The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant Of Venice

This play, written by William Shakespeare in the 1590's, is considered one of Shakespeare's more comedic plays. This play is better remembered for it's dramatic scenes, the sly character named Shylock, and the famous ''Hath not a Jew eyes"'' speach.

''I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano;A stage where every man must play a part,And mine is a sad one.''

Characters and Setting

There are many unforgetable characters in this play. There is Antonio, the main character, who is a kind and generous man. He is a middle-aged bachelor and merchant. Bassanio is an aristocratic man in love with Portia, and Portia is a beautiful lady. Shylock is a Jewish moneylender. The play is set in Venice, Italy in the year 1598. This play was first publised in 1600.

In honor of this beautiful play, Michael Radford decided to make a motion picture (film) in 2004. Starring Al Picino as Shylock, Lynn Collins as Portia, Jeremy Irons as Antonio and Joseph Fiennes as Bassanino. It is 138 minutes long, and has been rated eight out of ten stars.


The merchant of venice has a few different themes.Love:Portia and Bassiano love each other, but Portia is having an arranged marriage with a man who picks the right casket. There's a casket of gold, silver or lead.When Bassiano has his turn to choose, he picks lead, he is right and they become happily married. Bassiano and Antonio love each other, but unlike Portia and Bassiano, Antonio and him love each other as friends, and would do anything for each other. Like how Antonio borrows more money from Shylock just so Bassiano has the chance to pick a casket.

Another theme is Justice: Shylock is Jewish and he feels as though everyone is judging him for it, he feels as though people are taking the fact that he is jewish and abusing that knowledge. Shylock is furious with Antonio, a christian, who keeps borrowing money, and never giving any of it back. So he threatens to take a piece of his flesh if he doesn't return the money he has stolen.


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