Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice: Comedy or Tragedy?

Consider the events that happened in the play – list the events that suggest a tragic ending to the play and those that suggest a comic ending.

Suggest a comic ending:

Suggest a tragic ending:

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Last updated by Aslan
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Marriage and comedy go hand in hand in Shakespeare's world. By the time The Merchant of Venice is over, most of the characters are happily married except for Shylock and Antonio. Modern audiences will see tragic elements in how Shylock is treated but Elizabethan audiences would have likely felt that Shylock, being a Jew, got what he deserved. I can't help but think the Shakespeare intended for the audience to feel a little pathos for Shylock.