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Antonio is the merchant of Venice, he’s waiting for his boats to arrive home, and until then he’s not got any money.

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Introduction

Merchant of Venice assignment Rough Draft Antonio is the merchant of Venice, he's waiting for his boats to arrive home, and until then he's not got any money. Antonio has got a friend called Bassanio who wants to get married to Portia; who lives at Belmont and is a rich heiress. Unfortunately Bassanio hasn't got enough money to look good enough for Portia so goes to Antonio asking for a loan, but Antonio ahs no money because al of his money is tied up at sea at the moment. Antonio agrees to lend some money off another merchant named Shylock, Shylock agrees to lend the money on one condition, there was a bond saying that if the money is not paid back within a certain date a pound of Antonio's flesh will be taken from him by Shylock. Bassanio marries Portia, but during the wedding celebrations news comes in the Antonio's ships have gone missing at sea and he is now in prison waiting for the courtroom to declare if the pound of flesh will be taken. Secretly Portia is going to be Antonio's advocate in court, but she has to dress up as a man because women were not allowed to go to be advocates in Shakespearian times. Portia argues that to get his pound of flesh he will also get blood, and blood was not stated in the bond. The judge agrees with Portia, the punishment of Shylock will be to share all of his wealth with Antonio and become a Christian and for his daughter to be put back into his will. ...read more.

Middle

And Antonio being solitary in contrast to the romance and love his friends are getting involved in, "Antonio: You know me well, and herein spend but time to wind about my love with circumstance." A major theme that runs throughout the play relates to the fact that things are not always as they seem to be, like when Shylock plays on the importance of the pound of flesh, how Shylock wants to profit of Antonio's death, " Shylock: Three thousand ducats for three months, and Antonio bound. Bassanio: Your answer to that. Shylock: Antonio is a good man. Bassanio: Have you heard any imputation to the contrary? ... Shylock: My meaning in saying he is a good man, is to you have to understand me that he is sufficient." Antonio's judgement is perhaps blended by an overwhelming desire, regardless of lost or risk, But Bassanio is more aware of Shylocks vengeful and dangerous nature than Antonio. Shylock is a Jewish money lender during the Elizabethan period and has a daughter, which has fallen in love with a Christian man, who which Shylock hates, and has not spoken to his daughter since, and so much, he has taken his only child out of his will, "Jessica: ... I shall end this strife; become a Christian and thy loving wife. ... Jessica: Farewell, and if my fortune be not crossed, I have a father, you a daughter lost." The people of the Elizabethan age had very different views about lending money and charging interest compared to today. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shylock placed his trust in the law and the law will give him revenge on Antonio. Shylock however is not only frustrated in his desire to gain revenge on Antonio. One begins to get the uncomfortable feeing that perhaps this time it is Portia and the Christians who will extract revenge and not soften there justice with mercy. Because he is foreran and conspired to take the life of a Venetian half his goods go to Antonio and the other half to the state of Venice, his life is at the duke's mercy. Perhaps the crowning fate is Antonio's demand that Shylock become a Christian, this shows that Antonio shows mercy on Shylock, and does not want him hated anymore. There is a certain poetic justice considering Shylocks hatred of Christians. Elizabethan audiences may well have found this amusing and believed he deserved what he got. I think that throughout the play, the audience have been made to think that Shylock is nasty, and deserves everything that comes to him, as in Act four Scene one the court room, Shylock lost everything, his money, daughter and his own religion and his life was under the decision of the duke. But also behind all of this is love between Portia a rich heiress, and a poor good man who is friends with Bassanio, and when Antonio's life is on the line, Bassanio does not stop for anything to help him, and secretly his newly wed wife Portia, is helping him win the case, by being a lawyer for Antonio against Shylock and his bond. I ...read more.

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