Characterisation of the main characters of the play "The Merchant Of Venice" as they unfold themselves in Act1

Essay by apurvadegreatJunior High, 9th grade November 2014

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The merchant of Venice is a romantic comedy written by the world renowned playwright William Shakespeare. Also known as "Bard of Avon" the writer has written many plays on varied themes. He was successful as writer as he introduced many new styles of writing and his 14 line poems reached a distinguished mark of popularity that a new form writing, "Sonnets" was developed. Use of soliloquies, asides, pun, dramatic scenes and exemplary characterization make Shakespeare's plays memorable ones and they reverberate in our heart forever. Written in the year 1596 during the Elizabethan era The Merchant of Venice highlights the themes and the mindsets of people during those times. One of the major themes of the play is Anti Semitism which helps in the formation of the plot of the play. Christians in those times were prejudiced towards the Jews. Jews were insulted and cheated in every terms of life.

Another theme is the role of women. The Venetian women were not respected they were devoid of their rights and remained under the command of man as seen in Act i scene ii how Portia's will is curbed by her father's "will".

The play starts in the trade capital of Europe, Venice. Antonio and his friends are introduced to the readers. Bassanio the noble "kinsman" of Antonio comes up with a plan to woo the fair lady Portia, an heiress of Belmont. In order to marry the fair lady Bassanio needs some cash urgently which Antonio would have furnished him with if all his cash was not involved in trading outside Venice. For this both of them try to fetch a loan from the market for which Antonio agrees to be a guarantee. Now comes in the most celebrated villain from centuries. Shylock, the vindictive Jewish moneylender agrees...