Merchant Of Venice Tragedy Analysis

Decent Essays

Tragedy or Comedy, that is the question?

The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, is more tragic than Comedic in many ways. Throughout the play we discover cycles of depression, hatred, and finally revenge that doesn’t quite happen as planned and backfires tragically.

In the beginning of the play we are introduced to Antonio who is sad for no obvious reason. This first sentence “In sooth I know not why I am so sad.” (A 1,S 1, L 1). This creates an immediate somber tone and makes the person wonder or desire to figure out why this character is sad. His friends try to cheer him up and make attempts to help him discover why he is sad. We go on to find out that this character is not necessarily a bad person but more a product of his noble upbringing and his only obvious source of joy is his wealth and a particular friend. This only source of joy actually causes future stress and loss.

Antonio, for the love of his friend, is willing to get a loan from his discovered enemy, in order to give the money to Bassanio (his beloved friend), so that he can court the beautiful Portia. This loan has some eccentric conditions in the binding agreement that includes Shylock taking a pound of flesh from Antonio if he cannot pay him back in 3 months time. This sounds pretty drastic and causes fret and concern for Antonio and Bassanio. The loan is riding on Antonio’s prospects on ships that are sailing across dangerous seas. Antonio’s

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