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Sunday, April 20, 2008

Relationship of Jane Bennet and Charles Bingley in Pride and Prejudice

Pride and Prejudice is the most successful novel of Jane Austin. She wrote this novel more than two hundred years ago but it is still very popular in the world. The main reason behind its popularity is that Pride and Prejudice deals with something that is common to every society. Jane Austin has dealt with the subject of love and marriage and this something that is relevant to every society in every age. In our modern age, the matter of love and marriage has become more important because of media promotion all the time. The hero of the novel is Darcy and the heroin of the novel is Elizabeth. However, two other characters have got almost equal important from Jane Austin. They are Jane Bennet and Mr. Bingly.

Jane Bennet is the eldest of the Bennet sisters. She is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Bennet and sister of Elizabeth. In the novel she is 22 years old and at the first part of the novel Jane gets a lot of importance from the author. In fact, Jane Austin has created this character into her own name. At the first, it is seen that Jane is the most beautiful girl among her sisters. She was also the prettiest girls who were present in the dancing party. She catches the eye of Mr. Bingley who comes from neighborhood. Mr. Bingley was considered to be an attractive man for all the young girls and their parents. He liked Jane and danced with Jane more than one time.

Charles Bingley was one year older than Jane. He is only 23 years old but a rich man and he was a friend of Darcy. At the beginning of the novel, a lot of attention is given by Jane Austin to Mr. Bingley. In fact, if we read first two or three chapters then we may have this idea that Charles Bingley is the hero of this novel. He likes Jane because Jane is beautiful and also Jane has good behavior.

If we want to talk about Jane and Bingley’s relationship then we should also talk about two other characters: Elizabeth and Darcy. Elizabeth had a lot of influence over her sister Jane. Elizabeth was younger than Jane but she was more matured and more intelligent. At the same time, she tried to convince that Jane should not be too much good with everyone. Whenever Jane needs some consulting she goes to Elizabeth and Elizabeth gives her good advice. On the other hand, Darcy is the closet friend of Mr. Bingley. Darcy also had the same kind of influence on Mr. Bingley that Elizabeth had on Jane.

Jane and Bingley fell in love with each other. I think the main reason is that the two characters have a lot of similarities between them. For example, Mr. Bingley is a gentle man and Jane is a gentle girl. Jane is very friendly with others and she always has good idea about other people. Even others are intolerable, she is patient and she tries not to look at the bad sides of other people and look only at the good sides. Mr. Bingley has almost the same ideas and he is also friendly and he likes to meet with other people. The relationship of Jane and Mr. Bingley had a smooth progress. Sometimes, there were some problems but most of the time it did not have any problem. For example, at first Bingley likes Jane and then this relationship became stronger but Bingley had to leave the area and suddenly there was a distance but in the end again Bingley came to Jane and relationship grew stronger. One important thing to note here is that Jane and Bingley had never any serious argument or quarrel. Their relationship was more influenced by outside people. The good thing about Jane was that Bingley’s sister did not dislike Jane although they disliked the family of Jane. They could not tolerate the bold attitude of Elizabeth.

In the end, we can say that the relationship between Bingley and Jane was a lovely and smooth one. Sometimes, it got boring for the readers as they did not have any fighting.

Trial Scene of The Merchant of Venice

The trial scene or the judgment scene is the longest scene in the drama The Merchant of Venice which was written by William Shakespeare. This is the most important scene in this drama and it is one of the most interesting and attractive scene of any drama written by William Shakespeare. It is the climax of The Merchant of Venice where good prevails and bad evil get punished. Although the trial scene was mainly about the punishment and saving of Antonio but in the trial scene it was a fight between Portia and Shylock.

It was the condition of Antonio that everyone was concerned in the trial scene. Bassanio was prepared to a many times more of the original loan. Even the duke was sympathetic to Antonio and wish that Shylock forgets him from taking the flesh of Antonio. However, Shylock was not interested at this and he wanted to only take flesh from Antonio’s body. He was not interested to listening anything about mercy and all he wanted was revenge of all the insults he had suffered from Antonio and every other Christian in Venice. The first part of the trial scene was dominated by Shylock and everyone including the readers, viewers and audience think that there is no way to stop Shylock.

