• The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare

  • Literature Notes
  • Essay Questions
  • Play Summary
  • Character List
  • Summary and Analysis
  • Act I: Scene 1
  • Act I: Scene 2
  • Act I: Scene 3
  • Act II: Scene 1
  • Act II: Scene 2
  • Act II: Scene 3
  • Act II: Scene 4
  • Act II: Scene 5
  • Act II: Scene 6
  • Act II: Scene 7
  • Act II: Scene 8
  • Act II: Scene 9
  • Act III: Scene 1
  • Act III: Scene 2
  • Act III: Scene 3
  • Act III: Scene 4
  • Act III: Scene 5
  • Act IV: Scene 1
  • Act IV: Scene 2
  • Act V: Scene 1
  • Character Analysis
  • Critical Essays
  • Major Themes
  • Major Symbols and Motifs
  • William Shakespeare Biography
  • Famous Quotes
  • Film Versions
  • Cite this Literature Note

Study Help Essay Questions

1. Why has the character of Shylock been interpreted in so many differing ways by so many different critics? Why is this dramatic character more puzzling, or more stimulating, than any other character in any of Shakespeare's other romantic comedies?

2. Many critics feel that the images of the sea in Act I, Scene 1, strike the keynote of the play, that they suggest the bond story as the central theme. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

3. What do the choice of caskets made by the Prince of Morocco and the Prince of Arragon show about their fitness to marry Portia? Explain.

4. Relate Antonio's naturally melancholy disposition, which is emphasized in the opening scene, to his stoic acceptance of misfortune when he has to forfeit the bond.

5. The famous eighteenth-century writer Samuel Johnson refers in one of his essays to the "improbability" of The Merchant of Venice. What qualities of the play are the most improbable?

6. The nineteenth-century poet Samuel Taylor Coleridge speaks of Shakespeare's "representation of men in all ages and all times" in this particular play. What are the universal or timeless elements in it?

7. Compare the argument about usury (I.iii), the talk about friendship (III.ii), and the plea for mercy (IV.i) from the standpoint of dramatic intensity. Which one of these subjects, in your view, is the most important issue in this play?

8. Many critics think that The Merchant of Venice is more tragic than comic. Why do you think so? Or do you disagree? Why?

9. Justify Shylock's demand for revenge against Antonio.

10. From references in the play, quotes, allusions, etc., describe Venice as a setting and as a city for this play.

Previous Film Versions

Next Cite this Literature Note

Merchant of Venice

By william shakespeare, merchant of venice essay questions.

In what ways does The Merchant of Venice defy the comedic genre?

While The Merchant of Venice is firmly placed in the genre of comedy, it is a unique comedy in that it features many tropes of early modern tragedy – namely, the gruesome predilections and rhetorical skill of its central antagonist, the long-winded soliloquies interrogating major philosophical concepts, and the bleak, anxious tone that characterizes most of the play before its "twist" of a conclusion. As such, many interpret the play as an ambiguous take on the nature of prejudice and the tragic consequences it can have (though they do materialize in this play in particular).

To what extent is Shylock a true antagonist?

A major contributing factor to the play's ambiguous tone is its antagonist, Shylock. Shylock is both a selfish, money-hungry, vengeful schemer and a victim of prejudice at the hands of the Christian characters. As such, the play encourages its audience to question wether Shylock can be considered a pure villain or pure victim throughout. While he is inarguably the play's central antagonist, his character development over the course of the play asks the audience to reflect on where that antagonism may have been generated.

What, or who, triumphs at the end of the play?

Generally speaking, it is the Christian characters who triumph at the end of the play, specifically Antonio as he is freed from his contract with Shylock. However, Portia's speech during the trial (when she is disguised as Balthazar) suggests that the real victor in the play is mercy, or qualities of the righteous Christian soul. Mercy was and continues to be associated with Jesus Christ, and in speaking about the importance of mercy between Shylock and Antonio, Portia suggests that the teachings of Christianity will triumph in the end.

Why does Shylock demand a pound of Antonio's flesh instead of money?

During the trial, Shylock refuses to accept 6,000 ducats from Antonio (double the amount of the original loan). While Shylock is portrayed as a money-hungry miser throughout the play, he rejects this offer and continues to demand the pound of flesh from the original contract. This moment suggests that Shylock is not motivated entirely by money or financial gain. On the contrary, it seems his dedication to receiving the pound of flesh stems from his deep desire for revenge on a member of the Christian community, after he has suffered years of abuse at their hands for being Jewish.

