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The Merchant of Venice Modern Connections

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 949 words
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Modern Connections

The Merchant of Venice is considered one of Shakespeare's problem comedies in part due to its anti-Semitism. A problem play introduces moral dilemmas without offering clear-cut or comforting solutions to these dilemmas. In The Merchant of Venice, the Christian Antonio and his friends plead with the Jewish Shy lock to show mercy towards Antonio, yet when the situation is reversed and Antonio and his friends are in a position to show Shylock mercy, they do not. Instead, they strip him of his worldly possessions and force him to convert to Christianity. Since there were few or no Jews in Shakespeare's England, his depiction of Shylock is probably based on stereotypes rather than the intimate knowledge acquired through contact. Shylock is depicted as a Jewish moneylender who makes his money through "usury," a practice in which exor bitant interest is charged on loans. He hates Antonio because Antonio loans...

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This section contains 949 words
(approx. 4 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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