• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

"It is money, above all, that produces conflict and concord throughout the play." Discuss the truth of this statement with close reference to The Merchant of Venice.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Term 3 Literature Assignment: The Merchant of Venice Name: Wong Yun Sheng Calvin [2O/23] Question 2: "It is money, above all, that produces conflict and concord throughout the play." Discuss the truth of this statement with close reference to The Merchant of Venice. I shall first begin my essay by concentrating upon the conflicts between friendship and love in The Merchant of Venice. Looking at I.i., conflict has already begun between the 2 realms of friendship and love as signified by Antonio's sadness. He is upset that Bassanio has transferred his affections for him to a woman, Portia. Bassanio is a gallant. He does not work, but gains money from his family inheritance. However he states that he has spent too much of it away, and explains his "plots and purposes" (I.i.133) to get his money back. He explains that he needs Antonio's help to achieve them. Unwittingly however, he drags Antonio down into a conflict between Antonio and Shylock later on in the story. Another conflict has also been pointed out within this scene, which is the conflict between love and money. ...read more.

Middle

One cannot help noticing that Bassanio's fight for Portia is nothing more than pure romance. I.iii brings to us the first sign of conflict between Antonio and Shylock, foreshadowing the horrendous event that is to happen later. Bassanio attempts to secure the money he needs from Shylock, a usurer, or a moneylender that charges high rates of interest. Notice the evident religious conflict here. Shylock is enjoying the power he now holds over Antonio and Bassanio, for he knows that they are relying on him now, and no matter how rude he is, they still need him. When Bassanio offers to let Shylock dine with them, he refuses, and in the process says that Christian manners are obscene and repugnant. Shylock bears an ancient grudge against Antonio, not only because of religious differences, but also because of money, for the fact that Antonio disapproves of usury and has lent money to people without charging interest, thus reducing the amount of business that Shylock can obtain. Antonio also faces conflict within himself. ...read more.

Conclusion

Money here actually brings about a conflict that destroys the love between Jessica and Shylock. Shylock actually wishes that his "daughter were dead at my feet/and the ducats in her ear". It is not as if Shylock is an unfeeling man, as is frequently portrayed amongst the Elizabethan audience. Shakespeare shows that he still has love and kindness within him, for his sorrow is emphasised when he realizes that Jessica has sold his love for his wife away for a mere monkey. Again, this emphasies the conflict between love and money. As Shylock said, he would not have given it away for a wilderness of monkeys, but yet the love and sentimental value of the ring has been sold away, for 1 monkey which again puts some monetary value into love. This is also why Shylock's love for Jessica is destroyed here, for money and greed have overpowered him, and also because Jessica has commodified his love for another. With this, I conclude that money is and will always be the foremost factor that initiates conflict and violence, not only in the theatrical world of Shakespeare, but in our own real worlds as well. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Shylock is a tragic figure, trapped by prejudice and driven to revenge by the ...

    Evidence for this is very limited in this scene, however, as Shylock only has the duty of ordering his daughter to lock up and to not watch the Masque ball. Eventually, after years of words falling upon Shylock's ignorant ears, we hear Jessica's parting words "I have a father, you are a daughter, lost".

  2. The play "The Merchant of Venice" is described as Romantic Comedy. One aspect of ...

    I think a modern day bank manager will see this kind of approach of Bassanio to pay debts as a Credit risk than being credit worthy. Nerissa describes him "as a Scholar and soldier" because his thinking type of attitude made him choose the right casket.

  1. 'Is, 'The Merchant of Venice' a racist play? Discuss'.

    This would place an audience, Elizabethan or modern firmly against the Jew because anyone who would rather cut a man open then have three times the money he is owed is sick and vindictive. Racism is clear from the beginning of this scene.

  2. Free essay

    Belmont is a place of youth, happiness and concord, Venice a place of age, ...

    However, despite all the love language, the idea of money and Venetian values can still be found. He explains that Portia is beautiful, but she is also rich and Bassanio needs her money. Shakespeare liberally interposes the speech with money phrases, as he mentions, "debts I owe", "warranty", "prodigal" and "rate".

  1. The Merchant of Venice is a racist play - Discuss

    "If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge! The villainy you teach me I will execute and it shall go hard but I/ will better instruction". In some cases, Shylock deserves mercy, but there are also reasons why he does not deserve mercy.

  2. How does Shakespeare demonstrate that love and friendship can overcome greed in the Merchant ...

    'Thou call'dst me a dog before thou hadst a cause, But since I am a dog, beware my fangs'. Antonio was unpleasant to Shylock before, and now is desperately trying to improve the situation, but Shylock refuses to hear. This whole episode shows that Shylock has no compassion and refuses to relent.

  1. Is the Merchant of Venice more than just a play about money lending? Discuss. ...

    have to play female roles and in the play (back then it was not seen suitable for girls or women on the stage) and this meant the male actors would be playing women who were playing men, Portia as Balthazar and Nerissa the serving man/messenger.

  2. "It is money, above all, that produces conflict and concord throughout the play." Discuss ...

    Also, Shylock's daughter is seen secretly falling in love with Lorenzo, a Christian, and finally, eloping with him, together with her father's money.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work