Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Literary Terms in The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice Most definitely qualifies as a Comedy. It has a happy ending in that all three couples are happily together. Through their humorous trials each of the couples are brought closer and their commitments are deepened

Well, while I live I’ll keep no other thing,
So sore as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring.


And Shylock, the “bad guy”, is punished and is not allowed to take out his rage on anyone. He is left in poverty. Jessica is rid of him and Antonio is free from his cruelty.

The Merchant of Venice also seems to focus on human limitation rather than human greatness. Everyone makes some unwise, yet purely human decisions, save perhaps Portia and Nerissa, who seem to keep their wits about them throughout the entire play.

-We could say that their decision to trick their husbands into giving away their rings was rather unthoughtful but it proved to work out for the best in the end. It adds a wonderful bit of amusement to some more serious matters

-Antonio foolishly makes an agreement including a pound of his flesh, though it is made out of love for his dear friend Bassanio.

-Bassanio decides to give up his ring given him by his wife, though it is out of the most nature response to the events-gratefulness.

-Gratiano also decided to give up his ring, but his choice seemed more frivolous to me as he was not endebted for the saving of his dear friends life.

Which type of comedy does this play represent?

All of the characters besides Shylock and the full-of-themselves suitors are very likable and relatable to.

I have stated already the happy ending of peace and joy so I will not depict it again. Suffice it to say, the characters are rescued from their various plights and the play ends with all in good fortune, save the cruel Shylock. Thus I would conclude that The Merchant of Venice should be considered a Romantic Comedy.
Although I do see evidence of Scornful Comedy in the Merchant of Venice, human folly is not the main focus. I would say it is more of an undertone in the message as the Christians and the Jews both demonstrate hyprocracy, the suitors exibit vanity, and all the characters fall victim to some form of human folly.