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Comparison/Contrast: The Merchant of Venice and Richard III Essay

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In William Shakespeare’s tale of The Merchant of Venice and Richard III both plays show similar qualities as well as differences between the two plays.
The Merchant of Venice and Richard III are similar in that both plays have women that are independent. These women are not afraid to speak up and lash out with hard words towards who they do not prefer. In the Merchant of Venice, Portia never gives up. She is a very strong character and goes as far as to dress as a man and pretends to be a lawyer in order to save Antonio.
The women of Richard III are also quite strong willed and determined. They talk freely at whomever they please and are not afraid to state their opinion. Queen Margaret shows this confident attitude when she speaks by saying, “What, were you snarling all before I came, Ready to catch each other by the throat, and turn you all your hatred now on me? Did York’s dread curse prevail so much with heaven that Henry’s death, my lovelly Edward’s death, their kingdom’s loss, my woeful banishment, could all but answer for that peevish brat? Can curses pierce the clouds and enter heaven? Why then, give way, dull clouds, to my quick curses! Though not by war, by surfeit die your king, as ours by murder to make him a king” (Act 1, Scene 3, Page 9).
In both The Merchant of Venice and Richard III, some of the male characters want to marry the ladies because it means that they are gaining something in return. In The Merchant of Venice, Portia is wealthy which makes her desirable in others eyes. They want to marry her because they will be gaining wealth which they did not have before or adding to the wealth that they already have.
In Richard III, Richard kills off the powerful characters who are royal, in order to get closer to...


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...he ring was his wife’s. This little bit of information shows that Shylock is grieving inside and has not stopped. He wants the people around him to understand him but he is still an awful person for the things he says.
Richard III and The Merchant of Venice are both in their own way manipulating plays. The reader knows Richard is the bad guy however one cannot help but find his words entertaining.
These two stories show the reader similarities of these two plays in that they both have strong willed female characters. The difference of a happy ending and a tragic ending can only be determined by one’s own interpretation. However one can assume that because Richard was killed off in the end it might result in a happy ending because his reign of terror is over. Yet, because so many deaths occurred one would assume the opposite and label this tale as a tragic story.



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