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Textual Transformation - The Merchant of Venice

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Introduction

The Merchant of Venice My life up until three years ago should not have been classified as that. It was more of a continual daily war of misery in my head against my father and his disgusting ways and actions. I didn't realize that there was another way of life until a relatively poor merchant's clerk named Lorenzo showed me what fun really was. This is probably why I fell in love and married him. He saved my soul from living an what seemed like an eternity in the dank dungeon-like house in which I was a virtual prisoner for most of my life. Because Shylock wouldn't waste his beautiful money on such trivial things as new candles, the house had a permanent sense of darkness, even in the hot bright Mediterranean summers. I used to think that God must have recognized this as a house of evil. In fact I think I remember saying to Launcelot that the "house is hell". That sense of darkness was the only sense I remember in Venice. There was no sense of colour, that costs money, remember; no sense of excitement. His money was entertaining enough. I only had two real friends in Venice, father's foolish servant Launcelot, and my future husband and saviour, Lorenzo. ...read more.

Middle

However at this time the now-famous Portia-and-Bassanio plot was unfurling, which involved my father because of the three thousand ducats he lent. I'm sure he wishes he had never done so, as he has paid very dearly, maybe too dearly. He has lost all he cares about: me, his money and his religion. It was his fault and he deserved to be taught a lesson, but now he has nothing, and I thought would be even more spiteful to me and all my Christian friends, who brought him to his knees. The whole casket plot seemed to me like a bit of a farce, as Portia was supposedly the most beautiful woman in the Mediterranean, yet her whole life would be decided by chance. No real father would have subjected his daughter to such an existance. And even if her father told her to do this, she could have rejected it. I think it may have been another wild plan of Portia's to become more famous. It was a shame that Bassanio had to be caught up in Portia's vicious little games. Although he is very reckless and foolish with money, he seems quite happy to be Portia's little toy for her to use. Life was as I had never experienced before in Belmont, particularly when Lorenzo and I were alone in the palace. ...read more.

Conclusion

Much of the guilt that I feel for my father was greatly lessened because of a letter he wrote to me about a year ago, the only one since I have been in Belmont. In it he said that he never was stingy before my mother died, and that this whole fiasco had shown him how bad he had become. He said that he had changed considerably and was less bitter towards Antonio and Bassanio, just wanting to be friends with them. I don't think he ever knew that the lawyer was Portia. They, of course, rejected this as a way of his getting at their money. But I think he really did want to change. He invited Lorenzo and I back to Venice to see his new house and lifestyle. I thought I would go when I was ready, but back then it would have brought back too many horrible memories. I now deeply regret not going, as my father died two months after writing that letter. Lorenzo and I now have a small but homely lodge just outside the grounds of Portia's palace, living quite happily off the money my father left us, as well as Lorenzo's own new merchant business. We now have a one-year-old baby boy called Antonio, after the man who has indirectly changed my life for the better. ...read more.

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