The Merchant of Venice | Critical Essay by Elizabeth S. Sklar

This literature criticism consists of approximately 14 pages of analysis & critique of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 4,060 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
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Critical Essay by Elizabeth S. Sklar

SOURCE: Sklar, Elizabeth S. “Bassanio's Golden Fleece.” Texas Studies in Literature and Language 18, no. 3 (fall 1976): 500-09.

In the following essay, Sklar highlights similarities between Bassanio and Shylock despite their apparent differences.

Bassanio is probably the least prepossessing of the principal figures in The Merchant of Venice. Dwarfed by Shylock's monumental passions, Bassanio seems thin-blooded and ultimately rather trivial, and his stature is further diminished by the brilliance and panache of Portia. Yet in some respects Bassanio is as complex and ambiguous a figure as Shylock, if not as fully realized, for although he would seem superficially to be the complete antithesis of Shylock, Bassanio's values and ethic are often uncomfortably similar to those of the usurer. Bassanio shares Shylock's preoccupation with material goods, and is not always able to distinguish between worldly wealth and...

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This section contains 4,060 words
(approx. 14 pages at 300 words per page)
Buy the Critical Essay by Elizabeth S. Sklar