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Forum nameReading Challenges, 2010
Topic subject12. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Topic URLhttp://www.fmwriters.com/community/dc/dcboard.php?az=show_topic&forum=505&topic_id=6&mesg_id=327
327, 12. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
Posted by alissaameth, Wed Feb-10-10 05:13 PM
Play - Comedy, 129 pages.

It's been about five years since I read first this. Unlike the other Shakespeare plays I've re-read so far this year, I liked this one less the second time I read it (instead of more, like the others). I do find the characters and their situations fascinating, but I didn't really enjoy reading it. I feel like I didn't understand very much, or that I must've missed something--which is certainly possible, since I read it in somewhat of a rush for class. I tend to enjoy his tragedies much more than the comedies, though. (Well, that applies to my tastes in all entertainment, actually. I don't generally watch or read much comedy.) Not that The Merchant of Venice is particularly funny--though I may have missed the jokes!

The "pound of flesh" scenario, in particular, catches my attention. On the one hand, I feel that Shylock is justified because it is a legal agreement (and Antonio can blame himself for being a fool). On the other hand, it is ridiculous that Antonio should have to die. I do think Portia's solution is clever (and good), but I still end up feeling a little bad for Shylock.