2011 Student Research Conference:
24th Annual Student Research Conference

A Marxist Interpretation of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
Justine C. De Roach
Dr. Hena Ahmad, Faculty Mentor

Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of Venice, while comedic and carefree, has a very strong sense of a 16th century class system, and the obligations which come with it. There is a clear consciousness within the play's characters of the divisions and classes in their society, and while it appears that they accept those distinctions, it does not prevent Shakespeare from enabling his characters to make friends in other social classes, and even change their own standing during the plot of the play. Perhaps Bassanio's eventual marriage to the heiress, Portia, is the best representation of the liberty which Shakespeare offers to the characters of The Merchant of Venice, but too, there is the friendship which goes far beyond simple servitude expected of Nerissa to her lady. The proposed paper will not only outline the careful class distinctions of the play, but will also determine how Shakespeare's characters rise above them.

Keywords: Marxist, Marxism, Merchant, Venice, Shakespeare, Ahmad, 2011


Presentation Type: Oral Paper

Session: 41-5
Location: VH 1324
Time: 3:45

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