Characteristics Of Tragedy In The Merchant Of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is often called a problem play because it does not neatly fit the characteristics of either a comedy or a tragedy. A tragedy is a drama or literary work in which one of the main characters is brought to ruin or suffer extreme sorrow, especially as a tragic flaw or moral weakness. The Merchant of Venice has a character that is brought to ruin. It also has many other characteristics of a tragedy. Most of the events being serious is one of the characteristics of a tragedy. A comedy is any discourse or work that is intended to be humorous or to amuse by inducing laughter or it could simply be a story with a happy ending. The Merchant of Venice is not funny. The Merchant of Venice is more of a…show more content…
Shylock must do these things because he attempted to murder a citizen of Venice. Shylock is not a citizen because he is a Jew so this means he gets more punishments. This is a tragedy for Shylock because he hates Christians and he wanted to get revenge on them. The tragic flaw was that he wanted to get revenge on Antonio but it backfired on him. This part of the play is tragic also because Antonio was supposed to lose one pound of his flesh. Antonio could have been the character that was brought to ruin. If this was a comedy play then there wouldn’t be any of these tragic scenes in the play. The third reason why The Merchant of Venice is a tragedy is that the events in the play were serious and tragic. They weren’t happy or comical. There were many tragic events in the story. When Antonio finds out his ships crashed it was tragic. This what Tubal says when he talks about Antonio’s ships: “Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis” (Shakespeare 3.1.95). This means his ship crashed in Tripolis. This is tragic for Antonio because he needs money from the ships to pay Shylock. Another tragic scene is in the courtroom when Shylock is forced to become a Christian. This is tragic for Shylock because he dislikes the Christians. The play is serious. Shylock’s desire
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