The Merchant Of Venic 2 Essay, Research Paper
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE
During The Merchant of Venice, the theme of loss is constantly brought up and just about every character encounters it. This play provides a look at some tragedy with a small amount of “old” humour. When you talk about tragedy ,loss is always included. In the opening scene, Antonio supposedly loses his ships. Also early in the play, Shylock lends Antonio money that will never be repaid. When Jessica runs away with Lorenzo, it is a tragedy for Shylock and also a loss. There are many other examples of loss and tragedy throughout this play. These losses help us to understand the meaning of Shakespeare’s work. By writing these sonnets or plays he “wrote away his troubles.”
At the start of the play Antonio is worried about his ships at sea. If they are lost he will not make any money and could be killed because of his debts. When the ships are said to be long gone, time runs out on the loan from Shylock. The flesh is all that Shylock, the Jew, wants, so he prepares to kill Antonio. Shylock refuses to have doctors present because “it isn’t in the contract”, the lawyers protest to this by saying “drawing blood isn’t in the contract.” With this new evidence Antonio is set free and given a gift from God when his ships also return home bringing a ton of money.
I wonder, did Shylock receive any of his money back?
On top of the troubles Shylock had with Antonio he also lost one of his best servants in Launcelot. Launcelot worked hard for Shylock and was rewarded nicely for it, but he hated working for a “JEW”. During Shylock’s episode with Antonio he also had to deal with his friend and servant leaving. I think these problems hit Shylock hard, but the worst was yet to come. After Shylock had dealt with Launcelot, his daughter Jessica eloped with Lorenzo stealing money and Shylock’s most precious jewel, his wife’s wedding ring. These must have been the most tragic times any father could have – the money gone, his best servant gone, and most of all his daughter gone. You’d think he would really miss his daughter but can you believe it, he was more shaken up because of the ring.
What ever happened to Launcelot? Did Bassanio like him?
Shakespeare’s writing was so well planned that he constantly had two settings and plots going on at the same time. When the Heiress, Portia, decided that it was time to get married, she entertained suitors such as, the dark skinned Prince of Morocco or the “great” Prince of Aragon. Each had to swear an oath that if they failed the “test” that they would never marry in their whole life. This special test was to pick the special box that had “the key to Portia in it.” Both failed and lost any chance of love in the future. This must have hurt them deeply but I guess it serves them right. The winner of Portia after two failures was a good, kind, man that was the best thing to happen to Portia.
At the courtroom, when Portia dressed up as a lawyer and helped free Antonio, she asked Antonio to repay her with their weeding ring. At the time Antonio didn’t know that it was Portia but since he owed it to the “lawyer” he had to give in. After she told him about how she dressed as a lawyer and was mad that he gave away the ring but later they made up solving what could have been a great tragedy.
Why didn’t Portia tell her husband that she was going to help Antonio?
Why did she want to test Antonio’s faith?
The Merchant of Venice displayed many times of tragedy but it really didn’t amount to much. The worst was when Shylock lost his daughter, I think that the play should have focussed more on this, it would have made the readers feel more for Shylock and his hard times. The debts and losses of characters help us kind of realize how the world worked back then. People were always unkind to one another, they never gave anyone a chance to reflect and let go of the life they were leading. This play was very well done and will be remembered as one of Shakespeare’s best contrasts between cruel yet emotional people like Shylock.