The Merchant of Venice Essay

  • Gender Stereotypes in the Merchant of Venice

    Themes in the Merchant of Venice Gender stereotypes are not a modern notion and as such expectations and limitations have always existed for both men and women. Fortunately women, who have formerly beared great burdens of discrimination, now have very liberated roles in society as a result of slowly shifting attitudes and values. Shakespeare was integral in challenging the subservient role expected of women in the 16th century. Throughout the play, ‘The Merchant of Venice’, women are expressed as

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  • Cross-Dressing in Merchant of Venice

    In William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, gender roles are explored, culminating in two distinct scenes of cross-dressing. The men of Elizabethan society enjoy a prominent status based solely on gender, to which women are clearly outsiders. This is particularly evident in Jessica’s newfound freedom when dressed as a pageboy in Act 2 and Portia’s and Nerissa’s immediate elevation in social standing when they take on male personas in Act 4. Through these two instances of cross-dressing, Shakespeare

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  • Merchant of Venice Essay: The Importance of the Law

    painfully apparent.   Equity, in fact, has become so intertwined with law in the justice system that it is difficult to see the lines of demarcation.  We must remember, however, that such was not always the case.  When Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice, there were actually separate courts in England for the administration of law and equity.  One appealed to the Court of Common Law to seek redress under codified law, or to the Court of Equity to avail oneself of the judgment of men.  The two

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  • Essay about Performance Analysis: The Merchant of Venice

    allowed to evolve past the anti-semiotic view and add new elements that play out this question even more. There is not a right answer to Shakespeare’s true intentions or views but there are many interpretations. In the 2004 production of The Merchant of Venice, the view of the Jewish people has shifted greatly. The main pivoting point was World War II. This not only

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  • The Treatment of Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

    disliked each other. I will be analysing the bond and will be studying the treatment of Shylock and if the treatment is justified, in this assignment. In the play "the merchant of Venice" the main two characters I am going to mention in my assignment are shylock and Antonio. Antonio is a rich merchant and has ships out at sea doing imports and export and he has all his money on the ships. Antonio is also a Christian. As for shylock who is a Jew, and who is a well-known

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  • Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

    that Antonio “will feed my revenge” which is in my opinion an extension to the grotesque belief of that time that Jews actually ate human flesh. I would now just like to give you a quote from a book that I have regarding, “The Merchant of Venice” which is, “although fear and, to some extent, sympathy are important considerations in any response to Shylock’s character, it is essential to Shakespeare’s purpose that a comic perspective be maintained. Because Shylock more often

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  • Essay on Shakespeare And Anti-Semitism In The Merchant Of Venice

    perception created by Antonio's argument is that Shylock hates someone for their following a Christian virtue, which implies that Shylock, is against Christianity, and by extension, of the devil's party.            Throughout the entirety of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is referred to by name only three times; in the trial scene, the Duke twice identifies Shylock by name, and Portia does so once. In the course of the rest of the play, Shylock is most often referred to simply as "the Jew". In many cases

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  • Essay about The Power of Words in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

    By creating a world in which words alone can have such symbolically tragic impact, The Merchant of Venice refuses a pretense of realism and welcomes, instead, the supermundane possibilities that literature allows. The written word extends an inordinate influence over the events of the play and the actions—or inaction—of its characters. In his will, Portia’s father entrusts Portia’s conjugal happiness to the fortuitous outcome of a game, so that she herself “cannot choose one, nor refuse none” (I

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  • The Merchant of Venice Is a Tragicomedy....I Got 32/35 so Its a Good Essay

    serious play with a happy ending or enough jokes throughout the play to lighten the mood. I consider the ‘Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare a tragicomedy as both tragedy and comedy can be seen throughout the play. There are many factors that give proof to this statement. To begin with, one of the factors of a tragedy is the presence of a tragic hero. The protagonist, the real merchant of Venice, Antonio is the tragic hero. He is sad from the beginning to the end of the play. In the beginning

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  • The Merchant of Venice Essay

    However this shows us that The Merchant of Venice is about love. The play The Merchant of Venice is a play also about hate; this hatred is mostly evident through the characters Shylock and Antonio. After Antonio’s ships have been lost, he has no money to return to his owner Shylock. This brings him to the consequences that he personally agreed on. However after the big crisis of money that Shylock faced about his daughter’s theft, he wanted revenge. He refused to show mercy to his fellow enemy

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  • The Merchant of Venice - Trial Scene

