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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare - explain how Shakespeare creates an impact on the audience

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  • Essay length: 2870 words
  • Submitted: 13/01/2005
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GCSE The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was written between 1594-1596.It is classified as a comedy; it is also a work of good triumphs over evil, but serious themes are examined and some issues remain unresolved.

In the play Shakespeare has woven together plots from different books. Shakespeare gets the bond story and the story of the ring from an Italian novella, LL Pecorone, in a collection put together by Sir Geovanni and published in 1558. The story of the bond occurs in several sources including the Gesta Romanorum.

In the modern post- Holocaust 20th century, the problem of Anti-Semitism had been shown; Shakespeare described Shylock as a stereotypical character of a cruel, money-obsessed Jew. The play makes generalisation about Jewish people being the same and using Shylock as a representative.

The play revolves around two people; Shylock who is a vengeful, greedy money lender and a Jew, in contrast with Antonio, a generous, faithful Venetian merchant who is a Christian. There are two plots, the pound of flesh trial between Shylock and Antonio and the three-casket test involving Bassanio and Portia.

Antonio is the character who is involved in

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