Merchant of Venice Essay

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The Merchant of Venice written by William Shakespeare is a romantic comedy. So, we can easily understand that the topic of love will be very important in the Merchant of Venice as it is a romantic comedy. Indeed, love, marriage and friendship all of them have very important role in this drama. The drama revolves around the friendship of Antonio and Bassanio then we have the love of Portia and Bassanio and also of Lorenzo and Jessica. The two couples got married din the drama and the topic of friendship is very significant and important in the plot of the play. The Merchant of Venice (c. 1596-97) has been labeled a problem play by many critics due to its combination of comic, tragic, and romantic elements as well as its ambiguous treatment of racial and religious differences. In the play, the merchant Antonio borrows money from Jewish moneylender Shylock in order to assist his friend Bassanio. Bassanio, a Venetian gentleman, borrows the money from Antonio in order to finance his pursuit of Portia, the heiress of Belmont, whom he wishes to marry. Ostensibly a romantic comedy centering on Antonio, Portia, and Bassanio, The Merchant of Veniceexplores darker issues as well, such as the treatment of Shylock, who is portrayed as a stereotypically greedy Jew and a social outcast. For attempting to enforce his contract with Antonio, a contract stipulating that a pound of flesh be removed from Antonio for failure to repay his loan, Shylock is forced to convert to Christianity. Critics often observe that, unlike many modern viewers and readers, the play's original audiences were not offended by the characterization and fate of Shylock. However, Shylock and his punishment have been the source of major critical debate since the nineteenth century and continue to be today. His standing as both a racial and religious “other” figures prominently in critical analyses of the play's

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