• 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. Background to the "Merchant of Venice."

    and because of this Antonio is going to try and uphold the law. Go, one, call the Jew into the court. (Line 14) This is the first real sign of serious anti-Semitism that we see in this play. The duke doesn't call Shylock by his name, he simply labels him "Jew."

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

    Also friend ship is a very strong theme used as it shows how much we are willing to do for our friends and how loyal we can be. In addition to the themes is marriage, if it wasn't for Antonio's loyalty to his friend Bassanio, then he and Portia would not be getting married.

  2. English - Merchant of Vencice

    He then wishes Jessica dead. This is an example of Shakespeare developing an evil character who is determined to have everything his own way. Tubal then feels the need to cheer up Shylock, by informing him of yet another one of Antonio's ships wrecked.

  1. How helpful is it to call the 'Merchant of Venice' a comedy?

    This not only reveals an inflated opinion of himself and a rather low opinion of others, causing the majority of the audience to respond unfavourably to actions. Furthermore, he rarely mentions Portia in this scene and this also gives us a negative impression of him.

  2. The Merchant Of Venice

    Calling a Jewish person a "cut throat dog" was highly offensive as Jews see dogs as hideous unhygienic creatures. I felt a tinge of sympathy towards Shylock and found it quite uncomfortable when Shylock was listing his injuries from Antonio.

  1. The Merchant of Venice: The two settings of Belmont and Venice seem worlds apart. ...

    In this extract Shylock is clearly being made out to be the villain and from this we see that in Venice money can be so powerful and inherent in a Venetian's world that it becomes destructive also. There is certainly a difference in Belmont in relation to the value of money.

  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