Discussing The Tensions And Oppositions In The Play, 'merchant Of Vencie' By William Shakespeare

1833 words - 7 pages

Discuss the Tension and Opposition in "The Merchant of Venice"In the Merchant of Venice there are many themes. The main theme within the play is the rivalry between Shylock, a Jewish loan shark, and Antonio, a Venetian merchant. Other themes that are present in the play are the mutual hatred shared between the Christians sand the Jews and the love that can prosper, for example Bassanio and Portia.One of the biggest themes running through this play is the competition for Portia's hand in marriage, a competition set up by Portia's father. With love, tragedy, hate and comedy and realism "The Merchant of Venice" is an ever changing story filled with tension and opposition. The tension that is present, is brought about by the hatred between the Christian and the Jews of Venice this hatred is further highlighted by Shylocks and Antonio and the fight for their, with Shylock showing no mercy towards the Christians. The theme of opposition is also present in the feelings of love and hate, comedy and tragedy, Jews and Christians and justice and mercy. The greatest theme in this play is comedy and tragedy, both are complete opposites but work together with great effect.The trial scene is a prime example of tension and tragedy as Shylock offers no mercy to the Christians."The pound of flesh which I demand of him,Is dearly brought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.If you deny me I fie upon your law,There is no force in the decree's of Venice"The lines above follow the question from the Duke who asks:"How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?"This adds greatly to the tension in the scene. The tension is however soon turns to comedy, as the Christians, who are present in the court room, start to mimic the words previously said by Shylock to compliment Portia who, dressed as the doctor, Shylock sees as his saviour in the trial. As Portia begins to change sides it is Gratiano who repeats:"O Jew, an upright judge, a learned judge" which was used by Shylock in his complement towards Portia.Despite the ever present element of comedy. Tragedy is also an important part to the play. One example of the importance comedy to tragedy is the prejudice suffered by Shylock who, although being the villain in this play, gains sympathy from the audience after being let down by the courts and humiliated by the people he hates the most, the Christians who force the Jew into changing his religion to become one of them. Another case of comedy and tragedy changing to tragedy is Jessica's isolation in Belmont. Jessica's past involved her being a Jew, she then married a Christian and switched faith, but by doing so she loses the bond she had with her father. In Belmont, while the trial is being held she is left alone at Portia and Bassanio's home, this gives her time to contemplate what her life would have been like, if she hadn't eloped with Lorenzo.A final time in which comedy and happiness become tragic and sad, is the ever-increasing depression of Antonio, at the beginning of the...

Find Another Essay On Discussing the tensions and oppositions in the play, 'Merchant of Vencie' by William Shakespeare

Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

1798 words - 7 pages Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice contains an array of interesting and complex characters. From the alternately generous and grasping Antonio to the alternately love stricken and exploitative Bassanio to the vulnerable and manipulative Portia, this play has an abundance of multi-layered personalities. However, one of the most intriguing characters is also the

Shakespeare Mocked Christianity in his play The Merchant of Venice

971 words - 4 pages victim. By the time the plot arrived at the courtroom, heroes and villains were indistinguishable. "Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?"Therefore, William Shakespeare was not a Christian. In The Merchant of Venice, he used Antonio and Shylock, to make fun of Christianity. First, Shakespeare made Antonio out to be a hero because he was a Christian. Then, Antonio was made to be a hypocrite who might have been gay. Also, Shakespeare

The Opposing Themes of Love and Hate in the Play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare

1709 words - 7 pages The Opposing Themes of Love and Hate in the Play Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare Throughout the play Romeo and Juliet there are two very strong emotions which threaten their relationship. These two emotions are love and hate. The love that Romeo and Juliet have is threatened by there families full of hate (Capulet and Montague). These two emotions interweave throughout the whole play. In Act 2 Scene 2 Juliet

The role and character of Viola in the play, "Twelfth Night" by William Shakespeare

581 words - 2 pages Every film, concert and play needs characters to act out the themes and ideas of the scriptwriter, such as in the play "Twelfth Night", written by William Shakespeare. There are many characters in the play "Twelfth Night" including Olivia, the Duke, Sebastian and Viola. Each character has his or her own personality traits, distinguishing qualities and purpose in the play. Viola, who is the main character, represents the two themes of love and

Failure and Success in William Shakespeare´s The Merchant of Venice and Richard II