How does the play comment on gender?

In one of the play's more lighthearted plots, Portia and Nerissa disguise themselves as male officials of the Venetian court in order to intervene on Antonio's behalf. While cross-dressing was always entertaining on the early modern stage, Portia's confidence that she can sway the court serves as commentary on the relationship between gender and power. Portia suggests that masculinity – and the power associated with it – is itself performative, and that it only takes a male disguise for a woman to be taken seriously among men.

GradeSaver will pay $15 for your literature essays

Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers

The Question and Answer section for Merchant of Venice is a great resource to ask questions, find answers, and discuss the novel.

Explain Portias tactics. Why does she appear to support Shylock at first?

When Portia arrives in court, she asks, "Which is the merchant here, and which the Jew?" (4.1.169). Indeed, given the confusion so many people have with the title, it is often this very question which is asked. Scholars have tried to attribute her...

Describe merchant of venice as romantic comedy

While the story hits upon the tragic element of despair, The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, is a comedy because lovers are separated, characters are in disguise, and the story has a happy ending.

ACT III SCENE 3: What do you think Shylock means when he says, “it is my humour”?

This could be defined as "this is what I feel like doing".

Study Guide for Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis.

  • About Merchant of Venice
  • Merchant of Venice Summary
  • Merchant of Venice Video
  • Character List

Essays for Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice literature essays are academic essays for citation. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Merchant of Venice.

  • The Victorious Woman in Measure for Measure and The Merchant of Venice
  • Father-Daughter Relationships in The Merchant of Venice
  • Mercy and the Masquerade: Trial and Performance in The Merchant of Venice
  • Christianity and Judaism in The Merchant of Venice: Imperfect Faith
  • The Anti-Semitic Question in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Lesson Plan for Merchant of Venice

  • About the Author
  • Study Objectives
  • Common Core Standards
  • Introduction to Merchant of Venice
  • Relationship to Other Books
  • Bringing in Technology
  • Notes to the Teacher
  • Related Links
  • Merchant of Venice Bibliography

E-Text of Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice E-Text contains the full text of Merchant of Venice

  • List of Characters

Wikipedia Entries for Merchant of Venice

  • Introduction
  • Plot summary
  • Earlier sources
  • Date and text

essay questions merchant of venice

73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

🏆 best the merchant of venice topic ideas & essay examples, 📌 good essay topics on the merchant of venice, 🔎 most interesting the merchant of venice topics to write about, ❓ merchant of venice essay questions.

