Comparing The Different Ways That Love Is Used As A Theme In The Merchant Of Venice And A Thousand Splendid Suns

1112 words - 5 pages

The love, and it’s multiple guises have been long thought about throughout the ages by great thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle and Thomas Aquinus, The ancient Greek society had four main types of love, these being: Eros, Agape, Philia and Storge. Words which show that love can be more than just a romantic or physical love.

Philia is a mental love, it is dispassionate and virtuous and is a main theme in A Thousand Splendid Suns with other types of love barely getting a mention, this is shown in part 1 of the book with Mariam’s love of the visitors that visit her farm, Bibi jo, Mullah Faizullah etc. however it could be argued that Mariam loves these visitors because of her love for the ...view middle of the document...

However, whilst Bassanio clearly cares for his friend Shakespeare contrasts real love against a love of money throughout the play as Bassanio is aware of the depth of Antonio’s phileo for him, and therefore exploits Antonio’s love in exchange for money. The depth of Antonio’s phileo is not superficial, it runs deep, which surface when he tells Bassanio “…if stand as you yourself still do/Within the eye of honour, be assur’d/My purse, my person. My extreme means/Lie all unlock’d to your occasion” equally Portia also tries to control Bassanio through economic gain but as Steve Patterson in The Bankruptcy of Homoerotic Amity in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice writes “Her generosity also compasses sexual desire and domestic comfort in a way that Antonio’s act of kindness could not quite effect” so it is clear that Bassanio’s sexual needs cannot be satisfied by Antonio, removing the idea of homosexuality in The Merchant of Venice.

In lineage to the love Mariam has for her few material and intangible possessions in part one of A Thousand Splendid Suns the end of The Merchant Of Venice shows the resolution of Antonio's conflict with his release from Shylock's bond and the news that his ships have safely reached port. Thus while everyone else enjoys their marriages, Antonio receives the greatest blessing that his native Venice can give him: the safety of his assets. "Sweet lady," Antonio proclaims, "you have given me life and living; for here I read for certain that my ships are safely come to road". Though it receives only passing mention, the success of Antonio's ships is as important a resolution as the marriages are to the couples.

Storge love, whilst having been depicted as insincere in the beginning of ATSS is shown in it’s entieraty in part two, with the love from Laila’s father Hakin. Hakim hopes for a bright future for Laila; he has faith that his daughter will be successful. This is evident when he says, “Marriage can wait, education cannot…You can be anything you want, Laila. I know this about you. And I also know that when this war is over, Afghanistan is...

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