• 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 portrays the triumph of human relationships over merchant capitalism. Discuss.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Ian Pang 2.13 Literature Major Assignment 1 The Merchant of Venice portrays the triumph of human relationships over merchant capitalism. Discuss. The power of love in the Merchant Of Venice is shown to be noble and righteous. Love is selfless, and it involves self-sacrifice, sharing, humility and devotion. Portia and Bassanio are typical examples of this type of ideal love. But as the relationship between Portia and Bassanio carry on, the relationships between Gratanio and Nerissa, and Jessica and Lorenzo emerge, but only to add to the mood between the love of Portia and Bassanio. There are also many references made to the love of money in the play, love is spoken in commercial terms by many characters, including Portia and Bassanio. The contrast between generosity and possessiveness of human relationships is the main issue in the play. The court case also demonstrates this triumph of relationships over capitalism. In act 3 scene 2, a perfect example of love over money, Bassanio choses the lead casket even though it stated "Who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath" which means that Bassanio was actually willing to sacrifice himself for Portia, and revealing his love for her. ...read more.

Middle

It is twice blest; It blesseth him that gives him and him that takes. 'Tis mightiest in the mightiest; it becomes The throned monarch better than his crown. This extract from act 4 scene 1 ;184 - 188; shows Portia trying to persuade the judge to have mercy, and this is also illustrated in the line 'The throned monarch better than his crown'. The throned monarch, who represents human spirit, is better than his crown, which is again monetary value, signifying the merchant capitalism. This is again done in the court scene, where human relationship ultimately triumphs over merchant capitalism. Courtship and romance are shown as fitting preludes to love and eventual marriage between Bassanio and Portia and between Gratanio and Nerissa. Whilst Antonio can share the love of friendship, the end of the play makes us aware that he can never have the smallest fraction of the joy that marriage brings. Money itself is not and evil. It is the harmful love of money, which stultifies and corrupts. ...read more.

Conclusion

The court scene is one of the key parts of the story that demonstrates this victory of relationships over merchant capitalism. Shylock in the court case reaches a deficit and ultimately loses justice to human relationship. Portia's speech was also cunning yet compelling toward the judge and the audience, which asks for mercy, which she describes as "the gentle rain which droppeth from heaven". The story is also a revelation of the triumph of human relationships over merchant capitalism as a result of the order of events in The Merchant Of Venice. In the beginning, there is this conflict between Belmont, signifying human relationships, and where relationships are developed, and Venice, representing merchant capitalism, many issues of money are raised. At the very end, relationships flourish and the love between Bassanio and Portia, Gratiano and Nerissa and Lorenzo and Jessica . However, merchant capitalism, is overcome and slowly ebbs away from the whole scene. It is human relationships that pass the test of time, while merchant capitalism and the craving for wealth would be one to come to a bitter end. ...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 ...

    better than meanness yet generosity is not the word for a Jessica who exchanged a turquoise ring for a monkey and spent "four score ducats in a night". Life with Shylock must have been grim but the ring Jessica steals and then exchanges for monkey was the ring her mother gave to her father.

  2. Background to the "Merchant of Venice."

    As the duke would have entered; audience know that the duke is important and he calls upon these people to enter and we see no sign of Shylock. So is this the duke already showing that he's biased? As the duke first speaks to Antonio he says: I am sorry for thee, (line 3)

  1. Friendship in The Merchant Of Venice

    In this scene Bassanio goes to Shylock to borrow the money. Shylock takes his time to reply to Bassanio whether he will or will not give the money to Bassanio. Shylock then talks to Antonio. Just before talking to Antonio he says what he feels about him.

  2. Free essay

    Belmont is a place of youth, happiness and concord, Venice a place of age, ...

    He represents the age, melancholy and strife in Venice. His hatred for Christians, causes the conflict in the court. "I bear Antonio, that I follow thus A losing suit against him. Are you answer'd?" Also Shakespeare uses Shylock's knife and scales to add symbolic meaning as well as drama.

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

    It in its self is very powerful and politically correct. "hath not a Jew eyes?...do we not bleed?...do we not laugh?...do we not die?" suggest that Shylock then takes a very serious manner to the racial war that is on going between Jews and Christians in Venice in general.

  2. The Merchant of Venice is a racist play - Discuss

    he did not repay Shylock on time, even though Antonio had not read and considered it carefully "..lend it rather tho thine enemy; Who if he break, thou may'st with better face Exact the penalty". This shows that Antonio did not fully believe that he would have to pay the forfeit.

  1. How does Shakespeare portray character and relationships in Act 1 Scene 3 of 'The ...

    Bassanio mentions that Portia is rich before he says that she is beautiful, "In Belmont is a lady richly left". He seems as interested in her wealth, as in her. Several of the references he uses to describe her are related to wealth, e.g.

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

    'And here choose I'... 'Joy be the consequence!' Portia is not worried that Bassanio does not have as much money as she does and so she believes that love is more important than money. Nerissa and Gratiano are to in love. Friendship is another strong theme in the Merchant of Venice.

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