Most of Shakespeare's comedies return to the first city in which they are set. However, this type of ending is uniquely absent in The Merchant of Venice. The final scene moves away from the abandonment of Shylock in Venice, shifting instead to Belmont. Belmont, however, is not nearly as idyllic as it appears throughout the play. Indeed, it represents wealth derived from inheritance, built on the merchandising of Venice, and is therefore a paradise founded on the despised trade it claims to hate. Ending the play in Belmont serves to remind the audience that the play can be viewed as anything but a comedy, and that in fact it is in many ways a tragedy.
I feel that another significant symbol in this play is Portia's ring. Although it is not mentioned in the symbols as given above, it is definitely an important symbol. A ring was given to Bassanio by Portia in Act III, Scene II, when Bassanio passes the casket test and is authorized to marry her. Portia gives Bassanio a ring stating that this ring signified their love and that she is handing over herself and her worldly possessions to Bassanio when she gave him that ring. However she lays the condition that the day that he loses, sells or gi... Read more →