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Shakespeare uses similar comic elements to effect similar outcomes in his works Many of his plays utilize trickery and disguise to accomplish similar endings Trickery plays a major role in The Merchant of Venice and drives most of the action while mistaken identity specifically Portias disguise as the learned attorneys representative plays a major role in the resolution of the play The first instance of trickery in the play is Bassanios plan to present himself as a financially sound suitor when in truth he is not Bassanio believes that he would stand a very good chance of being the successful suitor if he had the proper money backing him Bassanio then goes to his friend Antonio to try to secure a loan to provide for his wooing O my Antonio had I but the meansTo hold a rival place with one of them other suitorsI have a mind presages me such thriftThat I should questionless be fortunate Shakespeare Merchant 11 173-176 However Antonio has neither the money nor commodityto raise a present sum but urges Bassanio to go through Venice to try to secure a loan using Antonios bond as credit Shakespeare Merchant 11 178-179 One of the resident money-lenders of Venice is an individual called Shylock a person of Jewish descent The practice of usury was traditionally banned by the Christian church This allowed many Jews because their belief system contained no objection to profitable money-lending to become the de facto loan officers Bassanio approaches Shylock to ask for a loan and Shylock seems as if he is going to agree however he first asks to speak with Antonio It is revealed in an aside that Shylock harbors a secret hatred of Antonio because of his religion and Shylocks belief that Antonios practices drive down the interest rates that Shylock can charge in Venice Here we see the second instance of trickery and deception within The Merchant of Venice Shylock seems to have great
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