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The Merchant of Venice Characters & Character Analysis

This Study Guide consists of approximately 217 pages of chapter summaries, quotes, character analysis, themes, and more - everything you need to sharpen your knowledge of The Merchant of Venice.
This section contains 566 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
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Character Studies

The Merchant of Venice is often considered Shylock's play, for the reading of his character generally influences the interpretation of the drama as a whole. lf Shylock is perceived as a comic villain, with all the stock characteristics associated with such a role, then he receives his due in the trial scene and the work is truly a comedy. However, if Shylock is seen as the hero of the drama, then his humiliation indicates that the work is a tragedy. Both views can be argued based on the content of the play. Numerous commentators have discussed the extent to which Shakespeare was influenced by the anti-Semitic sentiment of his day. While it is true that the playwright began writing his play with the stereotypical Elizabethan conception of a Jewish usurer in mind, he created in Shylock an   ambiguous, yet memorable figure who defies those conventional attributes and...

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This section contains 566 words
(approx. 2 pages at 300 words per page)
Purchase our The Merchant of Venice Study Guide
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The Merchant of Venice from BookRags and Gale's For Students Series. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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