The Merchant of Venice Essay

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[Wilson examines three key scenes in The Merchant of Venice: the casket scene (Act Ill. scene ii), the trial scene (Act IV, scene i), and the Belmont scene (Act V, scene i). The critic maintains that the casket scene was probably treated as humorous entertainment by Elizabethan audiences, who enjoyed folk tales focusing on the difference between appearance and reality. Wilson then discusses various aspects of the   casket plot; particularly the meaning of the mottoes, the dramatic setting for Bassanio's choice, and the possible implications of the song that is played while Bassanio considers his selection. As a result of the trial scene, the critic continues, Shylock should be regarded as a tragic not comical, figure. In Wilson's opinion while Shylock is "the inevitable product of centuries of racial persecution. " Shakespeare did not necessarily mean to present the Jew as a moral example. Although the playwright never...

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This section contains 7,294 words
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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.