Han Xian He
Zhang Yu Chen
Table of Contents
This is a preview of the whole essay
Antonio & Bassanio: They are good friends. Antonio has always help Bassanio in any way he can, he would even risk is own life for Bassanio’s sake. This time, Bassanio needs money in order to marry Portia, Antonio helps him by getting money from a money loaner. Antonio puts his life on the line to get the money for Bassanio.
Antonio & Shylock: Shylock is a Jew money loaner who charges interest. He is also the person that Antonio dislikes. Shylock is the money loaner which loaned the money to Antonio since Antonio’s money is at sea. Antonio owns Shylock a pound of flesh if Antonio does not return the money in the given time.
Bassanio & Portia: Bassanio and Portia love each other. Portia is a rich lady which a lot of people love, including Bassanio, but, she only loves Bassanio and wants to be his wife. Bassanio used the money that Antonio got to travel to where Portia is to ask her to marry him.
Shylock & Jessica: They are in the same family. Shylock is Jessica’s father and Jessica is Shylock’s daughter. Although they are in the same family, Shylock does not really care about Jessica and Jessica hates Shylock as her father.
Wealth vs Human Relationships
The theme of Wealth versus Human Relationships is very apparent in Act 2 of the Merchant of Venice. A notable example of this theme is when Shylock runs down the streets lamenting his ducats when his daughter, Jessica, runs away from him after stealing his money. In doing so, he appears to be more in agony over the loss of his ducats rather than the loss of his daughter. This shows that Shylock may value money over certain human relationships, and reveals the dark side of him. This also worsens the reader/audience’s already bad impression of Shylock in Act 1.
Appearance & Reality
One of the themes present most prominently in Scene 2 is Appearance and Reality. For example, Lorenzo tricks his father, Old Gobbo, into believing that he is a young gentleman and not his son. This was achieved by exploiting the fact that Old Gobbo was sand-blind. The theme of appearance and reality is seen here through the fact that although Lorenzo appears to Old Gobbo to be a young gentleman, Lorenzo is in fact Old Gobbo’s son. Another good example of this theme would be when the Prince of Morocco selects a casket for his chance to marry Portia. After he chooses the wrong casket, the gold one, he finds a message in the casket saying that all that glitters is not gold. This portrays the theme of appearance and reality. Also, the theme is once more expressed in the part of the play when Shylock seems to fail to see the value of human relationships when he runs along the streets, lamenting his ducats after his daughter stole his money and ran away with a Christian, hinting that he values his money more than his daughter. However, we see later on that he does have human feelings, and does value relationships. This can be seen from the fact that he was deeply saddened when he heard that his daughter had sold the ring that his deceased wife had given him, in exchange for a monkey.