The Merchant of Venice Essay

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[Danson examines Antonio's character and discusses his melancholy. He notes that Shakespeare's audience probably would have attributed Antonio's sadness to his economic activities. The critic also compares the merchant's profession with Shylock's, observing that to Elizabethans, who were generally suspicious of mercantile fortunes, moneylender and merchant were "not entirely separate. " Antonio is a perfect Christian, the critic argues. in his charitable and unworldly nature, although his treatment of Shylock conforms to that of his fellow Christians rather than scripture. Danson also comments on the homosexual interpretation of Antonio's melancholy, noting that while this explanation may account for the character's verisimilitude. it is inconsistent with the structure and thematics of Shakespeare's play. For further commentary on Antonio's character, see the excerpts by Frank Kermode, E. F. C. Ludowyk, John W. Draper. Marvin Felheim, William Leigh Godshalk, Lawrence W. Hyman, Bernard Grebanier, and Walten D. Smith]

The opening dialogue of...

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This section contains 3,119 words
(approx. 8 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Merchant of Venice Study Guide
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The Merchant of Venice from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.