Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is a challenging but simple play to understand. In the play are examples from everyday life examined, including justice and mercy. You can clearly see in the play, love is determined by money.
In the play, the main character and rich Venetian merchant Antonio borrows money from the Jewish money lender Shylock to assist his friend Bassanio, in taking care of the stunning and affluent Portia. But at one point, Shylock demands a pound of meat in court, as leverage in the event that the loan is not paid back and Antonio’s ships are lost at sea and he is unable to repay the loan.
The themes of selfishness, money and love are demonstrated through the example of the Bassanio and Portia couple, friendship is demonstrated through the example of Antonio and Bassanio, revenge is demonstrated through the example of Shylock and Antonio, and justice and mercy are demonstrated through the example of Portia and Antonio. Justice and kindness are also brought up in the play as the characters struggle with the effects of their choices and judgements.
All in all, I really liked “The Merchant of Venice” because it is a controversial play that gets readers to consider the moral effects of their choices and the difficulties of human nature.