Language overview

The way we write and speak has changed a lot over the past 400 years since Shakespeare wrote his plays, so don’t be put off if you find Shakespeare’s words difficult.

The language in The Merchant of Venice is often focused on money. The words ‘wealth’, ‘money’, ‘gold’ and ‘fortune’ feature repeatedly throughout. Similarly, words connected with love are also at the fore, with ‘heart’, ‘desire’ and ‘love’ being prominent.

Shakespeare used the following aspects of language in The Merchant of Venice:

  • rhythm and rhyme
  • imagery and metaphor