Mythological Criticism on "The Merchant of Venice".

Essay by HomeworksucksHigh School, 10th gradeA-, September 2005

download word file, 3 pages 5.0 1 reviews

Downloaded 33 times

Mythological Criticism can be used to connect a novel's themes, characters, or plot to legends and myths throughout history. In "The Merchant of Venice", religion, the three caskets, and the pound of flesh are the main ideas that can be used with mythological criticism to help show connections with other legends or stories that have a similar meaning.

The main connection in the novel portrays to the three caskets that Portia uses to

select her future husband. This symbolism can be connected to other myths and legends.

Sigmund Freud also connected "The Merchant of Venice" to the ageless tale of Gesta Romanorum. In this tale, a girl has to make the same choice to win the Emperor's son. In

"The Merchant of Venice", each casket had its own meaning, showing the personality of

each suitor. An example would be the Prince of Morocco, who chooses the gold casket.

The ego of the Prince does the choosing and the ego chooses the casket that completely

reflects the Prince's true personality.

Religion becomes a major factor in "The Merchant of Venice", and history has many

references to religion. Many novels and myths use religion as a characteristic or a conflict

in the plots, including Shakespeare's novel. The story of Jesus seems to be a popular

connection to "The Merchant of Venice". Knowing that Jesus was crucified by the Jews

because He claimed that He was the Son of God, the reader can better understand the

view coming from Shylock .The only problem that occurs is that most readers don't want

to include the reason that Shylock prosecutes Antonio because of his religion. In the play,

though, Shylock shows his displeasure of the Christian religion, and quoted as saying: "I

will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you,