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The Merchant of Venice Essay | Critical Essay #1

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.
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Critical Essay #1

[Kermode presents a concise overview of The Merchant of Venice, initially examining Shakespeare's punning of the term "gentle" and discussing the word's various meanings throughout the play. The critic identifies two readings of " gentle" which have a significant bearing on the drama: the sense of " gentleness" as in civility or an improved nature; and the notion of "Gentile," or Christian, which stands in contrast to Shylock and Judaism In addition. Kermode asserts that justice is a primary theme of the dram, noting that while the Christians stress mercy, love, and charity, Shylock advocates the letter (rather than the spirit) of the law, hate, and vengeance. The Merchant of Venice, the critic concludes, is about 'Judgment, redemption, and mercy; the supersession in human history of the grim four thousand years of unalleviated justice by the era of love and mercy."]

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This section contains 1,730 words
(approx. 6 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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