The Merchant Of Venice: Theme Of Love And Loyalty

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare and was published in 1606. The story takes place in the cities Venice and Belmont in Italy. The story is about a man named Antonio who is one of the main protagonists of the story who takes a loan from the Jew Shylock (who's the antagonist) to help his friend Bassanio to receive Portia's hand. Portia becomes Bassanio's wife and disguises herself as a lawyer and saves Antonio from being killed by Shylock. In this essay on The Merchant of Venice and the theme of love, the exploration of the characters' love for each other is evident. For example, Portia's love for Bassanio is shown when she disguises herself as a lawyer and saves Antonio's life. Loyalty is also a recurring theme throughout the play as we see how the characters are loyal to each other, even in difficult situations. Shakespeare uses these themes to show the importance of love and loyalty in relationships and how they can overcome even the most challenging of circumstances.

A theme that stands out the most in The Merchant of Venice is loyalty between the friendship of Antonio and Bassanio. Antonio and Bassanio are very good friends in this story. Their friendship can be seen from the beginning. Their love and trust for each other are evident. It is visible that Bassanio is more like a brother to Antonio than a friend at the very start. My purse, my person, my extremest means, line said by Antonio. This quote demonstrates how much Antonio values his friend Bassanio. It’s also meaning that Bassanio means everything to him as if his life is owned by Bassanio. Antonio cares about Bassanio the same way as he cares about himself. Thus, Shakespear uses the friendship of the story to show the theme loyalty.

The Merchant of Venice also explores the themes of love, true love and how love is used to get something they want between the main couples of the story. The romantic relationships between the main couple; Bassanio and Portia, contrasted with the relationship of Shylock’s daughter, Jessica and Lorenzo, a Christian and the marriage of Portia’s Servant to Gratianio who is Bassanio’s companion to the trip to Belmont . Lorenzo, and thy love, line said by Lorenzo to Jessica and For whom I love so much?, line said by Jessica to Lorenzo. This suggests that both of them have some affection for each other. This is how Lorenzo introduced himself as Jessica’s love when she didn’t recognise him. His love for Jessica is a bit unclear but the affection Jessica has for him was very obvious from her speech. Her asking of who she is to Lorenzo, shows that Jessica has some feeling for him that makes her want to know who she was to him. Another example of this would be the conversation between Portia and Bassanio. Sweet Portia, welcome, line said by Bassanio to Portia. So do I, my lord, line said by Portia to Bassanio. “Sweet Portia,” said by Bassanio is a phrase that any man could say to the person they love or “love”, but Portia has feelings for Bassanio. Before Bassanio was going to choose a casket she was hoping that he would choose the right one because she was already in love with him. Her speech shows her love and respect for her husband. Therefore the use of love between main couples of the story helps to show the themes of love.

Shakespeare uses the theme of love and this links to how the characters of the story marry their “love” to their benefits. The theme of marriage in the Merchant of Venice is portrayed in many different ways of the story; to solve money related problems, a true love quest and as an excuse for Shylock’s daughter to leave her father. What gold jewels she is furnished with, line said by Lorenzo. The quote demonstrates how Lorenzo uses Jessica for his benefit. He wants Jessica’s wealth to make himself rich. The only way to get the wealth he needs, is to marry Jessica. For instance the quote said by Bassanio, Of wondrous virtues, suggests that all Bassanio cares about is Portia’s wealthiness. He’s in love with her wealth that her dead father has left behind. Accordingly, love is shown for both, true love and love for interests.

Shakespeare has explored the themes of love and loyalty throughout the story by using the different forms of relationships. It has been discussed in this essay that the themes of love and loyalty is shown by the friendship of Antonio and Bassanio, the romantic couples in the story and the marriages that happen towards the end. There was a conflict between love, reasons to “love people” and how to use love as an excuse to leave the house. These types of things still happen in the modern world. Many men fool young girls to get their wealth. Most of these types of marriages are often left with the girl suffering for the rest of their lives with nothing. This book, Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare shows the reality of how easy it is to fool a girl and when it comes to love, girls become weak and guys can take over everything. This even shows that girls don’t necessarily lie to their loved ones. Merchant of Venice teaches that there are many reasons for a person to fall in love with and that they don’t necessarily love the person whom they say they are in love with.

16 August 2021
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