Help : The Differences between Venice & Belmont In the play “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare the settings could not be more adverse, they are set in the most opposite atmospheres. One of the settings is named “Belmont”, this is Portia’s house…. the hero of the play.
Whilst the other setting is “Venice” where Shylock… The evil character lives. Portia is a witty and clever character that endears herself to the audience by saving Antonio from Shylock’s clutches; Whilst Shylock is evil and bitter.I agree with the book, “The times of Great Shakespeare” which says that Shylock is “fighting a loosing battle against his persecutors”. The play is about when good and evil clash. Belmont is a pleasant and peaceful place compared to Venice, Which is busy and depressing, this atmosphere is created in the readers mind by the continual prejudice and vengeful attitude portrayed by the characters. In Venice there is a large amount of friendships based on money, Venice is the setting for The Rialto and therefore the business side of the story.
The whole play is about what happens when contrasting plots and personalities collide, e. g. (Belmont = nice, Venice = nasty. Portia = Heroin, Shylock = villain) In Venice people are prejudice against Jews because it is allowed in their religion to lend money as a business. The Christians in Venice are against money being lent as a business so they act in an anti-Semitic nature towards the Jews, forcing them into living in Jewish ghettos, which are dark and gloomy, often being portrayed like jails.
The Christians of Venice make sure that the Jewish population know that they are not wanted in their city.In Venice it is certainly a very fast place to live in as there are many things happening. Venice is a busy and depressing place compared to Belmont, which is pleasant and peaceful. Belmont is completely adverse to Venice; their people are generally more calm and gentle towards each other. Belmont is the setting where Portia lives and the people there are of a higher class of those from Venice. Shakespeare describes Belmont to us as having a very slow-paced living; he does this by setting very long gaps between scenes set there.The main theme in Belmont is that of love & loyalty, Shakespeare shows us this by doing Scenes involving matters of affection like where Nerissa keeps her fathers promise, showing us how important he was to her. The main theme in Venice is that of greed and revenge e.
g. Shylock feels that he has been unfairly treated, so he tries to avenge his persecutors, by holding Antonio to his bond. The characters in Venice are mainly men who are extremely vengeful and scornful, they are all after one thing, and that one thing is money.
This is perhaps expected because after all it is the base of the rialto, We often hear nowadays about people getting greedy in places where there is large amounts of money i. e. Las Vegas. In Belmont the characters are mainly women who act pleasant and warmly towards each other. By creating characters, settings, and atmospheres like these Shakespeare is trying to inform us about the consequences when people of different belief clash, I think that when you read a book like this, and you get to hear how everybody thinks you begin to understand and look at matters from a different perspective.The two plots in “The Merchant of Venice” consist of one in each setting; the plot in Venice is where Antonio is bound to give a pound of his flesh to Shylock because a silly bond that they made, Antonio never thought that he would have to actually succumb to the bond. When the bond was set, Shylock did not really want the flesh but after Antonio shows such little respect he decides to go ahead with the deal.
This kind of plot is typical of Venice when you take the people and atmosphere into account as it is vengeful, vicious, and spiteful and once again it is money orientated.The plot in Belmont does not go against the trend of everything being opposite as it is almost like a fairytale. Nerissa is the most beautiful lady in all the land, who just happens to be very rich as well. She must find a husband, but in order to do so she must find a man who can pass the caskets test, the man must pick the correct object, Gold, Silver, and Lead.
If he picks the correct one he shall win Nerissa’s hand in marriage. She must do this in order to keep a promise in which she made to her father before he died.The language used in each plot is dis-similar as the language in Belmont uses poetic love riddles to describe the atmosphere cleverly. Shakespeare is not afraid to Show compassion in his writing as he does so by using intelligent poetry, He writes using soft words used to describe the situation whereas in Venice he uses sharp words to empathise the situation. Subsequently he uses short sentences to portray the overall speed of the place, Venice has a very fast paced living.
The words are sharp, the sentences are short and as usual they normally give reference to money.In “The Merchant of Venice” we are continually being placed in mysterious situations such as the caskets with Nerissa, everyone would think that gold or silver would be the correct choice of object as they are precious and expensive but Lead is the correct choice because it does not lead to conflict or greed. This situation is not the only scene of mystery, we also have the scene where Nerissa and Portia dress up as men in order to save Antonio, afterwards they trick the men into giving them the rings which they promised they’d never part with.I think that this play shows just how good a writer Shakespeare is as he uses two contrasting styles of writing to a great affect, not only does it show how good a writer he was but it also shows us that he was quite intelligent as at times he shows sympathy for Shylock whereas most people from the eighteenth century wouldn’t have. Overall I thoroughly enjoyed this book and would certainly recommend it to others