The Merchant of Venice | Literature Criticism Critical Essay by Samuel Ajzenstat

This literature criticism consists of approximately 23 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 6,804 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Samuel Ajzenstat

SOURCE: Ajzenstat, Samuel. “Contract in The Merchant of Venice.Philosophy and Literature 21, no. 2 (October 1997): 262-78.

In the following essay, Ajzenstat evaluates The Merchant of Venice as a romantic comedy featuring a number of significant oppositions, the most fundamental being that between “the conditional and the unconditional.”

The Merchant of Venice is widely interpreted as a Christian parable about the power of selfless love to raise us above the loveless inflexibilities of the legal and commercial orders.1 The account I shall offer is the precise opposite of this interpretation: The Merchant makes more sense as a play about love's inability to allow us to dispense with a loveless realm of hard necessity and, even more, about love's dependence on a loveless realm for its own survival. But the rejection of...

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This section contains 6,804 words
(approx. 23 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Samuel Ajzenstat