Theme of Love and Hate in 'The Merchant of Venice', by William Shakespeare
Airfare Daily Deals eCigarettes Eyeglasses Hotels Jewelry Online Backup Online Dating Online Printing Online Tickets Skin Care Textbook Rentals Vitamins Web Hosting Weddings
Find thousands of shopping-related forums
SEARCH

Theme of Love and Hate in 'The Merchant of Venice', by William Shakespeare

The Merchant of Venice is a play both about love and hate. Shakespeare projects these emotions through the Jewish and Christian characters and the settings for the play, Belmont and Venice. Love and Hate are the backbone of the play and collectively they form the dominant theme. Shakespeare thus reveals himself as a master of human emotion
William Shakespeare wrote the play "The Merchant of Venice" during the years 1596-98. Shakespeare was not a simple dramatist, but a man who presented human emotions in a subtle way. His play the '˜Merchant of Venice'™ covers the entire gamut of human emotions. He wrote about love, revenge, evil and friendship. The Plot The story is about, Shylock a wealthy Jew, who lends 3000 ducats to his enemy Antonio. Shakespeare creates an enticing tale. Antonio is rich, yet he is forced to borrow money from Shylock as all his money is locked up in ships which are far away. Antonio for this reason has to take a loan from Shylock as he wants to help out his friend, Bassanio. Antonia is unaware that this simple act could lead to his death. In this play Shakespeare creates a big difference between the Christian characters and Shylock, who is a Jew. The Character of Shylock Shylock is one of the few characters created by Shakespeare who personifies evil. He is a malevolent and blood-thirsty old man. He is consumed with hatred towards his enemies. He is also deaf to every appeal of humanity. He is the antagonist of Antonio, who is naive and good. Antonio is the protagonist; who has to prepare his defence against the "œdevil" Shylock. The Theme of Love The other dominant theme of Shakespeare's play is love. Among the various themes presented in the Merchant of Venice the most important is the nature of true love. Shakespeare presents love in all its dimensions. The friendship love is shown through Antonio towards Bassanio, romantic love is shown through Portia and Bassanio and self love is shown through Shylock. But overall the theme of romantic love runs as an undercurrent in the play. Love of Portia Portia is rich but lonely and the secret to her heart is the casket. Shakespeare shows the reader how different people view true love through a variety of suitors and caskets. He also shows what is most important to the suitors and in some cases it is not true love, but material things and outward appearance. The first suitor who tries to win Portia's hand is the Prince of Morocco. Shakespeare presents him as an arrogant man concerned with outward appearance, and not true love. Portia falls in love with Bassanio and shows her love by hinting which casket has the key to her lonely heart. Shakespeare also shows that love transcends all boundaries when the daughter of Shylock Jessica elopes with Lorenzio, a Christian. Shakespeare and Female Characters When William Shakespeare wrote, the Merchant of Venice, he created a female character that has a very great influence on the play. In the Merchant of Venice, Portia is a woman that saves the life of a man using her head. A similar character is Beatrice, from ˜Much Ado about Nothing™. Both of these ladies add to the main theme of the plays because of their brains, and smart remarks, as well as showering love and care. Last Word The Merchant of Venice is a play both about love and hate. Shakespeare projects these emotions through the Jewish and Christian characters and the settings for the play, Belmont and Venice. Love and Hate are the backbone of the play and collectively they form the dominant theme.

Need an answer?
Get insightful answers from community-recommended
experts
in Literature & Classics on Knoji.
Would you recommend this author as an expert in Literature & Classics?
You have 0 recommendations remaining to grant today.
Comments (0)
ARTICLE DETAILS
RELATED ARTICLES
ARTICLE KEYWORDS