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Show how Shakespeare makes a contrast between Venice and Belmont In William Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare shows the contrast of the two worlds Belmont and Venice by representing Venice as a masculine world of commerce and competition which is dominated by the language of money and representing Belmont by a feminine world of marriage and love and also by Portia The fact that both the worlds are given gender roles does indicate that perhaps Shakespeare was trying to communicate his observations of both sexes and the way they conduct themselves An obvious way in which the two cities contrast is in their reality Venice is a very realistic place The people living and working in the town have real problems such as debt and hostility from others Belmont is a city that one would see in a fairytale Everything is happy and nobody has any real problems The most upsetting occurrence in Belmont was that Portia did not like the method in which her husband was going to be picked However depending on how you read the play Portia may have rigged the process by telling Bassanio which casket to pick anyway therefore leaving her contented in the end In Belmont everything always seems to work out for the better in Venice it is entirely the opposite The fact that Portia rigged Bassanios choosing of the caskets indicates that perhaps Shakespeare thought that women were conniving and manipulative Also because Bassanio did not seem to notice that he was being helped along perhaps Shakespeare was symbolising the male sexs naivety Another manner in which the two cities are contrasted has to do with money In Venice money is continually the topic of conversation They are always worried about it borrowing it lending it or touching it Shylock is a character in Venice that deals directly with money He does not just have others touch his
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