The Theme Of Revenge In The Merchant Of Venice

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Revenge is the central theme of The Merchant of Venice as the plot is centred around the theme of revenge, vengefulness is one of the main character traits present in a sizable number of characters and the main moral message is that revenge is a poor choice. While other themes in the play are present in the plot and moral message and the themes of love and friendship are more prevalent in the majority of the characters, revenge plays a more significant role in the play. These factors lead to a play that is centred around the theme of revenge. The plot of The Merchant of Venice is centred around the revenge of Shylock. Bassanio desires to go to Belmont to attempt to become the husband of wealthy Portia; however, Bassanio lacks the funds to…show more content…
After Bassanio and Portia married, the sole purpose of the plot was to save Antonio from dying in the hands of Shylock. “Before a friend of this description shall lose a hair through Bassanio’s fault. First go with me to church and call me wife, and then away to Venice to your friend. For never shall you lie by Portia’s side with an unquiet soul. You shall have gold to pay the petty debt twenty times over.” (3.2. 308-314) The plot needs Shylock’s revenge to be entertaining, Shylock’s revenge is the substance of The Merchant of Venice. Prejudice also plays a significant role in the plot as an enabler for revenge. Without the religious discrimination against Shylock, the unusual terms of the bond would not have been realistic. “Fair sir, you spat on me on Wednesday last; you spurned me such a day; another time you called me ’dog'—and for these courtesies I’ll lend you thus much moneys? … If you repay me not on such a day, in such a place, such sum or sums as are expressed in the condition, let the forfeit be nominated for an equal pound of your fair flesh” (1.3. 124-148). Although Shylock’s retribution would not be possible without religious prejudice, this theme is merely an enabler for the revenge. As the principal elements of the plot are centred around the theme of revenge, we are shown it is the primary plot element and, therefore, the central theme of the play. Many other characters in
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