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Comparative Essay

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Introduction

COMPARATIVE ESSAY For my comparative essay I am looking at "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller and "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare. Both these plays have trial scenes in them and these are the scenes I am going to do my essay on. In "The Crucible" our hero John Proctor and our villain Abigail, who is Proctor's ex-lover are in court due to accusations of witchery. In "The Merchant of Venice" Shylock is bringing Antonio to court as Antonio can not pay back money he lent off Shylock and so as a forfeit must give Shylock a pound of his own flesh. These plays were set within a hundred years of each other. "The Crucible" was set in the seventeenth century and "The Merchant of Venice" was written and set in the sixteenth century. "The Merchant of Venice" is set in Venice, Italy whereas "The Crucible" is set in Salem Massachusetts. As they were set in very different parts of the world the language used isn't the same but as they were set about the same time we can see some similarities in the language. ...read more.

Middle

The fact that Portia dresses up as a man is quite humorous in this way. The characters of Solario and Solanio are very funny too. In the Elizabethan meaning "The Merchant of Venice" is a comedy because it has a happy ending and a tone and style that are more lighthearted than Shakespeare's other plays. "The Crucible" is serious throughout the play. It is a tragedy as the main character is faced with, in the words of the author, Arthur Miller, himself, a tragic dilemma. "The Crucible" is based on the factual history of the Salem witch trials. It also is a metaphor for McCarthyism which was a period of intense anti-communism in the United States from the late 1940s to the late 1950s. The Merchant of Venice is a completely fictional story although there would have been a lot of anti-Semitism about in the time the play was set. One big similarity between the two scenes is that what brings about the trials are personal vendettas. ...read more.

Conclusion

Proctor seems a very likely hero. Although it shows his faults though the play he is portrayed as a very brave character who you would expect to rush to the rescue at the end. Even though both plays have villains as well as heroes the villains from each play are very different! Shylock is an old man seeking revenge on the people who were prejudiced to him. Abigail is a young girl seeking revenge on the woman who is married to the man Abigail is infatuated with. Out of these two villains we can at least sympathise with Shylock slightly. He had been discriminated against to drive him to the point of being as bitter as he is. Abigail is just a silly, and little crazy, girl! The two plays are also have a lot of religious content in the as the citizens in the plays are all very religious. In "The Merchant of Venice" there is a lot of emphasis on religious prejudice between Christians and Jews and in "The Crucible" we see how strict the Puritan religion is. By Cora Degan 12A ?? ?? ?? ?? Cora Degan 12A ...read more.

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