  • “The Merchant of Venice” as a Comedy It is quite comical that one of the conditions in the case of a default of the loan taken from the Jewish Shylock by Antonio is the repayment of the loan in form of one […]
  • Religion in “The Merchant of Venice” by Shakespeare Religion in The Merchant of Venice is the main aspect that gives a node to the vices of ultimately estrangement, persecution, and discrimination that is depicted in the play. We will write a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts 808 writers online Learn More
  • Theatre Play: William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice In fact, it is a play of the hunter becoming the hunted. However, according to the play, he is masterful.
  • “The Merchant of Venice” Play by Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice is a play about a man who is wronged and almost destroyed by fortune, but then he realizes he has the power to influence his destiny.
  • Review of Act 2, Scene 2 of “The Merchant of Venice” The scene serves to highlight the dual nature of Lancelot Gobbo, the play’s clown. At this point, Lancelot shows his more positive side, deciding to drop the act and reveal himself to his father.
  • Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice However, Shakespeare, being the absolute genius of an artist was able to conceptualize the basic norms of this sentiment and presented his villain of this play as a monster, for the jingoistic mass, and a […]
  • “The Merchant of Venice” a Play by William Shakespeare In the play, Shylock, or as he is also referred to Shylock the Jew, is a Jewish usurer in the city of Venice.
  • Description of Directing William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Justice Versus Mercy in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Self-Interest Versus Love in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Homosexual Relationship Between Antonio and Bassanio “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Theme of Anti-Semitism in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Women’s Role and Portia in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Depiction of Religious and Racial Prejudice in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Two Worlds of Venice and Belmont in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Theme of Trial and Performance in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Comparing Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and “Hamlet”
  • Prejudice and Intolerance Theme in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • How William Shakespeare Sways Audience’s Sympathies in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Physical and Mental Blindness as Seen Throughout Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Character of Shylock in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Hate for Jews in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Comparing Luke’s Gospel and Shylock’s Experiences in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • How Marginalized Groups Are Presented in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • A Theme of Deception in “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare
  • The Relationship Between Father and Daughter in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Interpretation of Themes of Law and Legal in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Causes Portia and Bassanio’s Indifference in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Conflict Within Venetian Society in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Describing the Conflict Between Shylock and Antonio in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”: Tragedy or Comedy
  • The Darkness and Animalistic Behavior of Iago in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Shylock as a Hero or Villain in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Linking Literary Heritage Poetry With Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Jessica’s Silence and the Feminine Pyrrhonic in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Gender Roles in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Formalistic, Sociological, and Psychological Analysis of “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Christian Prejudice and Racial Discrimination of Marginalized in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Depiction of False Love and Marriage in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Nazi Propaganda in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Linking William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and the Concepts of Justice
  • Dueling Religious Ideologies Seen in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Describing the Shylock Fate in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Different Attitudes Toward Jews in “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare
  • The Moral Issues Raised in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • The Effect and Consequence of Shylock’s Pride in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Describing Poetic Verse and Rhyme in “The Merchant of Venice”
  • Who Is the Main Villain in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is the Relationship Between Father and Daughter in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is the Conclusion of “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • Who Is the Most Important Character in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • Is “The Merchant of Venice” a Real Story?
  • What Is the Most Important Scene in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Are the Major Themes of “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • How Does the Character of Shylock Look Like in William Shakespeare’s Play “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • Why Is “The Merchant of Venice” Called a Tragedy?
  • What Is the Moral Message of the Play “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Do the Two Worlds of Venice and Belmont Look Like in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is the Purpose of “Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is the Theme of the Court and Performance in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is “The Merchant Venice” About?
  • What Is the Comparison Between Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” and “Hamlet”?
  • What Kind of Play Is “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is the Theme of Prejudice and Intolerance in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Are the Main Plot in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • How William Shakespeare Sways Audience’s Sympathies in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is “The Merchant of Venice” Based on?
  • How Is Jew-Hatred Depicted in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • Why Is It Called “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • What Is the Comparison Between the Gospel of Luke and Shylock’s Experience in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • Who Is the Real Hero in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • How Marginalized Groups Are Presented in “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • How Is the Theme of Deception Shown in William Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”?
  • Chicago (A-D)
  • Chicago (N-B)

IvyPanda. (2024, March 2). 73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-merchant-of-venice-essay-topics/

"73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." IvyPanda , 2 Mar. 2024, ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-merchant-of-venice-essay-topics/.

IvyPanda . (2024) '73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples'. 2 March.

IvyPanda . 2024. "73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-merchant-of-venice-essay-topics/.

1. IvyPanda . "73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-merchant-of-venice-essay-topics/.

Bibliography

IvyPanda . "73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples." March 2, 2024. https://ivypanda.com/essays/topic/the-merchant-of-venice-essay-topics/.

  • Macbeth Ideas
  • Othello Titles
  • Religious Conflict Topics
  • A Midsummer Night’s Dream Titles
  • Hamlet Essay Ideas
  • King Lear Research Ideas
  • Much Ado About Nothing Paper Topics
  • Romeo and Juliet Research Topics
  • Taming of the Shrew Topics
  • The Tempest Essay Ideas
  • Antisemitism Essay Titles
  • Friendship Essay Ideas
  • Nazism Topics
  • Racism Paper Topics
  • Existentialism Paper Topics

The Merchant of Venice

Guide cover image

42 pages • 1 hour read

A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

Act Summaries & Analyses

Character Analysis

Symbols & Motifs

Important Quotes

Essay Topics

Discussion Questions

What role does blood play as a symbol in the text? How do characters like Shylock think of blood compared to how Christian noblemen think of it? As a concept, how does blood unite humanity? How does it divide it?

How do you view Bassanio’s courtship of Portia? Clearly, it financially benefits him to marry her. Moreover, doing so will help his best friend Antonio . Do you think Bassanio has true affection for Portia? What about Portia for Bassanio? Is the relationship entirely transactional or perhaps somewhere in-between?

What is the broader thematic relevance of the three caskets? And how do deceptive appearances play into the behavior of the Christian noblemen? Are their appeals to Christian mercy truly Christian or merely self-serving?

blurred text

Don't Miss Out!

