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Word Count: 2,341
Consider the play as a tragicomedy Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice is a comedy with a difference It was written almost certainly between 1596 1598 The play is classed as one of the 16 comedy plays but it is also a problem play due to the tragic elements woven throughout the intricate plot The play concludes with a harmonious ending but all through the plot reoccurring themes of sadness and tragedy are included In terms of dramatic structure The Merchant of Venice is undoubtedly a comedy It follows the typical upward trajectory of comedy beginning complication to ending resolution Act 1 introduces the plays main complication but it also sets the tone for comic expectation by establishing upward rhythm of comedy in each of its three scenes Antonio and Portias melancholy are shortly alleviated by appropriate distractions hope Bassanio hopes to thrive Antonio tries to help his friend Portia will not have to worry about being chosen by the suitors she has mocked Bassanio and Antonio get what they mistakenly but happily think is a friendly loan and Shylock mistakenly and happily he has hit upon a winning scenario After the opening act has set the rhythm and expectation of comedy there is increasing fluctuation of the rising and dashing of hopes because of the various characters choices Raised hopes and satisfaction however outweigh dashed hopes and dissatisfaction Launcelot Jessica Lorenzo Portia Nerrisa Gratiano Antonio all escape the danger they most fear and realize their aspirations Morocco Arragon Shylock and Antonio all suffer losses However Morocco and Arragon receive the strict justice of their penalty that they swore oaths to accept but both Shylock Antonio are spared death half of their financial losses are recovered The plot devices used in The Merchant of Venice are quite typical of romantic comedies For example external forces keep the lovers apart not by shortcomings in their own characters or
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