    Kimberley Williamson “The Merchant of Venice” Analyse how ONE main character’s attempts to solve a problem were important to the text as a whole. In the text, “The Merchant of Venice,” written and performed by Shakespeare, Antonio, the merchant, borrows money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to send his friend Bassanio overseas to woo and marry Portia. However, failing to pay back the money in time, Shylock takes Antonio to court demanding a pound of his flesh in payment. Portia, one

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  • Merchant of Venice - Karma Essay

    So I don’t understand why Shylock has to pay for Antonio’s mistakes, has to give up his bond and half of his goods and has to be seen as the bad guy of the story. It doesn’t make any sense. All he wanted was justice. Finally, I think Portia went a little over board at the audience. I admit that Shylock might have gone a little too far for the pound of flesh, which wouldn’t bring him anything, but after all it was his bond and Antonio signed it. I get that she was trying to help her husband’s friend

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  • Essay on To Kill a Mockingbird and the Merchant of Venice

    follies that themselves commit” (II, iiiiiii, 36-37). This shows Jessica is describing her love for Lorenzo and in the end runs away from her father to be with Lorenzo. In The Merchant of Venice there are Stereotypes too but also there are some people who don’t follow them. Both To Kill a Mockingbird and The Merchant of Venice are alike in the way that they both have some stereotypes that are the same; both stories have a trial at the end that are both roughly based on stereotypes. Tom Robinson who

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  • Contemporary Issues in The Merchant of Venice Essay

    The two princes, however, were deceived by the ornament of the gold and silver caskets.        Another way that Shakespeare discusses appearance versus reality is with the use of Portia and Nerissa in disguise, plotting to take Bassanio's ring, the former dressed as a Doctor of Law and the latter as a Clerk.  They save Antonio and Bassanio from their problem with Shylock, and Portia (Doctor of Law) asks for Bassanio's ring because she knew he had promised, "When

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  • Christians and Jews In The Merchant of Venice Essay

    The suitors have to guess which of three caskets contain Portia's picture. The caskets are made of gold, silver and lead. In this scene , Portia is giving stereo-typical views of each suitor based on their nationality. They firstly talk of the English suitor describing him as stupid because she can not understand him as he knows no other language and saying that he is oddly dressed. 'You know I say nothing to him, for he understands me not, nor I him: he hath neither

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  • The Importance of the Letter in Merchant of Venice Essay

    His "estate is very low"(315), and well it may be, as he has lost all his money, but this "low" may also mean that he is depressed. The presence of the alien is subtly stated, but forcibly felt. "The Jew"(316) is the usual term for Shylock in this play, it even figures in the stage directions. The term is de-individualising and de-humanising. It identifies Shylock by his race and at once invokes all the negative assosiasions that the mythical figure of "the Jew" held in Elisabethan society.

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  • William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essays

    on giving the audience more of a reason to hate this Jewish man. Knowing that the majority of the audience were Christians, Shakespeare has Shylock offending Christians by saying, “[…] gaze on CHRISTIAN FOOLS with varnished face […]” (Merchant 80) (emphasis added). William Hazlitt agrees by writing, “Shylock is a good hater; ‘a man no less sinned against than sinning.’ […] with the proud spirit hid beneath his “Jewish gaberdine” by one lawful act of ‘lawful’ revenge […]”

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  • Compare and Contrast - Stereotypes in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice and Othello

    from "The Merchant Venice" by Shakespeare, “spit upon [his] Jewish gabardine” (I.iii.107–108). Although Antonio is the most guilt of throwing out the racist insults, there is always the background cacophony of these ideas being bandied about amongst the several minor characters. For example, when Shylock believes he is losing his daughter, the “throwaway” characters, Salerio and Solanio attempt to express Shylock’s feelings by exclaiming in one of the important quotes from "The Merchant of Venice"

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  • Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice Essay

    Next, he was bent on seeking revenge. Even when faced with money and the great merchants of Venice, he refused to budge. "Twenty merchants,/ The Duke himself, and the magnificoes/ Of greatest port have all persuaded with him,/ But none can drive him from the envious plea/ Of forfeiture, of justice, and his bond." (Solanio/3.2.280) "If every ducat in six thousand ducats/ Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,/ I would not draw them. I would have my bond." (Shylock/1

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  • Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

    The fact that he is a Jew means he is subjected to prejudice from the Christians that live in Venice giving him a very low status in society. It is very clear that the most important aspect of Shylock's life (apart from his wealth) is his religion. Throughout the book we see how proud Shylock is to be a Jew and is humiliated and ashamed by his daughter when she denounces her Jewish faith, 'she is dammed for it, my own flesh and blood to rebel'. We also know that Judaism