Access Study Guide Now

Related Titles

By William Shakespeare

Guide cover image

All's Well That Ends Well

William Shakespeare

Guide cover image

A Midsummer Night's Dream

Guide cover placeholder

Antony and Cleopatra

Guide cover image

As You Like It

Guide cover placeholder

Henry IV, Part 1

Guide cover placeholder

Henry IV, Part 2

Guide cover image

Henry VI, Part 1

Henry VI, Part 3

Guide cover image

Julius Caesar

Guide cover image

Love's Labour's Lost

Guide cover image

Measure For Measure

Guide cover image

Much Ado About Nothing

Featured Collections

Appearance Versus Reality

View Collection

Elizabethan Era

Forgiveness

Required Reading Lists

Shakespeare

Tragic Plays

Home — Essay Samples — Literature — Plays — Merchant of Venice

one px

Essays on Merchant of Venice

The importance of writing an essay on merchant of venice.

Writing an essay on Merchant of Venice is important as it allows students to critically analyze the themes, characters, and messages portrayed in the play. It also helps in developing critical thinking and analytical skills, as well as improving writing abilities.

When writing an essay on Merchant of Venice, it is important to carefully analyze the characters and their motivations. For example, Shylock’s character can be explored in depth to understand the themes of prejudice, justice, and revenge. Additionally, the themes of love, friendship, and loyalty can be examined through the relationships between the characters.

Furthermore, it is crucial to consider the historical and social context of the play, as it provides a deeper understanding of the themes and messages conveyed by Shakespeare. For instance, the portrayal of anti-Semitism in the play reflects the societal attitudes of the time, and this can be analyzed in the essay.

When writing the essay, it is important to provide evidence from the text to support the arguments and analysis. This can include direct quotes, references to specific scenes, and interpretations of the characters’ actions and dialogue. Additionally, it is essential to structure the essay in a coherent and logical manner, with a clear introduction, body paragraphs, and a strong conclusion.

In conclusion, writing an essay on Merchant of Venice is important for students to develop critical thinking, analytical, and writing skills. By carefully analyzing the characters, themes, and historical context of the play, students can gain a deeper understanding of the text and its significance.

Best Merchant of Venice Essay Topics

  • The portrayal of Shylock as a villain or victim
  • The role of women in The Merchant of Venice
  • The theme of mercy and justice in the play
  • The symbolism of the bond and the caskets
  • The use of language and imagery in The Merchant of Venice
  • The significance of the title in relation to the themes of the play
  • The role of friendship and loyalty in The Merchant of Venice
  • The portrayal of prejudice and discrimination in the play
  • The relationship between Antonio and Bassanio
  • The concept of appearance vs reality in The Merchant of Venice
  • The motif of money and wealth in the play
  • The portrayal of love and romance in The Merchant of Venice
  • The role of religion in the play
  • The use of comedy and tragedy in The Merchant of Venice
  • The significance of the courtroom scene
  • The portrayal of power and authority in the play
  • The role of fate and destiny in The Merchant of Venice
  • The theme of deception and manipulation
  • The portrayal of outsiders and insiders in the play
  • The relevance of The Merchant of Venice in today's society

Merchant of Venice Essay Topics Prompts

  • Imagine you are Shylock's defense attorney. Write a closing argument that challenges the court's decision.
  • Write a letter from Portia to Bassanio, expressing her feelings about the outcome of the bond and the caskets.
  • Create a modern-day adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, set in a different cultural or social context.
  • Write a dialogue between Antonio and Shylock, exploring their conflicting views on money and morality.
  • Imagine you are a journalist interviewing Jessica after she elopes with Lorenzo. Write a series of questions and answers that reveal her motivations and feelings.

How Shakespeare Presents The Character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice

The complexity of female roles in the merchant of venice and measure for measure, made-to-order essay as fast as you need it.

Each essay is customized to cater to your unique preferences

+ experts online

Juxtaposition of Love and Wealth in The Merchant of Venice

The value of loyalty in the merchant of venice, shylock as a hero or villain in the merchant of venice, the construction of portia's character in the merchant of venice, let us write you an essay from scratch.

