Merchant Of Venice Critical Analysis

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In defiance of Shakespeare’s typical comedies, the most dramatically intense love relationship in The Merchant of Venice is not one between a man and a woman, but between two men: Antonio, the merchant of Venice, and his friend Bassanio. It is unquestionable that Shakespeare thought long and hard about the issues that he raises in his works and projects an equally wide range of attitudes to both love and sex through the situations and characters of his plays. The Merchant of Venice, as stated, breaks from the typical mode, yet remains a member of Shakespeare’s romantic comedies: romantic in the sense that it deals in an ideal view of love which places the lover on a pedestal—known as petrarchan love—in which the lover feels an idealized, spiritualized…show more content…
This is a very cold welcome. Take particular note of what is omitted here. Shakespeare is perfectly capable of writing effusive greetings for his characters, of finding words to express their warm feelings. This is as cold as it gets short of “I do not want him in my house.” It is not courtesy to “scant courtesy.” Portia gives the absolute minimum welcome required. “I am the unhappy subject of these quarrels” (V: i?: 238?). It takes Antonio almost a hundred lines to finally speak up, last speaking at line 138. In a stage performance one can imagine him attempting to insert himself into the heated debate only to be talked through. His statement is almost an admission that his heavy appraisal he had of friendship is causing the problem to these marriages. Portia replies, “Sir, grieve not you; You are welcome not-withstanding” (V: i: 2708), Essentially telling Antonio to back off as she must show her husband up. Antonio is defeated when Portia requires of him to perform a second “marriage” of her to Bassanio. Portia knows that her marriage has been incomplete as long as Bassanio’s loyalty to Antonio remains. Antonio preferred death than ever to see this moment; he wanted to die a martyr to his friendship, sending Bassanio off to a marriage where he would always remember his
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