In both Romeo and Julietand the Mechant of Venice the idea of love and
marriage are important concepts that tie many of the characters together. The couples
who are perhaps the most similar are Romeo and Juliet and Lorenzo and Jessica.
Throughout the play these young lovers wend their way to the lands of marriage , but
only one pair will ultimately survive. The road taken by each couple , leading toward
bliss or tragedy, is one which affords an insight into the development of the theme of
romantic love in two of Shakespeare’s best loved plays.
Romeo and Juliet is a play based on love between the two. Romeo and a group
of friends decided to go to Juliet’s family party. Romeo wasn’t invited, he invited
himself. They all had masks which disguise them. When at the party Romeo saw Juliet
for the first time and fell deeply in love. Romeo and Juliet went behind a wall and
began to talk. After the party Romeo was on his way home when he heard his friends
walking down the road so he told them he was giong to visit Juliet. He went into
Juliet’s garden. As he was there he heard Juliet talking about Romeo. That is
when they fell deeply in love with each other. In The Meaning of Shakespeare it says that
the Merchant of Venice has three plots. The three plots are the bond theme, the casket
theme, and the ring theme ( Goddard 117).In Romeo and Juliet there is just one theme
which is love and the way it interacts with violence(Watts 90 ). All of these plots play an
important roll to both couples marriage.
In both plays the love between the couples is hidden( Frye 15). The two couples in
which this happens is Romeo and Juliet and Bassonio and Portia . Romeo and Juliet’s
love was hidden from everyone butthemselves. Bassonio and Portia’s love was
concealedto themselves in the way that not even they themselves really knew. So both of
the couples had a lot in common throughout there love and marriage. But as, you know,
only one couple would ultimately survive.
The casket theme and the balcony scene fit together really well because that is
where both couples make it final on the marriage. The balcony scene is were Romeo
overhears Juliet talking about how much she loves Romeo. Romeo then comes out from
behind the bushes, and at that point they decide to get married. Bassonio and Portia
become a couple when, Bassonio comes along and chooses the leaden casket
In both Romeo and Juliet and The Merchant of Venice there are some very
important characters that help the lovers significantly along the way. In Romeo and Juliet
there are two important characters they are Friar Lawrence and the Nurse. Friar
Lawrence is the person that Romeo goes to when he is troubled or is in the process of
making an important decision. The Nurse is Juliet’s go to person. In the Merchant of
Venice Bassonio and Portia have important people who help them out along the way.
Bassonio’s buddy is Antonio. Antonio is the person that makes it all possible for Bassonio.
Antonio was the person that allowed the bond to work. Lastly we have Potia and Nerissa,
they work together throughout the play helping each other along the way.
In both plays there was hatred between the two couples and their families.
In Romeo and Juliet, Romeo’s family was feuding with Juliet’s family. In The Merchant
of Venice, it was very similar because Jessica’s father, Shylock was a very cruel man.3
Shylock hated people who weren’t Jewish. Jessica and Lorenzo were also an important
couple throughout the play. They gave themselves to each other (Barnet 4)
In both plays there is an important difference. It was that in Romeo and Juliet
Shakespeare keys in on one couples love throughout the play. Shakespeare also makes
this play very romantic, but as it carries on it becomes very tragic you see people from
both Romeo’s family and Juliet’s family die. In the Merchant of Venice Shakespeare
focuses in on different couples love. Some of the couples whose love was successful was
Lorenzo and Jessica and Bassonio and Portia. He also makes this play begin happy and
end happy. So as you see Shakespeare’s two best loved plays are similar in the way of
love and marriage and different in their own ways in the way that Romeo and Juliet’s love
leads to death and Bassonio and Portia’s leads to happiness.