The arrival of Portia brings some hope to everyone but Portia in disguise of a lawyer supported Shylock’s claim that Shylock had all the rights to take pound of flesh from Antonio’s body. Hearing this Shylock got very happy and excited and praised the judge. However, when Portia said that Shylock has to take a pound a flesh without dropping any blood from Antonio’s body then everyone understood that Portia’s judgment was saving Antonio. In the end, Shylock lost the trial and judgment went against him. He suffered a lot and it was stated by the court that Shylock would lose all his property and he will have to convert as a Christian.

In the trial scene, we can see the conflict of idea of judgment of two religions. According to Judaism (Jews religion), justice means punishing the bad people. So, Shylock feels that he has suffered and he must get an eye for an eye. Eye for an eye or pit for a pit is the main idea of justice according to Jews religion. So, Shylock wanted this kind of justice and he wanted the flesh from the body of Antonio because he felt that it is the exact justice for him after suffering a lot of insults from all the Christians including Antonio.

On the other hand, Christianity has a softer approach to a justice and revenge. One famous idea of Jesus Christ is that if someone then put your right chick in front of that person. Christianity gives a lot of important in forgiving and mercy. Shakespeare has tried to show that the idea of justice of Christianity is better than the idea of justice of Judaism. So, Shakespeare has shown that Shylock became a Christian and this way Shylock got saved.

That trial seen is the fight between Portia and Shylock. All other characters watched the fighting between them. Shylock thought that he had won the trial and no one could have stopped him from taking revenge against Antonio. He was so sure that she started to celebrate very early and others could understand that he was a very bad person who did not care for humanity. On the other hand, Portia was a very smart person and she was determined to save Antonio.

The trial scene is a memorable one because of the strong dialogues from Shylock and from Portia. Some of the dialogues has become very popular and are seen common among the English people.



Love, Marriage and Friendship in the Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice written by William Shakespeare is a romantic comedy. So, we can easily understand that the topic of love will be very important in the Merchant of Venice as it is a romantic comedy. Indeed, love, marriage and friendship all of them have very important role in this drama. The drama revolves around the friendship of Antonio and Bassanio then we have the love of Portia and Bassanio and also of Lorenzo and Jessica. The two couples got married din the drama and the topic of friendship is very significant and important in the plot of the play.


If we talk about love then the first that should be considered is the love of Portia and Bassanio. Bassanio wanted to get married to Portia because she was a beautiful and wealthy woman. So, from this point of view, Bassanio can be accused of loving the beauty and wealth of Portia more than Portia herself. On the other hand, Bassanio really liked Portia and wanted to get married to her. So, for this he took a risk of putting Antonio at the mercy of the enemy Shylock. On the other hand, Bassanio also took the oath that if he failed to solve the mystery of the cascade she would never get married again. Portia was a romantic person and really liked Bassanio. She did not like all the princes and rich men who wanted to marry her. In stead, she wanted to get married with a nice man like Bassanio who was easy going and lovely.

If we look at the relationship between Lorenzo and Jessica it is a very interesting relationship. Jessica was a Jew and the daughter of Shylock. On the other hand, Lorenzo was friend of Antonio and Bassanio. Lorenzo liked Jessica and Jessica was too much annoyed from her father and she did not like any Jews man. In stead, she found a Christian man to be more attractive because she was too much annoyed so she ran away with Lorenzo.

One interesting thing of Merchant of Venice is that William Shakespeare has talked about the successful love and unsuccessful love both. He has talked about the love affair of unsuccessful person towards the end of the drama.

There is another couple that should be mentioned is Nerissa and Gratiano. Nerissa was Portia’s servant and friend and she got married with Gratiano. Shakespeare has talked very little about this couple.

The ring episode is interesting. Both Bassanio and Gratiano promised to their wives that they will not part with the wedding ring. However, they had to give the wedding rings to the lawyer and the clerk who saved the life of Antonio. They did not know that they gave the wedding rings to their wives who were in disguise. These wedding rings reflex faithfulness and loyalty in marriage. To the audience of Elizabethan age wedding ring was a very important thing and they could never imagine of parting with it.

