The human traits of deception in william shakespeares the merchant of venice

Shylock abruptly changes his mind.

disguise in merchant of venice

When Shylock refuses, Antonio is resigned to his death. Bassanio and Gratiano call Shylock a dog, a devil, and other names. Then Othello becomes damaged by jealousy, and he takes that emotion to the extreme.

But we may also question whether it is merciful to return to Shylock half of his goods, only to take away his religion and his profession.

Highly intelligent and resourceful, she is viewed as a paragon of femininity, with much more complexity of character than the fairy-tale princesses found in the literary sources available to the playwright.

The playwright has created a character who is obviously used to hoodwinking her father, playing the obedient daughter to allay his suspicions, and now she smoothly lies to her new lord and master. Bankers often took portions of the nobility's landholdings in payment, thus increasing the bankers' profits.

However, he suggests that he is willing to consider the loan. A Shakespearean comedy often includes the trials and tribulations of a young man and woman who have fallen in love at first sight and then must contend with a variety of challenges to realize that love.

Antonio amends this verdict and, claiming he is being merciful, says he only wants half of Shylock's wealth. In the sixteenth century, in Shakespeare's time, most English people would have been familiar with Jewish people not from acquaintance but from the stories told about them, most of which would have been prejudicial.

The court, of course, refuses him.

Merchant of venice deception quotes

However, when Bassanio correctly identifies the lead casket, he demonstrates a superior understanding of love, as he judges the box on the inner qualities it may possess rather than on its dull, outer appearance. At this time, and for another hundred years or so, Jews, unlike their counterparts in other European countries, were not forced to live in a ghetto—especially designated sections of a town or city. Mercy implies the ability of one person to forgive another, a strong Christian principle that is advocated in many Christian pulpits on Sunday morning. Shylock claims he has done no wrong, so why should he worry about the court granting him any mercy. In other words, it is a combination of tragedy and comedy, and therefore, there is difficulty in placing it completely in one category or the other. This reflects the sentiment in Elizabethan England. Or will he rightly choose the leaden chest, as Bassanio does, realizing that true beauty lies within. At the same time, it should be realized that the bondage extends in The Merchant beyond the formal limits of oath and legal contract. Toward the end of the play, Portia questions just how deep that love is between Bassanio and Antonio, and whether it might be threatening to her love affair with Bassanio. Their enmity stems from an ideological conflict over the morality of usury. Shakespearean tragedies involve death; and even though there is no actual death in The Merchant of Venice, Shylock tells the court that if they take away everything he has, they might as well kill him. They are given a second chance, thus ending the play on a happy note, rather than ending with the trial scene, which would make this play resonate with tragedy. It is available on video.

The Christian Crusades were in full force and heretics were being burned to death in nearby Spain. When he cannot produce it, Portia brings the ring forth, confessing that she was the young lawyer.

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SparkNotes: The Merchant of Venice: Themes