Thursday, September 22, 2016

Review: The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare

Summary from Goodreads:

The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most popular comedies, but it remains deeply controversial. The text may seem anti-Semitic; yet repeatedly, in performance, it has revealed a contrasting nature. Shylock, though vanquished in the law-court, often triumphs in the theatre. In his intensity he can dominate the play, challenging abrasively its romantic and lyrical affirmations. What results is a bitter-sweet drama.

Though The Merchant of Venice offers some of the traditional pleasures of romantic comedy, it also exposes the operations of prejudice. Thus Shakespeare remains our contemporary.
My Review:

I had to read this comedy for my Shakespeare class. It was a interesting choice because it is one of Shakespeare's plays that tend to be pushed aside because of the controversial aspects.

The main reason I gave this Shakespeare play an 'okay' rating is because it was a comedy and I did not get the humor. I'm pretty sure there is a deeper reading of the play and that I just did not get it, and I was distracted by the anti-Semitic aspects. 

I did not like the hate that Shylock received and his ending, however, I liked his quotes and his character more than the main characters in the play. 

Despite my lack of understanding the humor, and possibly the subtle attack of Christians that was under the text (it had a undercurrent of sarcasm), I did enjoy the characterization and scenes with Portia. She is manipulative and intelligent in a way that I've never seen in Shakespeare or other works from this time period and it was amazing.

I recommend checking this out just for Portia, I'm planning on writing my final paper on her. 

My Rating:

3 Stars Out of 5

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