Personal Response Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare was an enjoyable play to me because of the emotions of sympathy I felt, the interesting situations, and the foreshadowing. The merchant of Venice is placed in a time where prejudice against Jewish people was very evident. One character, Shylock who is Jewish, is put in a situation where he gets involved with Christian folk. Shylock gets cheated by them, loses his daughter, his money, and even in trial he doesn’t get what was rightfully his. Because he was Jewish he was treated unfairly making me feel intense emotions of sympathy for him. On page 46, line 47 Shylock has a speech where he says, “He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, thwarted my bargains…” In the speech he lists ways in which he was treated unfairly because he was a Jew and this made me sympathise with him. No one should be discriminated against because of their religion. It made me feel angry at the society which has made him lose so much. I also sympathised with him because he is seen as the antagonist of this play, even when he has done nothing wrong and has been wronged. 

The Merchant of Venice creates very interesting situations where characters do things that are illogical and this makes you interested in how it will turn out. For example, Bassanio loans money out in order to make an attempt at making more money by marrying Portia. He puts everything and his friend’s body on the line for a one out of three chance and gaining what he is after. This irrationalism that the characters have makes me curious about what would happen later in the play and what situations the characters would get into. It kept me reading and engaged because I would always expect more situations that are unrealistic and exciting.

Adding on to this The merchant of Venice has lots of clear foreshadowing which keeps you hooked to the story wanting to see what plays out. An example is when Bassanio receives a ring from Portia and is clearly told that this ring is the only thing he must not be parted from. This tells us that something is going to happen where Bassanio gives the ring away. This foreshadowing made me feel excited to see how Portia will react when that situation happens. Like my last point, it keeps you hooked to the play and allows you to continue reading and stay engaged.

This play overall was quite an enjoyable experience. You don’t really know who’s the bad or good guy, and you can decide for yourself. Each character feels good and bad. I really love stories where you can use your own perspective to determine how you perceive the story. It shows how complex the story is and I really enjoyed that part of it.


One thought on “Personal Response Merchant of Venice”

  1. Hey Brandon, I like the fact that you enjoy the characters in the play but I would love to hear more on your take on one of theme presented in the play.

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