• 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 - Critical Evaluation.

Extracts from this document...


The Merchant of Venice Critical Evaluation By Scott Stewart The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is a play that demonstrates the triumph of love and friendship over greed. Greed and revenge were the main elements in a lethal compound of disaster for Shylock the Jew. Shylock was far-and-away the most interesting character in the play, because during it I hated him, liked him and felt pity for him. Throughout the play he always had a sense of greed about him, whether it was at the Rialto charging high interest rates or whether it was when he was always putting the well being of his money before that of his daughter. An example of this greed is shown just after Jessica had eloped with Lorenzo and Tubal was sent to look for them in Genoa & Frankfort by Shylock. When Tubal said that he could not find them, Shylock remarked "I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear, and the ducats in her coffin." ...read more.


The Prince of Morocco firstly choose the gold casket and got a death skull. The Prince of Aragon then choose silver and received a picture of an idiot. And finally Bassanio made his choice. But not without controversy. First Portia begged of Bassanio to spend time with her before he made his choice, and when he refused she played music for him with each of the rhymes of the song rhyming with lead, hence providing a small hint. Grationo's fate was also on the line of the lead casket for if Bassanio choose correctly Grationo got to marry Portia's maid Nerrisa. Bassanio finally choose correctly and married Portia. Grationo and Nerrisa soon followed suit and so eventually "Both Jason's won their fleece" Lorenzo and Jessica also got together, but in order for them to be with each other Jessica had to escape from her father Shylock. Jessica did not just simply want to run away, but insists on stealing large amounts of her father's money, gold and jewels in the process. ...read more.


Before the trial Antonio's desire was not to keep his life but "Pray God Bassanio come to see me pay his debt, and then I care not." The relationship between Antonio and Bassanio really becomes clear in this section. Antonio literally loves Bassanio and is willing to die for him. This starts to create a conflict between Portia and Antonio. So Portia tests this so called relationship by demanding that he gives her back the ring that he swore he would never part with until he died. But the fact that Bassanio parts with the ring for Antonio's sake suggests that he chose Antonio over Portia. Since this cannot be allowed in the following scene Portia uses the ring trick to force Bassanio to give up Antonio by making him feel untrustworthy and guilty for giving her ring away for a man's sake. The Merchant of Venice would have had a happy ending if it were not for Antonio and Shylock who both remained outsiders. Antonio's final defeat is when Portia hands him his money and his ships at the end, basically telling him to return to Venice and forget about Bassanio and leave them both to live happily ever after. ...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- Critical Evaluation

    He was once even referred to as "the devil". The fact that all of the play's characters see Shylock as a villain makes it difficult for the reader to see him as anything else. Though the play does show an apparent change in Shylock from villain to victim it is still uncertain what he actually is.

  2. 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

  1. Why does Bassanio choose correctly?

    "What demi-god hath come so near creation". Bassanio's love is also presented as, even though he admits that the portrait is beautifully painted, it fails to do her justice. "Yet look how far the substance of my praise doth wrong this shadow in underprizing it, so far this shadow doth limp behind the substance".

  2. The Merchant of Venice.

    Shylock tells his daughter Jessica to stay at home and to do her best to ignore the Christians' revelry which Shylock despises. Before his house, Shylock happens upon Launcelot who is returning Lorenzo's message to Jessica that Lorenzo will soon come for her.

  1. Shylock Critical Essay

    while, trying to decide if there is anything in it for him. He also shows the nasty side to his personality when he makes certain comments about Antonio's ships that would imply he would like harm to come to them.

  2. Women Struggling To Escape As A Theme In Cousin Kate , A Willing Mistress ...

    She directly opposes her father?s will to follow the saying (line 52, Act 2, scene 5, Page 3) ?Fast bind, fast find? - this saying means lock up everything securely and everything will be safe when you return - and runs away, taking her father?s money with her.

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