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

The Merchant of Venice

Extracts from this document...


The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice is a play full of different relationships ranging from love and friendships to hate. These relationships are affected by gossips and rumours, which due to the close community are flying around all the time. Money is involved in everything in the play; it is at the centre of work, relationships and rumours. It also holds together and makes the main tension of the play. There are many relationships in The Merchant of Venice. The most common one is friendship. The friendships cross sex, age, race, and class boundaries. And range from very strong ones such as between Antonio and Bassanio to mere acquantancies such as the one between Solanio and Antonio. There are many friendships, which link all of the characters together. The one between Bassanio and Antonio is the most obvious, and you feel that they are so close, they could be brothers. This is how Antonio was described when Bassanio left to find Portia. "And even there, his eye being big with tears, turning his face he put his hand behind him" But even in such a close relationship, money is still involved, as Antonio lends money to Bassanio, which has to be paid back. ...read more.


"Let him look to his bond... He was wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy, let him look to his bond". From this you can see that Shylock is very stressed with Antonio, and it seems that for the first time he seriously considers the "bond". We are left wondering if he would be so angry if it was not for the gossiping and rumours that abound. Shylock is an interesting character, because you seem to think that he is bad, but there is also a distinct feeling that his bad traits are forced upon him by his situations. Shakespeare has a great talent for making the reader change sides and feel many different things for one character. We naturally always assume there is a "good" person and a "bad" person in plays. In the merchant of Venice, it is easy to assume that Antonio is the good man and Shylock the villain. If you look deeper though, there are many suggestions otherwise. "He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million... heated mine enemies, and what is his reason? I am a Jew..." In this passage you really feel sorry for Shylock and feel that Antonio has been unfair in his assessment. ...read more.


Even though they got married, I believe they could not possibly have the same love as Jessica and Lorenzo. Despite the proposal of love from Bassanio to Portia, when asked to confess the truth, "Confess and love had been the very sum of my confession". I do not believe you can practice love at first sight, so even though Portia promises him many ducats to help Antonio, this shows no real commitment, just wealth and generosity. In this play I feel that everything has a price tag, and largely human relationships can be bought and sold for financial gain. Friends, enemies, lovers, all evolve through financial activities. Venice back in Shakespeare's day was a busy, bustling, buoyant commercial centre. Change was inevitable with people coming and going, money swapping hands, and huge risks involved in day to day life. Merchants chanced their fortunes being tied up in the ships and the goods they carried. A constant uncertainty being the fear that they might lose everything if the ships ran into stormy seas or rocks. Despite much talk and action revolving around finance I still feel that passion manages to emerge in the form of love, hatred, friendship and selflessness. These act to enrich the lives of the characters and to add depth to the story line. ...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 Merchant of Venice is a racist play - Discuss

    Antonio seems to like Bassanio differently to his other friends and he seems to love him and want to see no harm done to him. Antonio has lots of friends as you can see at the beginning of the play when they are all concerned about him and this gives

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

    Thankfully for her, they all chose the wrong casket. For choosing the wrong casket each suitor was asked to go home, never to return. By even carrying out the casket test Portia is showing her love and faith in her father, letting people know that she wants to carry out her father's will.

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

    This conveys and suggests a sign of racism. The play confirms, "my ships have all miscarried, my bond to the Jew is forfeit". Antonio has to face up to the agreement. However when Shylock learned about the state of Antonio's ships, which had not returned he happily declared, "I'm very glad of it, I'll plague him.

  2. English - Merchant of Vencice

    They call him a 'dog' and describe his actions as 'strange' and 'outrageous'. They recount Shylock's speech exclaiming his great upset over his daughters disappearance and his loss of money. 'My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian!

  1. The Merchant of Venice.

    has a daughter marriageable, which does not imply that he is old at all. It would be too much to say that his body should be made crooked and deformed to answer to his mind, which is bowed down and warped with prejudices and passion.

  2. The Merchant of Venice

    As soon as the scene starts Bassanio and Shylock are involved in a tense conversation. By it being tense we can see that they both hate each other. There has to be two parties for racism to happen. Shylocks repetition of 'Well' shows that he is trying to annoy Bassanio.

  1. How important are bonds and promises in ‘The Merchant of Venice’?

    Further into 'The Merchant of Venice' the conflict between Antonio and Shylock becomes evident. This plays an important role in the exchange of money as Antonio mentions that it is better to lend money to an enemy rather than a friend.

  2. Friends, Enemies, Lovers, Gossip, Rumour and Money. How and in what ways are these ...

    Antonio does not disregard Solanio's comment but explains that his friendship is also significant. 'Your worth is very dear in my regard'. Bassanio and Antonio's friendship is also emphasised by Lorenzo's speech, 'My lord since you have found Antonio, we too will leave you'.

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