Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice? Analytical Essay by Peter Pen

Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice?
This paper compares the three suitors in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" and explores how Shakespeare influences the audience's attitudes towards the three men.
# 64880 | 1,380 words | 3 sources | MLA | 2005
Published on Apr 09, 2006 in Drama and Theater (English) , English (Analysis) , Shakespeare (Merchant of Venice)

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This paper explains that, in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", Portia's three suitors--the Prince of Morocco, the Prince of Arragon and Bassanio-- reveal the contents of the three caskets and, by exposing their attitudes towards the caskets, indicate their true character, which heightens the dramatic tension. The author points out that, at the time the play was written England was at war with Spain so Arragon, a rather unflattering stereotype of a typical Spaniard, would have been funny to an Elizabethan audience and his name "Arragon" and "Arrogant" amusing. The paper relates that Morocco is jeered at for his skin color but Bassanio is portrayed more favorably as a Christian and Venetian, who is not proud or arrogant. Many illustrations.

From the Paper:

"The second suitor is the Prince of Arragon whose entrance unlike Morocco's is not pre-empted by any comments from Portia. His arrogance and pride are shown through his choice of casket and his reaction to choosing the wrong casket. He comments on the inscription of gold casket, "...I will not jump with common spirits/And rank me with barbarous multitudes" (Act II Scene ix). Thinking gold was too common for him he arrogantly discards it. He does not even stop to contemplate the lead casket saying only that it would have to look more attractive for him to hazard anything for it. The silver casket is the one that appeals to him the most because he feels that no one deserving should go unmerited. His arrogance leads him to assume that he is worthy of Portia."

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