The Merchant of Venice | Critical Essay by Cynthia Lewis

This literature criticism consists of approximately 57 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 16,987 words
(approx. 57 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Cynthia Lewis

SOURCE: Lewis, Cynthia. “‘A Foolish Consistency’: Antonio and Alienation in The Merchant of Venice.” In Particular Saints: Shakespeare's Four Antonios, Their Contexts, and Their Plays, pp. 51-87. Cranbury, N.J.: Associated University Presses, 1997.

In the following excerpt, Lewis regards The Merchant of Venice as an ironic tragicomedy, concentrating on Antonio as the focus of the drama's ambiguities, contradictions, and equivocations, while also tracing developments in Shakespeare's characterization of Portia.

I

Antonio opens the play by speaking three times in seven lines of how little he understands himself:

In sooth, I know not why I am so sad; It wearies me, you say it wearies you; But how I caught it, found it, or came by it, What stuff 'tis made of, whereof it is born, I am to learn; And such a want-wit sadness...

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This section contains 16,987 words
(approx. 57 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Cynthia Lewis