Merchant of Venice depicts a society unable to live without a man whom it rejects. Christian Venice is a latter-day bourgeois society of capitalism, not feudal, but not industrial either. Feudal society is based on the right conferred by birth. In such a society, marriages must be between people of equal status. However, in Merchant of Venice, upbringing is more significant than hereditary rights. Jessica makes it clear that she is the daughter of Shylock by blood only, and Lorenzo, revealing the absence of prejudice, correctly interprets her words, and marries her. Portia is also devoid of racial prejudice.
There are no strict class distinctions in the play. Bassanio and Antonio are held on an equal footing with Graziano, who marries a maid Nerissa. All characters are free to choose personal relationships. The purpose of the test with the chests is not to marry Portia to a certain person, but to engage her to a man able to make her happy. The first four grooms say that even after choosing the right chest, they won’t not insist on the wedding, if it is contrary to Portia’s will.
Condemning of the suitors Portia does not like comes precisely from the aesthetic canons: Neapolitan brags about his horse – decent people do not brag; Palatine is indecently morose – one should be fun. Portia rejects Monsieur Le Bon’s because he is everybody and nobody – the person must be a person and have a kernel, even if the kernel is not easy to discern. She finds a flaw in Fokonbridzhe, who despite the efforts, is not elegant, does not know languages and dresses weirdly – you can’t be a provincial. Scottish Lord is rejected by Portia for cowardice, because he is too boring. The nephew of the Duke of Saxony is a drunkard and ignorant and gets dismissed for lack of good manners.
In addition, one should be able to be carefree and free getting rid of property. The first thing that exasperated Shylock is when Jessica during one evening spends eighty ducats and buys a monkey for the ring.
Unlike the feudal society based on landed property, society in Merchant of Venice is based on money, the source of which is speculative trading rather than production like in an industrial society. Here, it is possible to suddenly get rich and poor, and the money is not only a medium of exchange, but also goods.
One of the topics covered of Merchant of Venice is legitimacy. The laws are universal and private. The law of gravity is the universal law, which describes the system of orderly conduct of bodies from the perspective of disinterested observers. For the existence of such a law, consistency is necessary, and if the exception still found, the law should be rewritten so that the exception could become part of the system.
Merchant of Venice depicts a society unable to live without a man whom it rejects. Christian Venice is a latter-day bourgeois society of capitalism, not feudal, but not industrial either. Feudal society is based on the right conferred by birth. In such a society, marriages must be between people of equal status.