  • 450+ experts on 30 subjects ready to help
  • Custom essay delivered in as few as 3 hours

The Theme of Inequality in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice

Discrimination in the merchant of venice, a play by william shakespeare, the role of daughter and the historical context, analysis of bassanio's affections in the merchant of venice, get a personalized essay in under 3 hours.

Expert-written essays crafted with your exact needs in mind

Shylock's Personality in Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"

Depiction of religious and racial prejudice in the merchant of venice, racial and religious issues in the merchant of venice, anti-semitism as a major controversy in the merchant of venice, a study of the theme of mercy in the merchant of venice, questioning anti-semitic ideas in the merchant of venice, being human as a profound paradox in the merchant of venice, the meaning behind portia's trick in merchant of venice, the question of anti-semitism in the merchant of venice, the relationship between father and daughter in the merchant of venice, the merchant of venice and modern connotations of the play, depiction of false love and marriage in the merchant of venice, a theme of deception in the merchant of venice by william shakespeare, shylock’s character and anti-semitism of elizabethan era in the merchant of venice, portia and the three caskets game in the merchant of venice, socisl dilemma in the merchant of venice, others as a mirror: anti-semitism in the merchant of venice and jew of malta, the trial of the rings as a climax of the conflict in the merchant of venice, the fluidity of justice in shakespearean comedy, the contrast of two cities in the merchant of venice.

1596-1599, William Shakespeare

Shakespearean comedy

Antonio, an antisemitic merchant, takes a loan from the Jew Shylock to help his friend to court Portia. Antonio can't repay the loan, and without mercy, Shylock demands a pound of his flesh. The heiress Portia, now the wife of Antonio's friend, dresses as a lawyer and saves Antonio.

The Merchant of Venice is structured partly on the contrast between idealistic and realistic opinions about society and relationships. On the one hand, the play tells us that love is more important than money, mercy is preferable to revenge, and love lasts forever

Antonio, Bassanio, Gratiano, Lorenzo, Portia, Nerissa, Balthazar, Stephano, Shylock, Jessica, Tubal, Launcelot Gobbo, Old Gobbo, Leonardo, Duke of Venice, Prince of Morocco, Prince of Arragon, Salarino and Salanio

The forfeit of a merchant's deadly bond after standing surety for a friend's loan was a common tale in England in the late 16th century. In addition, the test of the suitors at Belmont, the merchant's rescue from the "pound of flesh" penalty by his friend's new wife disguised as a lawyer, and her demand for the betrothal ring in payment are all elements present in the 14th-century tale Il Pecorone by Giovanni Fiorentino, which was published in Milan in 1558.

The Merchant of Venice is one of the most famous plays of Shakespeare. The play is frequently staged today, but is potentially troubling to modern audiences because of its central themes, which can easily appear antisemitic. Critics today still continue to argue over the play's stance on the Jews and Judaism.

“You speak an infinite deal of nothing.” “With mirth and laughter let old wrinkles come.” “The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose.” “All that glisters is not gold.”

1. Shakespeare, W., Shakespeare, W., & Kaplan, M. L. (2002). The merchant of Venice (pp. 25-120). Palgrave Macmillan US. (https://link.springer.com/chapter/10.1007/978-1-137-07784-4_2) 2. Lewalski, B. K. (1962). Biblical Allusion and Allegory in" The Merchant of Venice". Shakespeare Quarterly, 13(3), 327-343. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/2866826) 3. Halio, J. L. (2006). The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare Bulletin, 24(2), 63-68. (https://muse.jhu.edu/pub/1/article/199046/summary) 4. Ferber, M. (1990). The Ideology of The Merchant of Venice. English Literary Renaissance, 20(3), 431-464. (https://www.journals.uchicago.edu/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1475-6757.1990.tb01442.x?journalCode=elr) 5. Willson, M. J. (1994). View of Justice in Shakespeare's the Merchant of Venice and Measure for Measure. Notre Dame L. Rev., 70, 695. (https://heinonline.org/HOL/LandingPage?handle=hein.journals/tndl70&div=24&id=&page=) 6. Metzger, M. J. (1998). “Now by my hood, a gentle and no Jew”: Jessica, The Merchant of Venice, and the discourse of early modern English identity. PMLA, 113(1), 52-63. (https://www.cambridge.org/core/journals/pmla/article/abs/now-by-my-hood-a-gentle-and-no-jew-jessica-the-merchant-of-venice-and-the-discourse-of-early-modern-english-identity/51E9B840D2AB9DB0ABAB356C6FBC0B20) 7. Moisan, T. (2013). " Which is the merchant here? and which the Jew?": subversion and recuperation in The Merchant of Venice. In Shakespeare Reproduced (pp. 196-214). Routledge. (https://www.taylorfrancis.com/chapters/edit/10.4324/9781315018584-15/merchant-jew-subversion-recuperation-merchant-venice-thomas-moisan-188) 8. Sokol, B. J., & Sokol, M. (1999). Shakespeare and the English Equity Jurisdiction The Merchant of Venice and the Two Texts of King Lear. The Review of English Studies, 50(200), 417-439. (https://academic.oup.com/res/article-abstract/50/200/417/1531451)

