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Parent-children Relationship in Merchant of Venice

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Samaher Alharbi

on 23 April 2015

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Transcript of Parent-children Relationship in Merchant of Venice

Parent-children Relationships in Merchant of Venice
2- Jessica and her father Shylock.
* Jessica, in contrast, is the least loyal of the children to her father in the play, meeting secretly with Lorenzo and allowing him to court her, lying to her father, abandoning him, and stealing from him; she isn't the respectful daughter that Shylock thinks she is.

* Although she feels some pangs of guilt (“Alack, what heinous sin is it in me / To be ashamed to be my father’s child! / But though I am a daughter to his blood, / I am not to his manners” [2.3.16–19]), Jessica rejects her father, his way of life, and his religion—though not, interestingly, his wealth, a great deal of which she takes along with her.

*As Jessica runs away from Shylock , he cries out in doubt “My own flesh and blood to rebel!” (Act 3 Scene1 32).

* It would be evident which of the two he values more when he says “I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin!” (Act III Scene 1 83-85). Shylock displays how much he wishes she was dead at his feet and it shows how he could care less about her. These aren't words of a loving father they seem like they are full of hate and shows that Shylock would not grieve for her death.

*The relationship between father-daughter vanishes as we see Shylock treat Jessica as another possession and with that all the values that a child is supposed to have for a parent also fades away.

3-Launcelot and his father Old Gobbo
* The relationship between Launcelot Gobbo and his father isn't as uncontrolled as Jessica and Shylock and not as considerate as Portia and her father.

*Launcelot is unreasonably nasty, he teases his father when he refers to himself in the third person as “Master Launcelot” and telling his father that “Master Launcelot . . . is indeed deceased, or as you would say in plain terms, gone to heaven” (Act 2 Scene2 60-65). But his father seems fond of his son even when he doesn't have the sense to recognize him.

*When Old Gobbo thinks that Launcelot is dead, he says: “The boy was the very staff of my age, my very prop” (Act 2 Scene 2 66-67) and when Launcelot requests, his father very considerately helps him in acquiring a new place away from Shylock. This relationship is unlike the other two, in this relationship even though Launcelot isn't recognized by his father his father is still there for him no matter what.

To Conclude..
* It can be said that the three parent-children relationships in the play have remarkable similarities, yet they vary widely in success. Portia’s father, in his way, is just as controlling as Shylock; after all, he insists on choosing his daughter’s mate, even from the grave. Yet Portia, one of the strongest-minded individuals in the play, respects his wishes while Jessica betrays and abandons her father. Old Gobbo, though affectionate, is an adequate parent at best, because—like Shylock—he does not truly know or understand his offspring.
1- Portia and her Father
* Portia's relationship with her father may not have been perfect. Nevertheless, she is considered as the most obedient of the three.

* Portia is left to carry out her father's instructions regarding whom she should marry and how her future husband will be selected. This is something that she finds very difficult to cope with, as she explains to Nerissa in Act I scene 2 when she talks of how "the will of a living daughter [is] curb'd by the will of a dead father." She is neither able to choose nor to refuse, and she finds this very unjust.

* The test her father devised, out of love for hir daughter, will therefore ensure that the person who succeeds in guessing the correct casket will be of a suitable character to marry Portia.

* In this relationship, Shakespeare conveys the message that strong women are ones who find their strength inside the environment of the hierarchy which placed fathers and then husbands as superiors to daughters and wives.

Brief Introduction
"Merchant of Venice" is more than a play, it is a study of the struggle between different forces such as Christians and Jews, love and unselfishness, hate and vengeance, companionship and matrimony, and financial and emotional bonds.

One of the overlooked patterns used by Shakespeare is his analysis of families and parent-children relationships.

Therefore, he depicted three main relationships which are:
1- Portia and her father
2- Jessica and her father Shylock.
3- Lancelot Gobbo and his father.

Thank you for listening
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