The Merchant of Venice | Critical Essay by Susan McLean

This literature criticism consists of approximately 21 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 6,198 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Susan McLean

Critical Essay by Susan McLean

SOURCE: “Prodigal Sons and Daughters: Transgression and Forgiveness in The Merchant of Venice,” in Papers on Language & Literature, Vol. 32, No. 1, 1996, pp. 45-62.

In the essay below, McLean identifies allegorical elements in The Merchant of Venice, arguing that the parable of the rebellious but repentant Prodigal Son is reenacted numerous times between different character pairings. Consequently, by the end of the play the audience is left to contemplate the virtue of forgiveness.

The word “prodigal” appears more often in The Merchant of Venice than in any other play of Shakespeare's, yet the relevance to the play of the parable of the Prodigal Son has excited little critical attention.1 Not only is Bassanio called “prodigal” by himself and Shylock, but Shylock also calls Antonio “a prodigal,&#x...

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This section contains 6,198 words
(approx. 21 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Susan McLean