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  • Biography of William Shakespeare and Review of The Merchant of Venice

    Starting school was a great way for Shakespeare to gain knowledge. At King’s New School he learned Latin, Greek, and read a couple Roman dramatists (“William” 1). From the start of his childhood, Shakespeare was able to expand his education. At the age of eighteen William Shakespeare married Anne Hathaway, who was seven or eight years older than him, in 1582 (“William” 1). The two were not always together; they saw each other every now and then. In 1583 their first child was born, Susanna, in

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  • Anti-Semitism and Racism in the Merchant of Venice Essay

    reminding him he is different in religion, looks, and social stature. He finds comfort in the law because he, himself, is an outcast of society. Shylock, by virtue of being a Jew is an outsider who is not given the same rights as the Christian citizens of Venice. Shylock is regarded as motivated solely by greed, while the Christians see themselves as epitomizing goodness. Shylock is hated for being a Jew and a money-lender, but Shakespeare has not made Shylock a character easy to sympathise with. He appears

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  • Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

    Antonio is therefore treated by Shylock with a sense of envy and Shylock's secret desire to have Antonio's money and influence. These facts separate him from the Christian cast, throughout both the play and his life. This I believe is one of Antonio's greatest punishments of Shylock, though rewarding him with thoughts of revenge, Antonio is sure of his boat's safe return. This first scene involving both Shylock and Antonio, two completely different characters can be seen

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  • A Feminist Perspective of Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice

    Conversely, Isabella was notable because she was always trapped and endangered, by affection for her brother, by revulsion against the deputy, by reverence and trust of the Duke. Measure for Measure contained a correctional element in revealing that concupiscence spread through all layers of society, and that any solution was made complex by variations in honesty about sexuality. How could one administer justice that eliminated the exploitation, crime and disease associated with sexuality, when

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  • Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

    "You call me misbeliever, cut throat dog. And spat upon my Jewish gabardine". Antonio rarely calls Shylock by his name, usually referring to him as "Jew" and "misbeliever". The effect this had on Shylock was it made him a lot more aggressive and bitter. It also made him hate all the Christians that he knew. Shylock seems to value his money and hatred of Christians more than the loss of Jessica, "I hate him for he is a Christian". This shows us that because of a few Christians

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  • Essay about The Merchant of Venice Should be Studied in High Schools

    Shylock is referred to as a Jew and he and other characters have lines that reflect the Jewish stereotype that originated in the late 13th century when Jews were expelled from England and the first crusade was launched (Lancelot II.ii.121). The Merchant of Venice can be a great experience for high school students if they recognize that “the Jew clearly did live on the edge of society and that in the role of the mysterious outsider, he was a perfect and ready-made scapegoat for anyone who wished to exploit

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  • Critical Essay: 'the Merchant of Venice' by Shakespeare - Shylock Character Study

    send Bassanio back to Venice to settle the debt. Just after Bassanio left Belmont, Portia and Nerissa say that while their husbands are gone they are going to pray when they are actually going to Venice dressed as a lawyer and his clerk to win the trial: ‘Come on, Nerissa, I have work in my hand That you yet know not of; we’ll see our husbands Before they think of us!’ In this quote Portia is speaking to Nerissa about what shes planning to do in Venice. They will be dressed

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  • Essay on Merchant Banking

    Original Definition: A Merchant Bank is a British term for a bank providing various financial services such as accepting bills arising out of trade, providing advice on acquisitions, mergers, foreign exchange, underwriting new issues, and portfolio management. The Focus Definition: A Merchant Bank can be generally described as a financial services company with a private equity investment arm offering investment banking and ancillary services as well. Because a merchant bank acts not only as

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  • Merchant of Venice Essay

    Some critics believe that Shakespeare is an anti-Semitic writer for the way Shylock is treated; others point out that it’s merely a 1 play describing the way of life during Shakespeare's era where there is no aggression against the Jews. For the character of Shylock, Shakespeare drew from a long tradition of folktales that relate the story of a creditor who tries and fails to extract a pound of human flesh as payment of a debt. Like the hero-villain Barabas in English dramatist Christopher

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  • Merchant of Venice Antonio Essay

    Antonio tells Shylock how he “neither lend nor borrow by taking nor by giving of excess, yet to supply the ripe wants of {his}friend {he’ll} break a custom.” He states that he would never “lend or borrow by taking nor giving of excess” showing his clarity on what he would never associate himself with. This sentence also ends with a sneering note, because “taking and giving excess” is something Antonio and Christian never practice and despise, so one can see this line as mocking Shylock’s practice

