Fathers, Daughters and "The Merchant of Venice"
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This paper examines how William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" chronicles the relationships of two father-daughter pairs, and shows how a father's selfish behaviors can ruin his daughter's marital success, whereas a nurturing father-daughter bond creates an environment conducive to a successful, happy marriage. The paper looks at how Shylock keeps Jessica a prisoner, nothing more than another of his many possessions and how, in contrast, Portia's father treasures his daughter, respects her and looks out for her best interests.
From the Paper:"Jessica portends the negative impact that her folly for revenge and escape will have on her marriage when she says "But love is blind, and lovers cannot see/The pretty follies that themselves commit," (2.5.36-37). Despite having everything she thinks she wanted - a life free from her father's house, and marriage to a man she loves - Jessica's actions will always hang over her life like a dark cloud. As she and Lorenzo sit and sing together near the end of the play, they "uneasily equate their love" to doomed couples such as Troilus and Cressida, Jason and Medea, and Pyramus and Thisbe, "all ominous archetypes of bonds somehow shattered in conjunction with attempts to invalidate family or cultural allegiances" (Boose 337). Lorenzo says "In such a night/Did Jessica steal from the wealthy Jew,/And with an unthrift love did run from Venice" (5.1.14-16). This suggests that despite Jessica's desire to be free of her father, she remains dependent on his money (Boose 337). "
Sample of Sources Used:
- Boose, Lynda E. "The Father and the Bride in Shakespeare." PMLA 97.3 (May 1982): 325-347. JStor. UMUC Information and Library Services. 27 Apr. 2005 <http://www.umuc.edu/library/database>.
- Flachmann, Michael. "The Sins of the Father: Parent-Child Relationships in The Merchant of Venice." 2000. Utah Shakespearean Festival. 27 Apr. 2005<http://www.bard.org/Education/Shakespeare/themerchantofven.html>
- Mayer, John. "Daughters." Heavier Things. Sony, 2003.
- Shakespeare, William. "The Merchant of Venice." The Riverside Shakespeare. 2nd ed. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1997. 288-319.
- Waddington, Raymond B. "Blind Gods: Fortune, Justice, and Cupid in The Merchant of Venice." ELH 97.3 (Autumn 1977): 458-477. JStor. UMUC Information and Library Services. 27 Apr. 2005 <http://www.umuc.edu/library/database>.
Cite this Book Review:
Fathers, Daughters and "The Merchant of Venice" (2011, May 09) Retrieved November 25, 2020, from https://www.academon.com/book-review/fathers-daughters-and-the-merchant-of-venice-147519/
"Fathers, Daughters and "The Merchant of Venice"" 09 May 2011. Web. 25 November. 2020. <https://www.academon.com/book-review/fathers-daughters-and-the-merchant-of-venice-147519/>