Appearance And Reality In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

1138 Words5 Pages
Deception, appearance and reality in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice are a wonderful web that is woven around the quest for justice. Riddled with multiple storylines running parallel to that of the debt, all of the plots and themes are best brought together by Shakespeare’s exploration of the themes of appearance and reality, as the characters and their deception create a complexly interwoven plot. Shakespeare explores the themes of appearance and reality through events in the play such as masques, women cross- dressing, the casket scheme, deception between characters as well as prejudice. The masque allows for an exploration into the themes of appearance and reality as it is held as a ruse for Lorenzo to run away with Jessica in the darkness of the night. Lorenzo’s attempt to elope with Jessica is in lieu of the fact that she is a Jew and her father, Shylock, would not approve of her marriage to a Christian. In addition to that, Shylock’s previous warnings to Jessica display a sense of wariness of Christians, for he tells her to “lock up my doors…clamber not you up to the casements then…. To gaze on Christian fools...let not the sound of shallow fopp’ry enter my sober house.” with regard to the masque being held. Jessica dutifully obeys her father, all the while, camouflaging her deceitful intent to run away with his money and the very Christians that he so detests. To run away at night, with the masque in full swing, Jessica must conceal her identity by dressing up
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