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

Merchant of venice

Extracts from this document...


English Literature Coursework The Merchant of Venice Title/Question: Compare and contrast the two worlds of Venice and Belmont depicted in Shakespear's "The Merchant of Venice". "The Merchant of Venice" is a play written by Shakespeare. It corresponds two very contrasting stories and settings. One of these 'stories' takes place in 16th century Venice and the other from Shakespeare's imagination, Belmont. Both the stories have such different settings in them, which Shakespeare deliberately does. There's 'The Bond Story', which takes place in Venice and then there's 'The Casket Story' which takes place in Belmont. Both have totally different atmospheres and conflicting stories. Each setting forms the backdrop to two very different stories. The two settings have very dissimilar natures. Venice is a trading city with a thriving community. Venice is the centre of International trade making it a wealthy city. Shakespeare makes passing references to the city's features; "Signor Antonio, many a time and oft In the Rialto you have rated me About my monies and my usances" He continues; "Since that the trade and profit of the city Consisteth of all nations. Therefore go. Belmont on the other hand comes from Shakespear's imagination. Belmont is very femininely dominated. It's a wealthy city like Venice. ...read more.


This makes the bond a murderous one especially between Shylock and Antonio. Shylock wants revenge for the many times he as a Jew has been hurt. This side of the play is dominated by hate. The main themes that take place in Venice are hatred, religious intolerance, revenge, greed and prejudice. This reflects upon the city as being murderous, dramatic and tense. Whereas Belmont on the other hand is a city of Love, marriage, romance and comedy. Belmont is an aspect of the play, which brings the comedy, fairytale romance into perspective. It changes the play from tense and murderous to fun and comedic. It breaks up the dark, horrid features of Shylock and adds gentle, beautiful features of Portia and Bassanio and Lorenzo and Jessica; "an equal pound of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken" to "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank!" This also shows that Belmont is a peaceful, moonlit and calm place to be whereas Venice is masculine and tense. The casket story is set in Belmont; it mainly captures Portia, and her great beauty; "In Belmont is a lady richly left, And she is fair, and - fairer than that word- Of wondrous virtues. ...read more.


Belmont's atmosphere on the other hand is calm, peaceful, and free from the tensions of Venice; "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank! Here will we sit, and let the sounds of music Creep in our ears; soft stillness and the night Become the touches of sweet harmony" Shakespeare has chosen to set "The Merchant of Venice" in two very different settings because the play has two very different stories in it. One reason could be to provide a sharp and dramatically effective contrast. Another reason maybe The Venetian setting provides us with the serious side of tension. Conversely Belmont gives us the 'Casket' story, which lightens the mood throughout the whole play, because Shakespeare has chosen to go back and forth from Belmont to Venice. For example the great drama of the court scene just before the play's end is immediately followed by the romance and gentle comedy of the play's final scene, the coming together of the three lovers, Bassanio and Portia, Gratiano and Nerissa and Lorenzo and Jessica. The play finishes in Belmont on a note of love and harmony rather than in Venice on a note of hatred, vengeance and betrayal. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...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. The play "The Merchant of Venice" is described as Romantic Comedy. One aspect of ...

    I think modern day theatregoers will consider this disturbing and class it tragic rather than comedy. However the play ends on a suitably romantic comic note as Gratiano, the most humorous of the lover's promises a good life for his wife and shadow of Shylock has passed and Antonio is safely in Belmont and atmosphere is of love and Friendship.

  2. Shakespeare's play, 'The merchant of Venice' - what do we learn about the character ...

    SAVROOP KAUR "...Look on beauty, And you shall see it is purchased by the weight, Which therein works the miracle of nature." Bassanio then talks of how ugliness can be covered up by using make - up which is referred to as 'weight'.

  1. Antonio is the merchant of Venice, he’s waiting for his boats to arrive home, ...

    In Act one Scene three, this is a very important scene in the play as we meet shylock for the first time, and we discover this hatred for Antonio, and also Antonio's dislike for Shylock, "Antonio: Mark you this Bassanio, the devil can cite scripture for his purpose.

  2. exploring the various forms of love displayed in Shakespeares Merchant of Venice

    'In such a night did pretty Jessica, like a shrew, Slander her love, and he forgave it her.' The content and language of this scene, are in stark contrast to the previous 'trial' scene. Again Shakespeare uses language, and also in this case the imagery of moonlight, to show the mood of the scene, and the place (Belmont).

  1. Merchant of Venice- Scene by Scene summary & analysis

    Analysis One of the most ridiculous moments in this act involves Lorenzo and Jessica, who compare their love with the three disastrous love stories. They invoke Troilus and Cressida, Pyramus and Thisbe, and Dido and Aeneus as their models. This is ironic in the highest degree because all the invoked lovers are failures.

  2. How does Shakespeare present racial and religious tension in the "Merchant of Venice"

    Shylock also shows his hatred towards Christians when he will not let Jessica; his daughter, marry a Christian named: Lorenzo. So Jessica must elope with Lorenzo to get free from her controlling father. Because Jessica is doing this without her father's knowledge, she must take money and jewels from him.

  1. Show How The Themes of Love Marriage and Friendship Overlap in The Merchant of ...

    The caskets ensure that Portia will get a man who will love her for who she is and not her wealth. It is ironic that every other suitor does not choose the least likely leaden casket, and Bassanio does. This has a fairytale idea to it as Portia and Bassanio

  2. What are the main themes in "The Merchant of Venice"?

    This leads to the characters in Venice not taking money for granted and they value money as they keep it all to themselves. However this can be compared to Belmont, which is very much the upper-class city. We see that, the characters in live in Belmont, the characters do not

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