Relevant topics

  • Romeo and Juliet
  • A Raisin in The Sun
  • Antigone Tragic Hero
  • Macbeth Guilt
  • The Importance of Being Earnest

By clicking “Check Writers’ Offers”, you agree to our terms of service and privacy policy . We’ll occasionally send you promo and account related email

No need to pay just yet!

We use cookies to personalyze your web-site experience. By continuing we’ll assume you board with our cookie policy .

  • Instructions Followed To The Letter
  • Deadlines Met At Every Stage
  • Unique And Plagiarism Free

essay questions merchant of venice

Orator Institute of English

Search this blog, short questions and answers on the merchant of venice.

The Merchant of Venice  is a 16th-century play written by  William Shakespeare  in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender,  Shylock . It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. Short Questions on The Merchant of Venice are asked in academic like CBSE, ICSE, UP Board and other State Boards as well as in graduation and post graduation . Here, we will learn 26 short questions and their answers on the Merchant of Venice .

Short Questions and Answers on The Merchant of Venice

1. How “The Merchant of Venice ” is a romantic comedy?

The Merchant of Venice  is a  romantic comedy  because it is rich in romantic elements like the events;  lottery of caskets ,  great and gripping trial scene ,  young maiden acts as a lawyer and becomes the savior of virtue in trouble , and  lyrical poetic  beauty in the last scene.

2. How “The Merchant of Venice ” is a tragic comedy?

The Merchant of Venice  is  mingling of comic and tragic elements  like  happy ending  for Antonio, Bassanio, Portia and Jessica but  tragic end  for the Shylock.

3. Who is the real merchant of Venice Antonio or Shylock?

The  real merchant of the Venice  is  Antonio  because in the opening scene of the play he is  presented as rich merchant  that his  rich ventures ,  tossing on the oceans . He has  worldwide trade  but Shylock is only cruel money lender and usurer not a merchant.

4. What is the significance of the title The Merchant of Venice ?

The  title  of the play  The Merchant of Venice  is  significant  because it represents the  Antonio  who is real merchant of Venice . He has  pivotal role in the plot  that the bond story, trail scene has direct relation and casket story is also indirectly  related to Antonio.

5. What are the main and sub plots in the play?

In the play  The Merchant of Venice  the  main plot  is the  bond story  and other  sub plots  are the  casket story, Lorenzo and Jessica episode  and the  story of ring .

6. Who is Portia in the drama The Merchant of Venice ?

Portia  a  beautiful lady  is the  rich heiress  of Belmont .  Bassanio’s beloved  and later they married. She is  witty, humorous and modest  character. She saves the life of Antonio from the knife of Shylock in trials. She disguised herself as a lawyer and defends Antonio.

7. What do you know about Shylock in The Merchant of Venice ?

Shylock  is  rich Jew  and  money lender . He is the  father of Jessica . He is  hypocrite, cunning, blood-thirsty and vindictive . His passion for  money  and  revenge  are leading traits. He is criticized by Christian characters throughout the play.

8. What justification do Salerio and Solanio propose for Antonio’s sadness?

According to them, Antonio melancholic attitude suggests that his money is tied up in his ships, which are sailing on dangerous seas. Solanio predicts that he is in love.

9. What mocking suggestion does Gratiano present Antonio?

Gratiano tells Antonio don't be sad about worldly affairs.

10. Describe the character Shylock?

He was Jewish moneylender in Venice . He gives money to the people and demands great interest . He is cruel and greedy. He demands one pound flesh of Antonio if he is unable to pay back the dues. He is forced to convert into Christianity at the end of the play.

11. What are the views on so-called wise people according to Gratiano?

According to Gratiano, wise men are silent and stern. They're only considered wise because they don't say anything.

