THE MERCHANT OF VENICE RIASSUNTO
The merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare. PLOT: Bassanio, a noble but poor Venetian, ask his friend Antonio, a rich merchant, for 3.000 ducats; but Antonio, as he spent all this money for his ships which are now in the sea, borrows the necessary to help Bassanio, from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, Shylock demands as penality one pound of flesh from Antonio’s body.Meanwhile Lorenzo a friend of Bassanio and Antonio, escapes with Shylock’s daughter. Jessica.
Then usurer in time: for this reason Shylock claims his penality in a court of justice, where Portia is disguised as a lower. For Sawing Antonio, Portia admits the validity of Shylock’s claim, but states that he must out off his pound of flesh without spilling a drop of blood on he will be killed. In this way Shylock is forced to ask to mercy: the lawer permits him to live, but only if he becomes a Christian. At the end Antonio receives a letter which informs him that his ships are safe.
RIASSUNTO MERCANTE DI VENEZIA
FEATURES: two narrative threads
- winning of the beloved by passing a test
- demanding of a pound of flesh
the plot is a mixture of references to the fable story and courtly romance.
THE MERCHANT OF VENICE THEMES
Most important themes in the play are:
1- LAW: the idea that law is equally applied to men
2- THE JEW: almost all the play turns around the figure of Shylock the jew: we can consider Shylock a double characters: on the one hand he is presented as the play’s villain because of his dark job of usurer; but one the other hand emerges a tragic sense of phatos during his speeches: is clearly evident the intention of Shakespeare to put in evidence the right claim of revenge of Jewish people, but as he have to please the Christian audience he turns all our sympathies against Shylock presenting him like a dark and brutal man.
3- Portia is a very strong woman, she can be considered as the heroine of the play who saves Antonio; her intelligence and quick humor make her one of Shakespeare’s strongest heroines