The Persecution of Jewish Peoples

For the last 2000 years, the strife between Christians and Jews has been a constant within the history of Europe. By the end of the medieval times, most Jews had been forced out of their homes in many western European countries. This diaspora, one of many for Jewish peoples throughout history, and subsequent persecution of…

Mercy

In the merchant of Venice the issue of Mercy plays a role in Shylock’s trial. Portia grants all this weight and all this meaning to mercy “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven…It blesseth him that gives and him that takes” (4.1) but when she demands that…

Male Friendships v. the Bond of Marriage

The Merchant of Venice is perhaps one of the most unique of Shakespeare’s plays in terms of the interaction and relationships between the characters, and it adds a complexity to a plot that would otherwise be seen as strictly comical and superficial. One of the main societal constructs that Shakespeare addresses through the characters of…

Friendship

A theme that stood out in this story was friendship. In Shakespeare’s comedies it is known that at the end of a comedy the lovers end up together and happy, but what seems to be standing in the shadow of the lovers is the friendships. In A Midsummer Night’s Dream, in the end all of…

The Concept of “Justice” Within the Merchant of Venice

Prejudice against the Jewish people has been a serious problem for a very long time. Many countries have banned Jews from entering as they are afraid the Jews will take over their economies. While Jews may be the ones that control a lot of the world’s finances; this does not justify the alienation of the…

Merchant of Venice Response

The Merchant of Venice is a rather interesting play, to say the least. Being someone from the 21st century, and reading this play can be actually shocking because of the anti-Semitism throughout the play. Obviously, one of the first reactions while reading is whether or not this is actually promoting an anti-Semitic outlook and intentionally…

Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice is an interesting play when it comes to its characters, motivations, and themes. While there is a love triangle of sorts, the real conflict is between two drastically different characters: Antonio and Shylock. Antonio appears to be a well-respected and loved man by lots of characters in the play. Shylock, on…

Love or Money?

The Merchant of Venice is a play about love, money, and religion. A merchant named Antonio complains to his friends that his other friend Bassanio is in desperate need of money to court a wealthy heiress names Portia. He can not make this loan himself, for all of his money is invested into ships at…

Shylock

In The Merchant of Venice, the most interesting character was Shylock. Shylock surprised me in several different parts of the play. Once in particular was how Shylock responded to Jessica getting eloped. It seemed like he was more worried about the gold than the fact that his daughter was gone. This made me think that…

The Taming of the Jew

  The Taming of the Jew             The European Renaissance inspired many marvelous creations. In art, a renewal of the Classical style saw mastery of painting and sculpting the human form. In music, the Roman Catholic Contrareformatio inspired the genius interweaving of voices and the perfection of polyphonic sacred music. In architecture, towering Neoclassical edifices…

Concerning the Quality of Mercy

The climactic scene of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice contains one of the most famous speeches in English literature.  Act 4, scene 1, lines 190-212 contain what is commonly referred to as the “Quality of Mercy” speech.  This address provides insight both into the themes of the play and the moral thought process of Shakespeare’s…

Merchant of Venice: Have Mercy?!

In this particular piece of Shakespearian literature it is very easy for one to become confused; basically all that it is that a young Bassanio needs a loan of three thousand ducats so that he can mesmerize Portia, a very wealthy heiress. Bassanio asks Antonio for a loan of this kind but cannot give out…