Discuss the Tension and Opposition in "The Merchant of Venice"
In the Merchant of Venice there are many themes. The main theme within the play is the rivalry between Shylock, a Jewish loan shark, and Antonio, a Venetian merchant. Other themes that are present in the play are the mutual hatred shared between the Christians sand the Jews and the love that can prosper, for example Bassanio and Portia.
One of the biggest themes running through this play is the competition for Portia's hand in marriage, a competition set up by Portia's father. With love, tragedy, hate and comedy and realism "The Merchant of Venice" is an ever changing story filled with tension and opposition. The tension that is present, is brought about by the hatred between the Christian and the Jews of Venice this hatred is further highlighted by Shylocks and Antonio and the fight for their, with Shylock showing no mercy towards the Christians.
The theme of opposition is also present in the feelings of love and hate, comedy and tragedy, Jews and Christians and justice and mercy. The greatest theme in this play is comedy and tragedy, both are complete opposites but work together with great effect.
The trial scene is a prime example of tension and tragedy as Shylock offers no mercy to the Christians.
"The pound of flesh which I demand of him,
Is dearly brought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.
If you deny me I fie upon your law,
There is no force in the decree's of Venice"
The lines above follow the question from the Duke who asks:
"How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?"
This adds greatly to the tension in the scene. The tension is however soon turns to comedy, as the...