Shakespeare – Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare – Merchant of Venice
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I’ve chosen my topic: an analysis of the words “bond” and “credit” in the Merchant of Venice. From a brief reading, I’ve come to the thesis that affective and economic bonds in this play aren’t distinct but rather function on a sliding scale. That is to say, bonds that seem purely economic have a degree of emotion involved (for example, Antonio saying “I will be your friend.”) bonds that seem purely affective also involve economics – Shylock’s remarks when he finds out his daughter has run away. The affective cannot be separated from the economic. The class is called “Shakespeare and Material Culture” so please also comment on the material / in materiality of bonds and credit as material objects. It is also important to discuss the implicit fiction of the economy of Venice that Shakespeare sets up. It would be impossible for a character to have a fleet of ships all over the world without borrowing from a bank – and a bank would charge interest. Why is the moral system set up to be so against interest? This paper requires no additional research and is only a close reading of the text.

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