October 29th 2017
Compare and Contrast Essay
How Shakespeare Uses Money And Wealth To Shape His Plays
Literature has consistently been used to communicate society issues for a long time in history. Thus, in the process, literature authors have enabled the target audiences to relate to the concepts that are defined. One of the most profound authors is William Shakespeare whose skill is showed in the two works, the Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night. The central issue that is featured in the two plays is that money plays a key role in the society and owning it is associated with some form of class. William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice and Twelfth Night are two plays that portray money, wealth, and material needs not only create class but are also key in understanding happiness in the society.
A key feature that is noted from both is that money and the state of being wealthy is perceived to plays the role of social recognition. In Twelfth Night, Olivia is a wealthy person considering the fact that she had a lot of material including a household and affairs that were all founded on the principle of wealth. The reader immediately realizes that Olivia is wealthy when the author describes that she had a fool on her payroll.
In fact, it appears that Olivia was so wealthy that others did not faze her especially when two wealthy suitors pursued her. As Shakespeare puts it, she did not have to sacrifice her principles to get along with the wealthy men. In Twelfth Night, Orsino says, “Tell her, my love, more noble than the world, Prizes not quantity of dirty lands; The parts that fortune hath bestow’d upon her, Tell her, I hold as giddily as fortune; But ’tis that miracle and queen of gems, That nature pranks her in attracts my soul” (Twelfth Night 2.4.90). The theme of wealthy and money being a function of the noble family is apparent in the statements by Orsino.
The correlation is also noted in the writing of Merchant of Venice, where Shakespeare again portrays the subject of wealth as a function of the noble family through the character Shylock. Shylock is a controversial character form the manner he behaves along but the most significant aspect about him is that he falls among the rich people in the society from his money-lending exploits. In fact, it is the primary reason that Shylock is known in the play. `
Shylock states, “This kindness will I show. Go with me to a notary, seal me there. Your single bond; and in a merry sport” (The Merchant of Venice,1.3.155) The impression that is created from the above statement by Shylock is that he is known to be kind and that has established his position in the society and it is what motivated Bassanio and Antonio to seek his services. It cannot be warranted that he is kind as he claims but the reader notices that Shylock is recognized in Venice because of his money and wealth.
From the two plays, the concept of money is represented as a positive feature while it is also a...