Merchant of Venice

ring theme

does this theme go beyond the obvious jewelry

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The ring is a motif that goes beyond Jewelry. It was given to Shylock in his youth by a woman named Leah. This woman was most likely Shylock's wife and Jessica's mother. When Shylock is told that Jessica stole the ring, trading it for a monkey, Shylock laments, “I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys” . This ring symbolizes Shylock's past love, devotion and loss. The Ring reminds us that Shylock is human, vulnerable to the same joy and heartbreak of Gentiles.