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Comparison/Contrast: The Merchant Of Venice And Richard Iii

1005 words - 4 pages

In William Shakespeare’s tale of The Merchant of Venice and Richard III both plays show similar qualities as well as differences between the two plays.
The Merchant of Venice and Richard III are similar in that both plays have women that are independent. These women are not afraid to speak up and lash out with hard words towards who they do not prefer. In the Merchant of Venice, Portia never gives up. She is a very strong character and goes as far as to dress as a man and pretends to be a lawyer in order to save Antonio.
The women of Richard III are also quite strong willed and determined. They talk freely at whomever they please and are not afraid to state their opinion. Queen Margaret shows this confident attitude when she speaks by saying, “What, were you snarling all before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat, and turn you all your hatred now on me? Did York’s dread curse prevail so much with heaven that Henry’s death, my lovelly Edward’s death, their kingdom’s loss, my woeful banishment, could all but answer for that peevish brat? Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven? Why then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses! Though not by war, by surfeit die your king, as ours by murder to make him a king” (Act 1, Scene 3, Page 9).
In both The Merchant of Venice and Richard III, some of the male characters want to marry the ladies because it means that they are gaining something in return. In The Merchant of Venice, Portia is wealthy which makes her desirable in others eyes. They want to marry her because they will be gaining wealth which they did not have before or adding to the wealth that they already have.
In Richard III, Richard kills off the powerful characters who are royal, in order to get closer to the throne. Richard succeeds in marrying Lady Anne and then later on kills her. Richard later on tries to get Queen Elizabeth to let her daughter be his new wife.
These two plays also are similar in that they have the theme of justice. In The Merchant of Venice justice is served in the end. In Richard III anyone that has done something wrong tends to end up dead as well. Richard gets killed and it is not even an epic death. He just gets killed and everyone is like, ‘all done here, lets go get something to eat’.
Although The Merchant of Venice and Richard III have several if not multiple similarities, they also play onto different aspects of ideas. In The Merchant of Venice, one of the many themes is friendship. Antonio and Bassanio are very close friends and have each other’s backs most of the time. Antonio would give up his own life for Bassanio if it meant the other would be happy.
Richard III does not really play on that, it does however have betrayal. In Richard III the...

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