The Merchant of Venice | Critical Essay by Austin C. Dobbins and Roy W. Battenhouse

This literature criticism consists of approximately 20 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 5,762 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Austin C. Dobbins and Roy W. Battenhouse

SOURCE: “Jessica's Morals: A Theological View,” in Shakespeare Studies, Vol. IX, 1976, pp. 107-20.

In the following essay, Dobbins and Battenhouse evaluate the morality of Jessica's actions in The Merchant of Venice, seeing her dissimulation as theologically justified.

Capping a century of romantic interpretation of Shylock, Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch in 1926 termed Jessica “bad and disloyal, unfilial, a thief; frivolous, greedy, without any more conscience than a cat.”1 Such an estimate, though it may appeal to readers swayed by Shylock's view of her as “damned,” clearly is not that of the play as a whole. The father's moral imagination is comically undercut by his absurd love of gold more than daughter, and Jessica's elopement not only secures Lorenzo's friends as...

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This section contains 5,762 words
(approx. 20 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Austin C. Dobbins and Roy W. Battenhouse