Merchant of venice jessica and lorenzo relationship
Shylocks Daughter by Mirjam PresslerAs the beautiful daughter of a wealthy moneylender, Jessica leads a relatively privileged life in the Jewish Ghetto. But during her rare walks through the main streets of Venice, she has caught glimpses of the colorful, exciting world outside. Then, by chance she meets a handsome aristocrat named Lorenzo who has, it seems, everything that Jessica longs for, and who promises to make her his wife. There is one painful condition, however: She must convert to Christianity. Will Jessica follow her desires, even if it means leaving behind everyone she loves, and abandoning her religion? Will her father, Shylock, survive this betrayal? Mirjam Pressler cleverly expands upon Shakespeares play The Merchant of Venice offering a richly complex portrait of life in sixteenth-century Venice. This fascinating historical novel has been beautifully translated by Brian Murdoch, whose afterword gives readers a meaningful perspective on the difficult relations between Christians and Jews during that period.
The Merchant of Venice
In the play, she elopes with Lorenzo, a penniless Christian, and a chest of her father's money, eventually ending up in Portia and Bassanio's household. In the play's dramatic structure , Jessica is a minor but pivotal role. Her actions motivate Shylock's vengeful insistence on his "pound of flesh" from Antonio; her relationships with Shylock serves as a mirror and contrast to Portia's with her father; her conversion to Christianity is the end of Shylock's line's adherence to the Jewish faith. Literary critics have historically viewed the character negatively, highlighting her theft of her father's gold, her betrayal of his trust, and apparently selfish motivations and aimless behaviour. Since the end of the 20th century their views have been more moderate and nuanced, pointing to an alternate reading that allows her actions to be motivated by love and generosity, and being driven by Shylock's own tyrannical and immoral behaviour.
Pssst… we can write an original essay just for you. The strained relationship of Venetian moneylender Shylock and his daughter Jessica, as well as the nonexistent association between Portia and her deceased father, lead the two young women to act as they do, in turn affecting the entire cast of characters. As a common theme in the works of William Shakespeare, suffering in the name of love also applies to the two heroines of The Merchant of Venice. The delicate subject of love is further complicated by the demanding, unwavering standards set by the respective fathers of Jessica and Portia. It is these strict rules, decreed by the two powerful patriarchs, which bring Jessica and Portia together as sympathetic characters in the eyes of the reader; two women deeply in love, unable to consummate their feelings with the men they care for because of the iron rule of their fathers. However, as the play progresses, it becomes apparent that the two women are quite different. While love consumes Jessica, clouding her judgement and eventually bringing harm upon Shylock, Portia chooses to respect the dying wish of her father, letting the situation work itself out correctly.
Each couple possesses a different relationship power dynamic. Even though Portia does act subordinately to Bassanio the majority of the time, she does have her own thoughts and schemes, showing that she does not purely obey the orders of her husband. Granted that Shakespeare does not detail their interactions much, my understanding of their relationship may be superficial. However, since Shakespeare does portray Nerissa as the submissive woman in the scenes we do see her and Gratiano, we can only assume that Shakespeare purposely portrayed her as a submissive woman. However, Portia is three dimensional and possesses traits that are submissive and dominant.
After reading scene 4 to scene 6, I begun to suspect whether Lorenzo truly love Jessica or not. It seems to me that Lorenzo does not actually love Jessica more than she loves him. At the same time, it evokes a certain feeling of being commanded or ordered. This made me realize that Lorenzo is just responding to a request or a demand. Jessica on the other hand, love Lorenzo deeply. She, unlike Lorenzo, is willing to abandon her old self and elope with him.