In Merchant of Venice, we can see conflict between self interest and love. All the Christian characters and also Jessica loved to do good things to other people. Antonio risked his life for his friend Bassanio. When Bassanio heard that his friend was in deep trouble he even did not enjoy his couple life and came back to Venice. Gratiano, Lorenzo all of them were helpful to each other. On the other hand, Shylock was a very self-centered person. He only considered self interest and he was a selfish person and he did not care for other people. This conflict of self interest versus love for others is one of the main themes of Merchant of Venice.

Marriage

If we look at the treatment of marriage of Shakespeare in the Merchant of Venice then we can see two important things. The first thing is that Lorenzo and Jessica got married. Lorenzo was a Christina and Jessica was a Jew and they got married and they were happy. So, Shakespeare shows that people of two religions could get married and yet be happy. The second thing that we look at Shakespeare’s treatment of marriage in the Merchant of Venice is that Bassanio was from Venice and Portia was from Belmond. So, Shakespeare also supported the idea of two persons of two different cities getting married. Here, we have to remember that during the Elizabethan age most people used to get married within their city or within their even village. The same thing happens in Bangladesh even at the present time. Most people want to marriage within their district. They do not want to go far and most people do no want to go far and most people do not want to get married to people outside if the religion. So, Shakespeare has taken a very liberal attitude towards marriage and love in the Merchant of Venice.

Friendship is perhaps the strongest thing in Merchant of Venice. The friendship between Antonio and Bassanio was very deep. Antonio risked his life and took loan from the enemy Shylock to send Bassanio to get married with Portia. Even there was no guarantee that Bassanio would be successful because it depended on his solving the mystery of cascade. Yet, Antonio took the risk. On the other hand, when Bassanio heard that Antonio was in danger he lost all his happiness. He just owned the hand of Portia for marriage but yet he did not enjoy this matter at all. He became a very wealthy man by getting married to Portia but wealth was not important for him. He was only sad at that moment for his friend Antonio who was in danger only for helping him.


There is another topic that we should talk when it comes to friendship of love- hatred of Shylock against all the Christians. I have said earlier that Shylock was a self centered and selfish person. He did not understand what friendship is and what love is. To him, the only important thing was money and power. He cared only to crease his money and to be stronger in the society.

In conclusion, we can say that Shakespeare has treated the ideas of love, marriage and friendship very successfully in the drama Merchant of Venice.

Also read:

Portia in The Merchant of Venice

Trial Scene of The Merchant of Venice


Portia in The Merchant of Venice

It is often said that the Merchant of Venice of William Shakespeare does not have any hero but it has a heroine, Portia. Portia is perhaps the strong character in the Merchant of Venice. She is a good counterpart of Shylock who is the evil. If we look at the other leading male characters like Bassanio and Antonio we can find that they were not as strong as Portia who could fight the villain Shylock. So, Portia is a very impressive and exceptional of character in English drama. She is one of the strongest characters made by William Shakespeare.

The first impression we get of Portia is that she is a beautiful and wealthy women. She is the news of her beauty and wealth all over the world and people from different countries came to the hope of getting married with her. Thus, Portia was a very attractive woman to everyone. To get married to her, princes from Scotland and Morocco came. Bassanio even made Antonio take loan from his enemy Shylock just to go and test his fortune to get married with Portia. Thus, the beauty and wealth of Portia made her an exceptional figure. There was the rule that any man who could solve the mystery of the Cascade would be able to marry her and enjoy her wealth.

Although Portia was very rich, at the same time she was very romantic. When sweeter from different countries came to seek her for marriage she gave interesting opinions about them. It is clear that she liked Bassanio who was a good man. Bassanio was not a rich or powerful man. He was not a prince or even he was not a big trader. He was only the friend of Antonio. This was his main identity in the society of Venice. Even Portia did not care for this and she thought that Bassanio was the perfect man for her and she was eager that Bassanio can solve the mystery of the Cascade and get married with her. This clearly shows that Portia gives more value to love and romance than wealth and power.

