Merchant of Venice opens on a street in Venice, where Antonio seems depressed for his friend Bassanio, who needs his financial help in order to marry a rich heiress, Portia in Belmont. Since all his money is invested in business, Antonio asks Shylock–a Jew–for a loan of three thousand ducats. Shylock agrees to give loan without interest but on a condition that if Antonio failed to pay back on time then he shall have a pound of Antonio’s flesh! Antonio agrees with him and signs the bond. As all the ships get lost, Antonio could not pay the debt on time and is brought to court by Shylock where he demands the pound of flesh. Since there is a written agreement hence the Duke of Venice cannot bend the rules, and Shylock will not relent. Personally, my favourite character of the play is Shylock, because to me he is the soul of the play. It is his character that attracts the reader attention and persuades him to read till the end. There are two scenes that I like the most; the first where Shylock demands Antonio’s flesh as a condition to lend him money; and the court scene. Such a demand reveals the cruel nature of Shylock. It may shock some readers, but still I do also feel sympathy for him rather than just disliking his
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