The Merchant of Venice as a Romantic Comedy - Critical Analysis

1690 Words Sep 25th, 1999 7 Pages
We can trace the origin of Comedy to Dionysis- the Greek God of Wine who was hilarious, satirical and irreverent in spirit. Ben Jonson in ‘Volpone' (1605) that is considered to be the greatest comedy in English epitomized the classical spirit of comedy. Shakespeare was aware of the classical tradition by the chose to follow the Roman tradition of Petrarch and Boccacio.
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<br>Shakespeare's early comedies were classical in spirit but the later ones were more emotional, fanciful and humorous. ‘The Merchant of Venice' falls between there two categories. It leads the list of mature comedies; has more Romantic characteristics than classical. It is also one of the earliest productions of the middle period. In this play Shakespeare seems to
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However one might argue that Lorenzo right from the start talks about "how I shall take her from her father's house, What gold and jewels she is furnished with", while Bassanio talks about a "fair lady richly left" to whom he "swore a secret pilgrimage". Later his speech does raise a lot of questions when he says that plainness moves him and we are all ware of his love for show. The impulse of true loves moves his to choose the lead casket! But we should not use too much of logic and accept it as part of a ‘Romantic Comedy.' ‘The Merchant of Venice' is informed with the idea of love's wealth and how love is about giving away and not shutting and rejecting.
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<br>There was also a predominance of young people in Romantic comedies and many pairs of lovers and multiple marriages were present. Most of them were set on a foreign canvas and dealt with either business or domestic affairs of the Merchant class. Venice was probably an evocative name for the Elizabethans and was a source of inspiration. Shakespeare presented a Venice that lived in the Elizabethan mind and it was a city of rich merchants and gentlemen in silks. And then he gave the picturesque environment of Belmont and the starlit garden at the play's end. The exotic locations could also be a reflection of the tremendous development that was talking place in navigation and exploration during the European Renaissance.
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<br>The Shakespearean ‘Romantic' heroine combined a heart of exquisite sensibility
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