Portia was a very smart and skilled person. She was educated and the same time she was clever person. She could out with Shylock in his own game. This is a lot of mental strength and also a lot of knowledge and wisdom. Portia had all the wisdom that a woman can dream of. She knows what to say in which condition and this smartness in the end saved Antonio.

Portia was a very brave woman. When she needed she could be soft, when she needed she could be brave. When she heard the news of Antonio then she decided that she must try to save Antonio because Antonio had fallen into danger only by helping Bassanio to come to Portia. So, she took the disguise of a man and went to Venice and then fought with Shylock head to head and toe to toe. Shylock was an evil character and he was a very powerful person. Antonio or Bassanio or even the duke could not convince him or could not even make him little bit softer towards Antonio. But Portia had the mental courage to fight against Shylock and in the end she successfully defeated Shylock.

One of the qualities that attract the readers towards Portia is that she was an obedient daughter and at the same time she was a very loyal and obedient wife. She agreed with the wish of her father about the matter of cascade. She waited patiently to get married. If she wanted she could easily told Bassanio or another person what was the secret of the secret of the secret of three cascades and could get married but she waited patiently and even allow other princes to try for it. She was loyal and obedient but at the same time she had firmness, she had firm characteristics, she was brave and she was ready to fight with anyone. She was also ready to fight with injustice. This quality of her really makes her exception.

Portia is one of the finest characters created by William Shakespeare. Normally, the characters of Shakespeare are strong. If we look at Lady Macbeth then we can see that she was a very strong character. On the other hand, the characters of the comedy are not that strong but I think that Portia is an exception to this matter. Portia was not only strong but Portia had many qualities that I have talked about. I have already said that she was beautiful, she was a romantic person, smart skill and educated and she was also brave. All these characteristics have made her into a very exceptional woman of Elizabethan time. I have no doubt that there were very few women in that time in England and Europe who possessed remarkable qualities like Portia.

In conclusion, I like to repeat that Portia is a very good character and characters like Portia are very rare in the drama.

Also read:

Trial Scene of The Merchant of Venice

Love, Marriage and Friendship in the Merchant of Venice


Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Philip M. Parker: The End of Writing Books?

Writing a book is not a easy thing. It takes a lot of effort and months of trying to write a book. Of course, computer can do many things and imitate human but one of things that computer lacks until now is human creativity such as writing an original writing and writing a book. Computer programmers are trying to solve this problem and artificial intelligence is something which deals with concept that computer can become creative just like human being. Philip M. Parker is doing similar research and he has done something which ha taken the media world by surprise. I saw a report in New York Times that Philip M. Parker has created 200,000 books with the help of computer.

According to New York Times report, Philip M. Parker has used artificial intelligence and computer algorithm to write some books collecting information from internet. You know that in internet there are many information which is in the public domain and are free to be used. So, Philip M. Parker has created computer program and they search internet and on different topics they collect information and create a book. This way he has now compiled 200,000 books with this computer program.

In fact, Philip M. Parker has taken this matter very seriously and he has even set up an account in Amazon.com. So, what Philip M. Parker is doing is that he is trying to show the world that there can be many books on different topics.

Of course, there has been very little research done on the book created by this man and we do not know how the books are useful or not. However, Philip M. Parker has admitted in the New York Times report that if someone is good in finding information about internet then that person should not buy the book. This book is for those people who are not that much tech savy and who will not try to go into the difficulty of finding information from internet. In fact, many of his books are published on demand. That means that if there is a consumer who want to buy the book then this book will be printed and sent to the consumer. This can be helpful on topics that are rare and have limited demand for the books. For example, there are some topics that very few people are interested and may be 10 copies of that book will be sold and may be no book is on this topic. So, the solution of Philip M. Parker can be very valuable about this kind of thing.

When I first read this report in New York Times I got a bit shocked and the first thing that occurred to me was that if the software of Philip M. Parker will finish the days of writing books. In fact, I am a professional blogger and writer and I earn my livelihood by writing. So, naturally if any computer software can write books like me then like many writers I will be out of business and will have to find new ways of earning money which is really very difficult at this age.

