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The Christian Comedy of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice – Part II

In the character of Portia, Dr. White discerns a beautiful example of Catholic femininity. He discusses how Portia takes on the role of intercessor and peacemaker between the conflicting characters of the play, the theme of risking all for a beloved continued in her daring disguise and intervention in Antonio’s court case. Dr. White extends this theme to the deep friendship between Antonio and Bassiano, a friendship which makes Antonio willing even to die for his friend. Portia’s justly famous speech on “the quality of mercy” is explained clearly and in detail, and the third plot of Portia’s ring analyzed. Dr. White ends this lecture on the Christian comedy of The Merchant of Venice by tying it into to the spiritual world of a Christian, viewing the play’s ending as a vision of the Biblical Marriage Feast of Cana. His insight and clear explanation of the themes and elements of The Merchant of Venice are invaluable to a proper understanding and appreciation of Shakespeare’s genius.

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