What are the differences between Belmont and Venice in The Merchant of Venice?
Belmont and Venice represent what Shakespeare scholar David Bevington calls, in his edition of The Complete Works of Shakespeare, "two contrasting worlds." Venice represents the real world of commerce and corruption. It is a busy place, low and flat, most often shown in the glare of daylight. It is a man's world, ruled by business interests and the courts.
In contrast, Belmont is a magical mountain destination, an idealized world of love, reached from Venice by crossing water. It is dominated by women, though a male, Portia 's dead father, has made his influence felt through the fairytale-like...
(The entire section contains 2 answers and 414 words.)
check Approved by eNotes Editorial
In Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare uses two contrasting settings, Venice and Belmont. The two settings vary in several ways. Shakespeare describes Venice as an economic city where currency flows in and out with every docking ship. More so, Venice is also a cosmopolitan city that is bordered by the Ottoman empire. The male gender predominates the Venice society. In the play Jesicca, a single woman, is locked up at her house and the only way she can step outside is by disguising herself as a man.
In contrast, Belmont, known as the home to Portia is a city full of festivity and romance. Shakespeare portrays Belmont as a green land where ruthlessness does not exist. In addition, women have the upper hand in Belmont society.