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  • Merchant of Venice Essay

    There were many suitors that came to see Portia but only three, the Prince of Morocco, Arragon and Bassanio decided to choose a casket. Morocco and Arragon are deceived by the gold and silver caskets as they were more attracted to money and wealth then Portia. But Bassanio chose the lead casket because he was not deceived and he truly loved her and he was not blinded by wealth. Upon choosing the correct casket and giving rings Bassanio says “Madam, you have bereft me of all words. Only my blood speaks

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  • Merchant of Venice Speech Analysis

    In this scene, Bassanio is at Portia's house, and he is trying to choose the casket with Portia's picture in it. If he chooses the right casket, he will get to marry Portia and gain all of her wealth as well. In the beginning of his speech, Bassanio is reacting to the song that is being sung by one of Portia's servants. As he gives his speech, we are captivated by his many metaphors and by the suspense of his words. The entire time he is speaking, we wonder which casket he will ultimately choose

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  • Attitudes of Christianity and Islam Toward Merchants and Trade.

    negative, while Muslims tended to encourage and respect trade and merchants. Over time, Muslims became more like early Christians in that they were suspicious of traders whereas the Christians became more like the early Muslims, equating merchants (at least honest ones) with doing God’s work, reflecting the changed importance of trade in the high Middle Ages in Europe. At their origins, Christians and Muslims had different views about merchants and traders. This can be seen in the first two documents which

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  • Essay on Visconti's Interpretation of Mann's Death in Venice

    guitarist is concerned mostly with Aschenbach's obsession with Tadzio. Each strange man comes at a turning point for Aschenbach. Casting these roles correctly and making the fop and the guitarist believable would be important to my adaptation of "Venice." Twice (that I can find) Aschenbach has strange dreams that reek of sexual longing. Mann uses sexy words to describe the vision Aschenbach gets from seeing the traveler. The landscape is "moist," a "primitive wilderness" with hairy palm trees

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  • Essay on Merchant of Venice Rhetorical Analysis

    In order to derive this emotion from his listeners, Shylock tries to prove to them that he too is human regardless of his faith, and that he suffers from the humiliation the Christians have caused him. Shylock lists all the ways in which Antonio had wronged him, "He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew."(I.i:53-57) This allows the

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  • The Merchant of Venice and Shylock Offering Essay

    Portia disguised as a lawyer even tried to tell shylock to be give mercy but he did not want too. Shylock believed more in the justice but the Christians want mercy. This quote is shylock refusing to the duke of being merciful “ I have possessed your grace of what I purpose,/And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn/ To have the due and forfeit of my bond” shylock I telling to the duke that I will keep my bond and that no matter what this is his bond and he will keep it no one can convince him. Portia

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  • Merchant of Venice: Mercy and Justice Essay

    This meant that for the trial to be fair, the bond will need to be satisfied. It looked bad for Antonio, until Portia came dressed as Balthazar, a lawyer. Portia’s first approach was to ask Shylock to be merciful. Shylock however was disgusted by the idea like proven before. Portia talks of God and how Christians beg for mercy to reach salvation. She said that, “Therefore, Jew, / Through justice be thy plea, consider this: / That in the course of justice none of us / Should see salvation. We do

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  • Merchant of Venice - Modern Humanitarianism Essay

    He is proud of his race, his religion but he is up against a Venetian society that is insufferable to the outsider. Even his daughter attacks all that he holds dear. She marries a Christian and takes away his money- his family pride, the only "props" in his life. He is humiliated and scorned at by the Christians. One feels sympathy for such a man, who is "more sinned against than sinning."

    During the trial scene it is even less easy to make a moral decision, a comfortable discrimination

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  • Shakespeare’s Representation of Women in The Merchant Of Venice

    But this imaginative act works when Portia wins the case showing that the shackles of patriarchal society bind not all women. (Act 4) Initially Shakespeare makes us believe that the character of Portia is weak and submissive but this was only to emphasise that women were far from this. During the first task Shakespeare demonstrates that women have opinions but also that men sometimes leave women powerless. In her soliloquy Portia implies that she is racist when the

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  • William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

    However, it is this devotion which leads him to accept the ill-considered death bond with Shylock later on in the play. He was confident that some of his investments would bear fruit before the appointed day for repayment of the loan though. No doubt his love for Bassanio and a desire to help him clouded his judgement in this matter. While some critics have argued that it is unnatural that Antonio has an unhealthy obsession for Bassanio, I truly admire the way he treats

