The Merch Essay Research Paper In

The Merch Essay, Research Paper

In this essay we will attempt to compare the characters of “Volpone Magnifico” From the play “Volpone”. As well as “Shylock” From “The Merchant of Venice”. We will compare the Characters in three respects: Their characters in themselves, their function their respective plays, and their suitableness for these functions.

The characters of Volpone and Shylock are characters set in different situations. Although the setting and plots are different, there are many characteristics that they share. They both hide their true intentions from other characters in the play, both characters love money and material objects

In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock lends money to Bossanio with Antonio’s good name as collateral. The penalty on the loan is a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Antonio’s feelings about Shylock are revealed to the audience and other characters in the play quite readily. Not only are the other characters in the play aware of Antonio’s feelings, but many of them share these feelings. Shylock is a money lender, and charges interest on his loans. Shylock is also Known as a jew. And as such he is subject to all of the ridicule and negative stereotypes of the time.

The fact that he is a jew is important to his deception in the play. Shylock despises Antonio. He is a business rival. As well as someone from whom Shylock has had to endure cruel insults about his race and business practices. Living in this environment has made Shylock bitter and angry. This environment has also made it necessary for him to hide the depth of his contempt for the beloved Antonio if he wants his plans for him to come to fruition. “Why, look you, how you storm! I would be fiends with you and have your love, forget the shames you have stained me with, Supply your present wants, and take no doit of usance for my moneys, and you’ll not hear me: This is kind I offer.”{Act I scene three Shakespeare} Shylock Pretends that the penalty on the loan is one that he would not exact. In reality his money has put him in position where he can have vengeance on his enemy.

Volpone in the play “Volpone” also seeks to mislead characters in the play. Their motivations however are different. Volpone seeks to mislead people for material gain, not vengeance. Volpone’s deception is more deliberate than Shylock’s. Along with his accomplice Mosca Volpone pretends to be ill with a large inheritance. In hopes to manipulate people into giving him Material wealth.{jewels , antiques, money} Volpone is an interesting character. He is truly wealthy, like Shylock, and has no family. This lends credibility to his rouse and makes it easier to bilk money from the “Gulls”and the Avocatori more reluctant to recognize his deceits. Volpone’s deception is a bit more complicated. He uses disguises, as well as an accomplice to perpetrate his lies.

Another interesting Comparison between the two characters is their love of money and material objects. Shylock could surely sue the cast of “Merchant Of Venice” for character assassination. Many of the characters in the play openly chastize and ridicule Antonio. They refer to him as a miser, bloodthirsty, cunning, and greedy. “I never heard a passion so confus’d So strange, outrageous and so variable as the dog jew did utter in the streets:

“My daughter! O my ducats, O my daughter, fled with a Christian! Oh my Christian

Ducats!….Of double Ducats stol’n from me by my daughter And jewels! Two Stones! two stones, two rich and precious stones,…she has the hath the stones upon her, and the ducats!.”

{Merchant ActII scene 8}

The Quote is a comical interpretation of how the characters see Shylock and his reaction to his missing daughter, and possessions. Shylock apparently does not know what to lament more

It is very effective here that Solanio gives this account. It prevents the audience from feeling any sympathy for Shylock and focuses on his greed. Imagine your own daughter is missing, and your focus is divided between her, missing money and jewels. Money is also at the root of Shylock’s hatred of Antonio. Antonio has publicly spoken badly about Shylock, and his practices of usury. These comments, and the idea that they have affected Shylock’s business has made them enemies.

Volpone’s love for money and material possessions is overtly obvious in many scenes in the play. Volpone shows excitement before and after he preys on his victims. He Looks forward to receiving gifts, and thoroughly praises Mosca for his ability twist words and make people believe that Volpone is dying, and about to leave his considerable estate to the person who showers him with the most gifts. “A diamond? Plate? Sequins? Good mornings purchase; Why, this is better than rob churches yet; Or fat by eating once a month man.” {act 1.5 Jonson}

Both Volpone and Shylock have a love of material possessions. Their motivations however are different. Shylock loves his money because he believes that he worked hard to acquire his wealth, in spite of persecution. Volpone is enjoying the method in which he is relieving people of their money..The thrill is almost as important to Volpone as the actual money itself. Both characters make it very hard for the audience or the reader to sympathize. Throughout the play Volpone manages to lavish in the gifts he receives through trickery.

Both Shylock and Volpone have multiple functions in their respective plays. Shylock serves as the protagonist in Merchant of Venice. He starts the action by loaning Bossanio the ducats. Although there are other plots developing in the play, the relationship between Shylock and Antonio commands the most attention. Most would agree however that Shylock’s primary role is that of the antagonist. He is the Characterized by words like “Miser”, or “jew dog” throughout the play. Antonio attributes inhuman, animal like characteristics to Shylock. “You may as well use question with the wolf…….you may as well do anything most hard as seek to soften that -than which what’s harder?- his Jewish hart..

Volpone is an essential Character to the play. Much of the action in play involves him He can also be seen as the antagonist. His Character is not to be taken too seriously, and we feel little sympathy for the Gulls, who’s greed has allowed them to be manipulated by Volpone. However his actions and his caustic attitude throughout the play are villainous..

Shylock suits his role perfectly. He is hated by other characters in the play. His business practices and religion have already alienated him from the other characters. His hatred for Antonio, and his unwillingness to accept any other form of payment for the debt are villainous. He has allowed his hatred for those who have been oppressing him to be personified in Antonio.

He believes that he has been ridiculed and treated unfairly because he is Jewish. Exacting a pound of Antonio’s flesh is Shylock’s chance at Vengeance. Shylock is definitely suited for this role. His bitterness and hatred is very believable. Yet he still manages to draw sympathy from the reader and audience.

The Character of Volpone is also suited to this Role. He and Mosca relieve men of their possessions and then marvel at their own cunning. The scenes where the two are preparing to deceive are meant to be funny. They also show a ruthless, callous disregard for other characters in the play. Volpone’s desire for gold and jewels has allowed him to suspend any morals that he may have had.

“Good morning to the day; and next, my gold! Open the Eshrine that I may see my saint.. Hail the world’s soul and mine!…let me kiss with adoration, the and every relic of sacred treasure in this blessed room” {Volpone act I}

Volpone’s villainous acts of deception are motivated by his love for money, and material wealth.

Volpone and Shylock are complex characters. They do share some characteristics. Namely a love of material wealth. And they need to deceive characters in the play to achieve their own ends. Both characters primary roles are that of the villain or antagonist. Jonson and Shakespear do a very good job of attributing qualities to their characters that make their actions throughout their respective plays believable.

English Essay

A Comparison Between

Shylock & Volpone


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