The Merchant of Venice: numbers overall

The Merchant of Venice

  • 2579 total lines; shorter than average play and problem play (average play: 2777; average problem play: 2837… shorter than the average comedy, too–2424)
  • At 455 lines, Act Four, Scene One is the longest of its kind in the Canon
  • At 79 lines, Act Two, Scene Seven is the shortest of its kind in the Canon
  • Act One: 492 lines; shorter than average (average play: 590, average problem play: 572… slightly longer than the average comedy, though–488)
  • Act Two: 656 lines; longer than the average play; slightly shorter than average problem play (average play: 568, average problem play: 667… much longer than the average comedy, though–495)
  • Act Three: 650 lines; longer than average (average play: 576, average problem play: 579… much longer than the average comedy, too–512)
  • Act Four: 474 lines; shorter than average (average play: 563, average problem play: 541… only slightly longer than the average comedy, though–460)
  • Act Five: 307 lines; shorter than average (average play: 480, average problem play: 476… much shorter than the average comedy, too–471)
  • 562 lines of prose (21.79% of total lines [as opposed to The Comedy of Errors: 13.31%, Titus Andronicus: 1.39%, The Taming of the Shrew: 20.82%, 1HenryVI: 0.37%, 2HenryVI: 16.64%, 3HenryVI: 0.14%, Richard III: 2.89%, Love’s Labor’s Lost: 35.08%, The Two Gentlemen of Verona: 26.81%, A Midsummer Night’s Dream: 19.75%, Romeo and Juliet: 14.18%, and King John: 0.0%])
  • 133 rhyming lines (5.16% of total lines [as opposed to Comedy: 20.10%, Titus: 2.42%, Taming: 3.93%, 1HenryVI: 9.79%, 2HenryVI: 3.16%, 3HenryVI: 5.37%, Richard III: 7.55%, LLL: 40.86%, 2Gents: 35.08%, Midsummer: 43.5%, Romeo: 16.61%, and King John: 6.19%])
  • 20 scenes; about the same as average (average play: 21; average problem play: 21… more than the average comedy, too–16)
  • only 23 characters (less than average play: 36, about the same as average problem play: 26… comedy, too–22])

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