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Who contributes more to The Merchant of Venice Shylock or Portia?

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  • Essay length: 1512 words
  • Submitted: 06/03/2012
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AS and A Level The Merchant of Venice

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Who contributes more to "The Merchant of Venice" - Shylock or Portia?

"The Merchant of Venice" is a play written by William Shakespeare, between the years 1596 and 1598. It is of the tragic comedy genre that Shakespeare is so familiar with; the play's plot illustrates how friendship and love triumph over greed. "The Merchant of Venice" consists of many intriguing characters, although there are two individuals that contribute to the play massively and can be appreciated from different perspectives. These characters are Shylock and Portia.

Shylock is definitely the most complicated character within The Merchant of Venice, due to the fact that he possesses the two major roles of being both a villain and a victim. At first Shylock is portrayed as a monstrosity, who lusts for Antonio's life. Although when a deeper understanding of Shylock is attained, it appears that he is a righteous member of the community who has endured both physical and verbal abuse for his religion. He is first encountered in Act 1, Scene 3 were Antonio and Bassanio wish to receive 3000 ducats from Shylock's money lending business. Shylock is shocked that Antonio has came to him for a favour, "He

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