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Stereotype in the Merchant of Venice

  • Date Submitted: 06/11/2010 05:26 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 58 
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´╗┐Mythological Criticism can be used to connect a novel's themes, characters, or plot to legends and myths throughout history. In "The Merchant of Venice", religion, the three caskets, and the pound of flesh are the main ideas that can be used with mythological criticism to help show connections with other legends or stories that have a similar meaning.

The main connection in the novel portrays to the three caskets that Portia uses to
select her future husband. This symbolism can be connected to other myths and legends.
Sigmund Freud also connected "The Merchant of Venice" to the ageless tale of Gesta Romanorum. In this tale, a girl has to make the same choice to win the Emperor's son. In
"The Merchant of Venice", each casket had its own meaning, showing the personality of
each suitor. An example would be the Prince of Morocco, who chooses the gold casket.
The ego of the Prince does the choosing and the ego chooses the casket that completely
reflects the Prince's true personality.

Religion becomes a major factor in "The Merchant of Venice", and history has many
references to religion. Many novels and myths use religion as a characteristic or a conflict
in the plots, including Shakespeare's novel. The story of Jesus seems to be a popular
connection to "The Merchant of Venice". Knowing that Jesus was crucified by the Jews
because He claimed that He was the Son of God, the reader can better understand the
view coming from Shylock .The only problem that occurs is that most readers don't want
to include the reason that Shylock prosecutes Antonio because of his religion. In the play,
though, Shylock shows his displeasure of the Christian religion, and quoted as saying: "I
will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following, but I
will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you (I.iii). Shylock does not approve
of Antonio, this was the perfect excuse to punish him with the pound of flesh. Religion
was a very...


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