976 words - 4 pages bloodshed he causes. The punishment that he will receive for his stealing of the throne from Richard II, who is believed to have been chosen by God, will either be an earthly punishment or one from the Heavens. It is with this that we realize, it is uncommon for a person to successfully take over high authority or social confines. Shakespeare saw and realized this in each of the plays he wrote. In The Merchant of Venice he showed that you can’t trample

The Tempest the Play by William Shakespeare

1151 words - 5 pages The Tempest the Play by William Shakespeare Ruler’s in general face many problems, as is the nature of having power and authority. However rulers like Prospero face even more difficulties, as Prospero has the ultimate power of magic and can control and manipulate people and their actions, more so than a natural ruler. The first difficulty presented is an issue, which is dealt with throughout the play: the idea of how much or how

In the play King Lear by William Shakespeare the use

578 words - 2 pages In the play King Lear by William Shakespeare the use of disguises plays a key role in the events that happen. The characters in the novel appear to be to be one ting to the reader, but many of the characters such as Goneril, Regan, Kent, Edmund and Edgar use disguise to hide who they really are. King Lear is a play in which the outer coverings of a human must be ripped off to see their true nature.The first character that the audience meets that

Macbeth, by william shakespeare, in this essay i discuss the role of the witches and the supernatural in the play

1147 words - 5 pages ne'er be clean?" Lady Macbeth, Act 5, Scene 1The play ends with Macbeth still clinging to the prophecy that one born of a woman cannot harm him and this ultimately leads to his downfall. William Shakespeare gives two courses of action for Macbeth when he is originally presented with these prophecies; He is patient and he will eventually become King, or he is part of the witches' evil plan and decides to make himself King. Either way his death all came about by the initial prophecies given to him by the witches. I believe I have sufficiently expressed the importance of the witches and the supernatural in William Shakespeare's Macbeth in this essay.

Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

1062 words - 4 pages In the Dukes opinion (Act iv, Sc.1) Shylock is ?? an inhuman wretch.? Do you agree? Do you feel that Shylock receives, ?justice? at the end of the play? The Merchant Of Venice was written by William Shakespeare, between 1596 and 1598. It was first published in 1600. Although this play is described as a romantic comedy, there is an underlying plot of moral dimension in the development of Shylocks character.Shylock is a Jew and at this time Jews

Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

1033 words - 4 pages court against defenseless Shylock. In conclusion the court was manipulated by an impersonating lawyer, who swayed the courts decision to aggressively and abusively penalize Shylock. Not only did they confiscate his property but also his identity as a Jewish man. Shylock ultimately is the victim of this story because he loses everything he owns by the hands of the very thing he hoped would bring him justice, the law. Works Cited Shakespeare, William. Merchant of Venice. New York: New American, 1993.

Women as the Driving Action of the Play in Macbeth by William Shakespeare

2198 words - 9 pages Women as the Driving Action of the Play in Macbeth by William Shakespeare The female characters of the play - Gertrude and Ophelia - are each given unique personalities which influence the conclusion of the story. I think that both women play important roles and while each character is different in individual ways, they share similar qualities. Ophelia is the daughter of Polonius (a chief advisor to King Claudius

Similar Essays

The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

1581 words - 6 pages The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The character Shylock was a stereotypical Jew of his time, and as Jews were generally unpopular, the audience would have been automatically prejudiced against him. In Shakespeare's time, Jews were not treated well at all. This was because they were a minority group, as they had been previously banned from the country by Edward I unless they were willing to become a

The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

2136 words - 9 pages The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare In Act 4 scene 1 Shylock has brought Antonio to court to receive payment of his bond. Antonio’s ships have sunk and been raided by pirates and his wealth along with it. In Antonio’s bond with Shylock it was agreed that if the bond couldn’t be paid, then a pound of Antonio’s flesh was to be forfeit. Shylock is angry about many misfortunes in his life, which include the loss

Othello And The Merchant Of Venice, By William Shakespeare

1834 words - 8 pages characters look down on Othello because of his skin tone. While Othello is saturated with racial bias and discrimination, The Merchant of Venice expresses serious religious tensions conspicuous during Shakespeare’s lifetime. In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock shows his dislike for Antonio by taking him to court in order to punish him for his inability to pay his debts. The play The Merchant of Venice begins with Bassanio asking Antonio for some money

Shylock In The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

1619 words - 6 pages Shylock in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Shylock is certainly an interesting character made even more intriguing by Shakespeare's portrayal of him. Much before the twentieth century, anti-Semitism was rife and The Merchant of Venice is a curious tale, as we are able to see how Jews were viewed in the late 1500s - especially as Shakespeare's depiction was at