The Principal Conflict Of Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

2081 WordsFeb 9, 20179 Pages
The principal conflict of The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is man versus man between the title character Antonio the merchant and the Jewish moneylender Shylock. Shylock despises Antonio for his cruel treatment toward him and Antonio dislikes Shylock because he is a Jew (49). This causes greater conflict later on when Shylock demands repayment from Antonio in the form of his flesh. The Duke must decide between doing what is morally right or doing what is required by law. Shylock faces conflict against society in Venice where Jewish people are not welcome and he is treated poorly (49). The conflict of man versus nature arises when his ships crash and his investments are lost (113). The play presents these conflicts through…show more content…
When the time comes for Antonio to accept defeat, he does not blame Bassanio and instead wishes him the best (171). Antonio’s sadness throughout the play could be contributed to how Bassanio searches for a love which would end their bromance and even then Antonio is willing to support his friend’s endeavours. Characters Though the title of the play, The Merchant of Venice, would suggest, the main character is Antonio. It is through him that all other characters are connected. He is a very sincere and extroverted man who can be melancholy at times but gives all of himself to help his friends. His sadness is mostly likely due to being in love, though he denies it, with his friend Bassanio. This love could be proven by Antonio’s willingness to fund his friend’s ventures even though his investments are already risky. Antonio remains a somewhat self-pitying mess throughout the story finally losing his best friend to Portia. The restoration of his wealth probably cannot make up for his lost love. Bassanio could be seen as the hero of the story but he would not have been able to win over Portia without the help of his friends. He is a loving and active man who goes to great lengths to win over his love but is also known to be irresponsible with his money. It is difficult to determine who the main character is mainly because of how the focus of the plot shifts between different characters and how each of them are deeply connected.
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