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  • Bassanio in Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Essay examples

    The audience are shown Portia's true feelings through her anxiety at the start of Act 3 Scene 2, where she begs Bassanio to delay choosing the caskets in fear that she will lose him if he chooses incorrectly. "O these naughty times put bars between the owners and their rights. And so though yours, not yours". Portia is portrayed as uneasy and is presented as being emotionally uncontrolled, a trait yet to be shown in the play. Previous to Bassanio's arrival, Portia is presented

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  • Modern Audience's Response to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

    This means that Portia does not care if he is as kind and well-behaved as a saint if he is black, she would never want to marry him. Once having read this it comes to mind that Portia is a bit snobby and is quite racist, which at that time was apparently acceptable, as she is obviously meant to be a good character. Another negative point to this play is the way in which Shakespeare uses the stereotypes of the nationalities in the play, except the English. For example

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  • The Merchant Of Venice - Shylock: Villain Or Victim? Essay

    He is also resentful of the ridicule and torment of his race by the Christians. Through the bond he feels he will be able to avenge the treatment of his ‘clan’: ‘ To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, / it will feed my revenge…the villainy you teach me I will execute, / and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. ’ (Act III Scene i) He says that he will copy the example of the Christians showing he is no better than they are even though he complains about their behaviour

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  • Essay about The Doomed Antonio of The Merchant of Venice

    Yet it may be the case that there is something permanently amiss in Antonio's life which is why he plays the sad part.               The immediate cause of Antonio's grief is revealed when he is alone with Bassanio, who appears amidst the attempts of Solario and Salarino to find this cause. It seems that Antonio has been keeping a secret, his knowledge of Bassanio's intention to court, though he knows not the object of woo: "Well; tell me now, what lady is the same / To whom you swore

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  • Essay about Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

    This fuels readers to further hate Shylock for his lack of love for Jessica. Another striking example that portrays Shylock as a typical villain who is cruel is in Act 4, Scene 1, where time and again, Shylock turns down all offers of money for his revenge on Antonio. This can be seen from "My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penalty and the forfeit of my bond." Act 4, Scene 1. Even after Portia pleads for mercy for Shylock to rip his bond and grant mercy to

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  • Failure and Success in William Shakespeare´s The Merchant of Venice and Richard II

    Instead Shylock follows his Mosaic code that hold a strict emphasis on justice and the following of the letter of the law. Shylocks insistence on rejecting Christian belief is an example of going against the general order because he is holding on to his Jewish beliefs which are uncommon in the society he lives in. By insisting on holding on to this his belief and not showing the mercy Shylock is destroyed by Portia in court and faces the defeat of his rebellion against society and Christians. We

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  • Death In Venice Essay example

    accustomed. At the beginning of his journey, we see Gustav as a figure of esteem and prestige. However, upon his arrival in Venice, Mann allows the reader a glimpse into his journey, the progression of an infection into complete abandonment of rationale. It is also from the very beginning of the novella that a parallel emerges between the physical disease, the plague upon Venice, and the distress with in the main character himself. In particular, we see this rejection of the astute artist and the acceptance

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  • United States Merchant Marines Essay

    who transported supplies and troops. Merchant Marines became a part of the largest fleets of freighters and tankers in the history of the U.S. and Allied forces. They would travel to bases all around the world, delivering supplies. The soldiers depended on the important transportation of bombs, gasoline, shells, ammunition, food, guns, vehicles, planes, medicine, and other materials for war. As soon as they left the docks and harbors, the ships of the U.S. Merchant Marine and U.S. Army Transport Service

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  • The Triumph of Disaster in Thomas Mann's Death in Venice Essay

    repulsed and disheartened by this site as well, he decides to depart. However, a misunderstanding concerning his luggage, which was sent ahead of him, impels him to remain in Venice; when he returns indefinitely and passes the beautiful boy, whose name he has learned to be Tadzio, he perceives that subconsciously his leave of Venice had been difficult for the sake of the boy. Now, Aschenbach gives himself over completely to contemplate "every line and pose" of Tadzio's exquisite body. As the days

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  • Essay about The History of European Merchants in China

    will obey the local policy and ruling. This decision was significant because it was the first time Canton government gave diplomatic recognition of Portuguese trading in Macau with rental house. Later, it lead to increasing number of Portuguese merchant settling in Macau, and have gradually changed the local social structure. Macao became the very first region where Chinese government have direct management control but have Portuguese foreign settlement and start trading both locally and globally

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