Idioms and Phrases From A to Z for Your Exams.

Important 50 One Word Substitution Questions for Your Exams.

He was the friend of Antonio who requested Antonio to borrow 3000 ducats so that he can make his appearance better and ask Portia to marry him. At start, he wanted to marry Portia for her money but eventually he loved her.

13.   What is Antonio actual Cause of Sadness?

In Act I, Scene 1, we are told that even Antonio doesn't know why he's feeling sad. Everyone assumes he's worried about the safety of his ships, but he claims the ships are not the reason for his depression.

14. What are the reasons for Portia sadness during selection?

She was sad because of her father casket game. She didn't want to choose her husband in this way. She wanted liberty in choosing her life partner. She was also tired of constant arrivals of suitors.

15. Who are tubal and Chus?

Tubal and Chus are Lorenzo's Jewish friends . and Tubal is one of Shylock's good friends and Chus is among his fellow Jews.

16. What is Gratiano's philosophy to overcome sadness?

Gratiano told Antonio that life has a short period so he should be happy and have some fun.

17. In the story Merchant of Venice, what was written in the letter that made Bassanio turn pale?

Salerio hands Bassanio a letter from Antonio. Bassanio turns pale at the news that Antonio has lost his fortune and his ships, and he asks Salerio if it is true that all of Antonio's ventures have failed.

18. Themes of the play 'Merchant of Venice '?

There are many themes in the play but love, hatred, mercy, and prejudice are the vital themes.

19. Illustrate the Caskets trial?

The Prince of Morocco comes and first chooses gold and gets a death skull. After that Prince of Aragon gets the picture of an idiot. When Bassanio comes, he chooses lead casket and wins her hand.

20. How does Shakespeare portray of Portia's generous nature?

Portia has a good idea of what she is going to do before the trial of Shylock . She gives Shylock the chance to concede his bond on Antonio before disaster befalls him. She offers Shylock compensation for a loan but Shylock refuses.

21. What does Salarino think Antonio's sadness is about?

Salarino thinks Antonio’s sadness is about “ Worry over his ships ”.

22. What does Solanio think Antonio's sadness is about?

Solanio thinks Antonio’s sadness is about Love .

23. How is Bassanio related to Antonio?

Bassanio is his cousin .

24. What does Antonio compare life on this earth to?

Antonio compares his life with “A staged play”.

25. Who is the lover of Jessica?

Lorenzo is her lover and she is the daughter of Shylock. She hates her father. She eloped with Lorenzo and married to him.

26. What do you know about Gratiano?

He loves Nerissa who is the maid of Portia. He goes to Belmont with Bassanio.

Blog By- Zuba'r Saifi

essay questions merchant of venice

COMMENTS

  1. The Merchant of Venice: Suggested Essay Topics

    What does their friendship reveal about their characters? 2. Examine Shylock's rhetoric. Pay special attention to the quality of his language—his use of metaphor and repetition, for instance. How do his speeches reflect his character as a whole? 3. Compare and contrast Venice and Belmont.

  2. Essay Questions

    Study Help Essay Questions. 1. Why has the character of Shylock been interpreted in so many differing ways by so many different critics? Why is this dramatic character more puzzling, or more stimulating, than any other character in any of Shakespeare's other romantic comedies? 2. Many critics feel that the images of the sea in Act I, Scene 1 ...

  3. Merchant of Venice Essay Questions

    Merchant of Venice Essay Questions. 1. In what ways does The Merchant of Venice defy the comedic genre? While The Merchant of Venice is firmly placed in the genre of comedy, it is a unique comedy in that it features many tropes of early modern tragedy - namely, the gruesome predilections and rhetorical skill of its central antagonist, the ...

  4. 45 Ideas for Students on Merchant of Venice Essay Topics

    Meanwhile, in the next list, prepared by our English essay writer, you will find 45 great ideas for topics based on this play. Table of contents hide. 1 "The Merchant of Venice" essay questions to explore. 2 Ultimate "The Merchant of Venice" topics. 3 "The Merchant of Venice" persuasive essay topics. 4 "The Merchant of Venice ...

  5. 73 The Merchant of Venice Essay Topic Ideas & Examples

    Religion in "The Merchant of Venice" by Shakespeare. Religion in The Merchant of Venice is the main aspect that gives a node to the vices of ultimately estrangement, persecution, and discrimination that is depicted in the play. We will write. a custom essay specifically for you by our professional experts.