Related Article

He Wrote 200,000 Books (but Computers Did Some of the Work)


Thursday, April 03, 2008

Pride and Prejudice: Elizabeth Bennet

Elizabeth Bennet is the central character of the novel Pride and Prejudice. I don’t need to remind you that Pride and Prejudice is one of the most popular English Novels of all time and it is read around the world by millions of people each year.

Elizabeth is perhaps the best character created by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet comes from an ordinary background but she is a strong personality. She is smart and intelligent. She is not as pretty as her elder sister Jane Bennet but she is attractive. She was an exceptional person compared to her age. While most girls would consider getting married as the only goal of life, Elizabeth did not like to run after men.

Mr. Collins wanted to marry her but she refused because she knew that Mr. Collins was a shallow and boring man. Mr. Collins had a stable good income. She got married with Darcy in the end but before that she made it sure that she was getting married with the right man.

As a daughter Elizabeth is more close to her father than her mother. Mr. Bennet likes Elizabeth most because he thinks that she is the best of her five daughters. So, he admires her a lot and he gives a lot of importance to her ideas. So, when Mrs. Bennet insists that Elizabeth must get married with Mr. Collins then Mr. Bennet came forward and said Elizabeth from a big disaster. Mr. Bennet said that if Elizabeth gets married with Mr. Collins then he will not have good relationship with her. In fact, Elizabeth wanted this thing too. So, this way Mr. Bennet only cleverly supported Elizabeth.

As a sister Elizabeth is a very influential person. She influences all the sister. She is two year younger than the eldest sister Jane but Jane always depended on her ideas. So, whenever Jane needed to discuss something she came to Elizabeth. Of course, Lydia was not such a fan of Elizabeth because Lydia was a dancing type of person. On the other hand, Elizabeth was a serious person and that was why Lydia was not fond of her.

Elizabeth has a very bold attitude towards life. She is not a gentle girl like Jane. She is not afraid to tell what she thinks. That is why, she has conflicts with some characters in the novel. She has conflict with her mother. Her mother does not like her and does not think that she is a pretty girl. She has also conflict with Darcy because Darcy insulted her with his pride. It took a lot of time for her to forgive Darcy. This shows that Elizabeth is a tough person with a tough mentality and when he gets annoyed with someone it take a lot of time for that person to get the forgiveness from her.


The mistake about Darcy is perhaps the most important thing in the novel. At first, Darcy insulted Elizabeth by refusing to dance with her and Darcy commented that Elizabeth was not that much beautiful. This offended Elizabeth a lot and it is natural because this kind of comment would offend any girl especially in a dance party. However, this bitterness blinded Elizabeth’s eyes about Darcy and she continued this prejudice against Darcy for a long long time. This only made her own life more bitter. Darcy proposed to her for marriage and she refused. So, this matter created regret in her later that she felt that she could have become the wife of a very rich person.


Elizabeth also did a mistake about George Wickham. She hated Darcy and she thought that Darcy acted badly with Wickham. In fact, Wickaham was a clever person and she pretended to Elizabeth that Darcy has done very big injustice with Wickham. However, Elizabeth did not try to investigate more and she got bad idea about Darcy and she continued her prejudice about Darcy for more time. This mistake proved to be very costly for Elizabeth. She later found out that Wickham was a very bad person and he even made Lydia crazy and Lydia foolishly eloped with Wickham. Wickham was not that much interested to get married to Lydia and then Darcy had pre-intervened and ensured that Wickham gets married to Lydia and this way the honor of Elizabeth’s family got saved with the help of Mr. Darcy.


The character of Elizabeth changed a lot from the beginning to end of the novel. At first, Elizabeth disliked Darcy and she disliked many things. Gradually, she tried to investigate and find out the reality about Darcy. This matter shows that Elizabeth was a smart and intelligent girl. She was not that kind of person who forms an idea and sticks to it. She tried always to update her views and ideas about the world and this makes her a very attractive character to the readers.