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The Merchant of Venice



TheMerchant of Venice

CriticalResponse of the Merchant of Venice


TheMerchant of Venice is a well known play by William Shakespeare. Inaddition, it is a genre that presents comedy throughout thetradition. Nevertheless, the characters and the tragedy in theconfines of the genre make it feasible to call it a drama. The dramais about, justice, revenge, friendship, and deception. The storypresents Shylock, a wealthy Jew who lends money to his enemy, Antoniothree thousand ducats. Although Antonio is a wealthy merchant, allhis capital is in the ships, trading in different parts of the world.


Theplot of this play is unoriginal. William in other words used theshort story of an Italian who was unknown. The drama presents a youngVenetian man, Bassanio who is in love with Portia and wants to marryher. As a result, he asks his friend Antonio to lend him money tomarry Portia. In return, he promises to cover the bond, so he turnsto Shylock who is a money lender. Consequently, there is no characterin the canons of Shakespeare that has generated so much controversythan Shylock the Jew. He is specifically considered as anti-Semiticstereotype, negative perception of the Jewish money lender(Kennedy, 2013).

Shylockis a man who hates Antonio and in turn proposes a condition for thatbond if it happens peradventure that Antonio fails to pay in thestipulated time. In fact, Shylock under his condition states that ifAntonio fails to pay within the specified he take a pound of fleshfrom the body of Antonio. Bassanio in turn, get the money, he winsthe love of Portia and gets married. However, the ships of Antonioare reported to be lost in the sea thus he cannot pay the bond toshylock. In addition, Shylock is happy that Antonio has not met thecondition and so he makes him arrested and brought to court.Fortunately, Portia is a lawyer and can protect Antonio from beingcut a pound of flesh. Furthermore, she accuses Shylock of attemptingto put the life of a Venetian citizen in danger that is not allowed.In turn, Shylock is made to give half of his wealth to Antonio andfurther, he is made to convert to Christianity (Kennedy,2013).

Traditionalat that time, story interpretation about a bad Jew reversed byWilliam Shakespeare into a more tranquil social conflict of globalcharacter that is represented as one that can never be solved inhistory. The author fails to depict the villain of a differentdoctrine. For example, Shakespeare makes the reader feel the twoaspects of different religions and moral and social systems Judaismand Christianity that are presented by different characters. Shylockrepresents Judaism and Portia together with Antonio representsChristianity (Kennedy, 2013).

Inconclusion, the major features that presents the play in a moreauthentic way and more up to date presently, is that Shakespeare doesnot attempt to demonstrate one order to be right and the other orderto be wrong. For example, the author should have shown the differentreligious perceptions Judaism to be presented as a bad religionwhile Christianity the better and more favorably religion. Inaddition, the author fails to find the moral view point, he is justbut investigative of how the process of different religious and moralpositions correlate in the modern phase of life.


Kennedy,X. J. (2013). Literature:An Introduction to Fiction, Poetry, Drama, and Writing. Boston: Pearson.