  6. The Merchant of Venice Suggested Essay Topics

    Suggested Essay Topics. PDF Cite Share. Act I, Scenes 1-3. 1. Compare and contrast Antonio's situation in signing the agreement with Shylock, with Portia's situation of being held bound to her ...

  7. The Merchant of Venice Critical Essays

    Topic #1. Much of the plot of The Merchant of Venice is generated by contractual obligations. These take the form of legally binding contracts, such as the bond between Antonio and Shylock, as ...

  8. The Merchant of Venice Essay Topics

    Thanks for exploring this SuperSummary Study Guide of "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare. A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides with detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, and more.

  9. Merchant of Venice Essay Topics

    The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is the story of a merchant named Antonio who is waiting for an investment to pay off. His friend Bassiano owes him money, and has ...

  10. The Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers

    Suggested Essay Topics Short-Answer Quizzes Act I, Scenes 1-3: Questions and Answers ... The Merchant of Venice Questions and Answers

  11. Merchant of Venice Essay Writing Guide

    William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice is a play worthy of the attention of literary critics and high school students. However, an essay on such a topic can raise many questions and difficulties. Read more about the subtleties of such a text. We also have a good Merchant of Venice essay example for you.

  12. The Merchant Of Venice. Essay Questions and Answers

    Study with Quizlet and memorize flashcards containing terms like Discuss how the themes of mercy and justice are explored in the play., Portia is presented as intellectually and morally superior to all the men in the play. Discuss, with reference to the status of women in Shakespeare's time and today., Write an account of what you imagine happened to the main characters in the future, bearing ...

  13. ≡Essays on Merchant of Venice. Free Examples of Research Paper Topics

    Merchant of Venice. Topics: Antonio, Christopher Marlowe, First Folio, Gender role, Love, Old Testament, Portia, Shylock, The Jew of Malta, The Merchant of Venice. 1 2. Absolutely FREE essays on Merchant of Venice. All examples of topics, summaries were provided by straight-A students. Get an idea for your paper.

  14. The Merchant of Venice Critical Evaluation

    Critical Evaluation. Through the years, The Merchant of Venice has been one of William Shakespeare's most popular and most frequently performed plays. The work has an interesting and fast-moving ...

  15. The Merchant of Venice

    Paper 1 is worth 64 marks and accounts for 40% of your overall GCSE grade. The Merchant of Venice essay is worth 34 marks in total, because it also includes 4 marks for spelling, punctuation and grammar. Section A of Paper 1 contains The Merchant of Venice question and you are required to answer the one available question on the play.

  16. The Merchant of Venice: Themes

    Love and Friendship. The Merchant of Venice explores the theme of love and friendship between many of its characters. The chief romantic relationship in the play involves Bassanio and Portia, and other relationships are also explored through Jessica's elopement with Lorenzo, the wedding between Nerissa and Gratiano, and the bond of friendship between Antonio and Bassanio.

  17. Short Questions and Answers on The Merchant of Venice

    The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock.It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. Short Questions on The Merchant of Venice are asked in academic like CBSE, ICSE, UP Board and other State Boards as well as in graduation and post ...

  18. The Merchant of Venice Essays

    Shylock is one of the most confusing characters in all of Shakespeare's plays. On the surface, he is a villain only concerned about money and revenge. Some critics, however, argue that Shakespeare ...

  19. The Merchant of Venice: Full Play Summary

    The Merchant of Venice Full Play Summary. Antonio, a Venetian merchant, complains to his friends of a melancholy that he cannot explain. His friend Bassanio is desperately in need of money to court Portia, a wealthy heiress who lives in the city of Belmont. Bassanio asks Antonio for a loan in order to travel in style to Portia's estate.

  20. Stuck on an essay : r/MerchantofVenice

    Stuck on an essay Hi, so I'm doing a essay based on Merchant of Venice and I'm really stuck. The theme is how Shakespeare develops revenge as a theme in the play and all l've done so far is two paragraphs and I would really like some inspiration on how I can go on about revenge for 5 paragraphs.

  21. The Merchant of Venice Criticism

    Frank Kennode. [ Kennode presents a concise overview of The Merchant of Venice, initially examining Shakespeare's punning of the term "gentle" and discussing the word's various meanings throughout ...