However, Shylock adamantly refuses any compensations and insists on the pound of flesh. However, as the play goes on, Shakespeare reveals to us his more personable side. Antonio parts with his gloves without a second thought, but Bassanio gives the ring only after much persuasion from Antonio, as earlier in the play he promised his wife never to lose, sell or give it. Is it not hard, Nerissa, that I cannot choose one nor refuse none? Shakespeare uses dramatic irony here to build tension and comedy. If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. Antonio takes the bond because of his love for Bassanio, and Shylock offers this draconian bond because of the many years of abuse he has endured at the hands of these anti-Semitic Christians. Antonio offers Shylock a semblance of mercy by allowing him to keep half his fortune and admitting in open court that a Christian stole Jessica.
This list of things he loves about her are undermined by the language that he uses to describe his love. One interpretation of the play's structure is that Shakespeare meant to contrast the mercy of the main Christian characters with the vengefulness of a Jew, who lacks the religious to comprehend mercy. In this way does Shakespeare usher the character Shylock into his play The Merchant of Venice, and here begins the greatest controversy that plagues this work. Bassanio warns his companion to exercise self-control, and the two leave for Belmont. Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders. He is a usurer, his business in life being to acquire property. This is another instance of anti-semitism.
Finally, of course, what we most remember about Portia, after the play is over, is her wit and her playfulness. The play depicts the stories of these two couples, integrating the theme of romance, at the same time showing how they overcame obstacles to be together. However, the audience might note that there is something vain about Bassanio's love: he has ventured to woo Portia because she is a rich lady and he is a deeply indebted man. This is a rather blatant confession of romantic love for Bassanio. Among his associates on the Rialto he has no friends. The purpose of this compact on Antonio's part is to assist Bassanio to follow a winning suit for Portia, - a favor that in the retribution of good deeds will come back a hundred fold, through Portia, to Antonio.
For his lack of mercy toward Shylock, Antonio is justly punished with enduring for a time both loss of property and apprehension of his own doom. Its time relation falls in the palmy days of Venetian greatness, before the enterprise of Da Gama had made the front door of Europe to open on the Atlantic ocean, leaving the Mediterranean seaports to be only unimportant side-entrances. I may neither choose who I would nor refuse who I dislike; so is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father. First she declines, but after he insists, Portia requests his ring and Antonio's gloves. And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? The play is thus emphatically not anti-Semitic; rather, because of the nature of Shylock's involvement in the love plots, it is about anti-Semitism.
Therefore, Shakespeare makes Antonio a quiet, dignified figure. As main characters in the play, enough coverage is given to Antonio and Shylock to distinguish clear differences and similarities between the two. In Judaism, mercy comes from personal atonement rather than divine mercy. He does not seem to understand the gravity of what has happened. Retrieved 9 October 2018 — via Google Books. Only when Portia first falls in love with Bassanio does she lose all self-control; once she regains control of herself, she takes matters in hand until the very end of the play, and there she displays total command of the situation. On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, Which he calls interest.
What is interesting about this test, is that Morocco did not choose this casket because of it's appearance as the scroll suggests, but because of what was written on the casket; he reasoned through his decision. Antonio is a merchant, whose chief aim is to enjoy his wealth and to make it assist others. With this broader basis the play takes on a more vital importance. He loans money without interest. Shylock's greed was especially apparent towards the beginning of the play, and statements like these help illustrate. Such defection Shakespeare never permits. Jews, often depicted as avaricious usurers, were hideously caricaturized with bright red wigs and hooked noses, and so were mainly associated with evil, greed and deception.
Literary Analysis of Pound of Flesh The themes or central ideas of this phrase include revenge, justice, and mercy. She becomes herself the mediator of the conflict, and the two are happily married. On the part of the Jew it is to get a hold over an enemy whom the Jew hates, and whom through legal means he intends to destroy. Shylock is the embodiment of justice. The effect of his character is to disrupt his own home. But Shakespeare, they forget, was a dramatist. Antonio and his friends take a journey through friendship, love, and hatred in an attempt to free him of his pound of flesh fate induced by Shylock.
When Portia first makes appearance in the play, she only gives off hints that indicate to her being determined to find herself a worthy suitor, nothing else. Antonio accepts the brutal terms of Shylock, but he is aware of the fact that Shylock despises him. Though originally marketed as a romance and a comedy, The Merchant of Venice is read today as a controversial example of anti-Semitism. If you prick us, do we not bleed? At first, she seems to support Shylock; since he has a signed contract from Antonio, the law is on his side. Typology sought to resolve the problem of broken continuity between Old and New Testaments by positioning the Old Testament the Old Law as the foreshadowing of its own fulfillment. In the Christian civilization in which Shylock finds himself he cannot combine with those whom he meets.