Defeating the enemy, light-heartedness, and a happy ending for the lovers are all elements in a comedic play. William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice shows that love conquers all and that you can always defeat the enemy. Even if a pound of flesh is the difference between life and death, or if one wrong person chooses the casket that decides your fate. For example, The Merchant of Venice, Antonio, not only survives the fate of having a pound of his flesh taken from his body on account of his friend that could not repay the bond to a man who is seen as the devil, but gets thrice his money back and the villain is taken down. Not to mention that Antonio’s best friend, Bassanio, not only repays the bond and gets out of his debt to help his friend, but also marries himself a rich wife. In contrast, Portia, who was bound by her dead father to marry a man whom she could never love, cheated her fate and married the man she truly loved. What makes this play a comedy is clearly evident; the villain is defeated and destroyed, and happy endings are given to those that deserve them like the Christians.
Antonio is melancholic in the beginning though he did not know much of the reason as to why. It is found that he could not support his closest friend, Bassanio, out of debt because he had not any money at the time, and he was watching Bassanio leave him to look for love. Bassanio wants to look wealthy to Portia, so they go to Venice in search of money for Bassanio. They wind up making a deal with Shylock, a Jew. Shylock is not all that cooperative as a result of being bullied by the Christians, such as Bassanio and Antonio. To the audience, this is enjoyable for they see that they are hurting the Jews with their words. As it turns out, Shylock is bloodthirsty, only lending 3,000 ducats for three months, and declares:
“If you repay me not on such a day, In such a place, such sum or sums as are Express’d in the condition, let the forfeit Be nominated for an equal pound Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me.” (1.3. 142-147)
Antonio agrees to the deal, since he feels that helping his Bassanio is the right thing to do for a best friend. As time progresses Bassanio and Portia found their way to each other, though Bassanio still has not the money to pay Shylock, so he tells Portia. She has no problem paying the bond and says, “Pay him six thousand, and deface the bond;/ Double six thousand, and...