Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice Essay

His faith and his way of making a living are the Christians' only justification for this treatment, yet even in his alienation…. This play was written in the early 's, and was first performed in There are many possible influences that inspired William Shakespeare to write "The Merchant of Venice". There are four strands to the story, which are; The caskets; the winning of….

Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Works Cited Missing At the time the play was set Jews were considered 'second class' citizens in Venice despite the fact that Venice was famous for its quality of justice.

There was a lot of prejudice against the Jewish minority and they were even forced by the Venetian government to obey special…. He lives in Veniceand he is a money lender. He is a widower and he is isolated by the people of Venicebecause of his religion. He is hated also because he is a money lender and the Christians think that it is wrong to lend money and charge interest. The Jews were hated in the Elizabethan times because the Christians believe that the Jews were responsible….

Certainly, Shylock is presented to the audience in so powerful a way that even though he only appears in five….

Elizabethan era, a question of anti-Semitism invariably arises.

Merchant of venice shylock villain essay

In William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, we find that one of the characters is the embodiment and expression of anti-Semitic attitude that is pervasive in Elizabethan society. Jews were considered vile and scorned upon. Concluding the court scene, Venetian law requires Shylock to give up half of his property to the state, the other to Antonio, and give up his life.

However, Antonio interjects and bargains that Shylock should live if he turn a Christian. Assuming Shylock should turn Christian, this image hints conversion from the Old to the New Testament. Mercy, therefore, is made part of the law, rather than an opposing principle. Indeed mercy, or forgiveness, becomes the legal principle enabling all other legal principles. Christians believed in mercy while Merchant of venice shylock villain essay only sought justice.

For Shylock, his justice seeking could not enable him to provide the mercy asked by God and thus was eventually lead to his own demise. Although he asks Shylock to convert, he provides Shylock and opportunity. Instead of taking his life, Antonio is seen through Elizabethan eyes to have given Shylock mercy, forgiveness, and a chance to live. Jessica also a Jew, escapes from home and marries Lorenzo, a Christian. Ironically, she as well breaks a bond with Shylock.

This bond would be a father-daughter bond. He hath made me a Christian. These opposing values were reflected by the Jews and Christians of Venice which Shylock, Antonio, Portia, and Jessica embodied throughout the play. Ultimately, it is safe to say that religion in Venice took the role of judge, and that is, Christ, as its supreme judge. Bevington, David. The Necessary Shakespeare. Longman Publishing Group Calderwood, James L. Staple a running time and only, character of venice critical essay human relationships in.

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Religion in The Merchant of Venice Essay Essay Example

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Let Shylock be as implacable as he may, assuredly he will no more than equal his instruction. Even granting that he obtains it, a pound of Antonio's flesh will never outweigh, in the scales of reprisal, the millions of corpses heaped in the Christian shambles by merchant of venice essay on shylock butchery [8] of thirteen centuries. I could have told him something that would have pleased him - namely, that his cousin, Herr von Shylock in Paris, had become the mightiest baron in Christendom, invested by her Catholic Majesty with that Order of Isabella which was founded to celebrate the expulsion of the Jews and Moors from Spain.

But I found him nowhere on the Rialto, and I determined to seek my old acquaintance in the Synagogue. The Jews were just then celebrating their Day of Atonement, and they stood enveloped in their white talars, with uncanny motions of the head, looking almost like an assemblage of ghosts. There the poor Jews had stood, fasting and praying, from earliest morning; - since the evening before they had taken neither food nor drink, and had previously begged pardon of all their acquaintances for any wrong they might have done them in the course of the year, that God might thereby also forgive them their wrongs - a beautiful custom, which, curiously enough, is found among this people, strangers though they be to the teaching of Christ.

And yet I felt he must be hidden under one of those white talars, praying more fervently than his fellow-believers, looking up with stormy, nay frantic wildness, to the throne of Jehovah, the hard God-King.

I saw him not. But towards evening, when, according to the Jewish faith, the gates of Heaven are shut, and no prayer can then obtain admittance, I heard a voice, with a ripple of tears that were never wept by eyes.

It was a sob that could only come from a breast that held in it all the martyrdom which, for eighteen centuries, had been borne by a whole tortured people.

It was the death-rattle of a soul sinking down dead tired at heaven's gates. And I seemed to know the voice, and I felt that I had heard it long ago, when, in utter despair, it moaned out, then as now, 'Jessica, my girl!

This is the cry that went up from Egypt, from the Roman amphitheatre, from the dungeons of the Spanish Inquisition. We hear its echo all through the Dark Ages; and the genius of Shakespeare voiced it as it had never been voiced before - or since.

Shylock is a man more sinned against than sinning, whom the inhumanity of the whole world has made inhuman. Long brooding over the shameful treatment of his people has marred his character and dried up the founts of tenderness in his bosom.The evil he saw done to him took three major forms: hatred from Antonio, discrimination from Christian Venetians, and the marriage to a Christian of his daughter Jessica. In addition, Shylock hate Antonio for an economic, even petty reason, and remarks that He lends out money gratis and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice.

Antonio was always trying to coerce Shylock to convert to Christianity, he even remarks to that effect to Bassanio after the bond is made, and Shylock can sense this and it further fuels his hatred. Shakespearean critic D. Traversi finds an additional thought plaguing Shylock. Tied in with his anti-Semitism is an apparent supremacy Antonio feels over Shylock, expressed in his ruthlessly complacent expression of superiority, I am as like to call thee so again, To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too; [I.

But lend it rather to thine enemy; [I. In addition to evil from Antonio, Shylock is despised by the Christians. His thrift is condemned as miserly blood-sucking7, when it is just his own means of survival, based on his own separate standards8. His own insistence on the pound of flesh becomes the direct result of renewed insult9.

The final insult Shylock receives at the hands of Christians is the marriage of his daughter Jessica to a Christian. He now research paper proposal on the dual roles of grief-stricken father and duped-miser, though it is almost entirely the latter While it is clear that he was an oppressed man, no reader of Shakespeare would shed a single tear for poor Shylock.

Three Interpretations of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice

Bassanio then offers himself instead of Antonio. Yet Shylock again refuses and says the bond and forfeit stay as they were. Shylock is clearly portrayed here as the villain as he is refusing every offer Bassanio is throwing at him.

Shylock is begged by everyone to show Antonio mercy. Shakespeare makes Shylock ruthless and cold in this act, which makes us think dissertation help service in uk truly is the villain of this play.

I will now look at the reasons as to why Shylock is the victim of this play. A reason to believe Shylock is the victim is when he goes to dinner with Bassanio, Act2, Scene5 and is completely clueless that his daughter is about to elope with a Christian. O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats! Here Shylock is distinctly a victim who is shown no compassion as Solanio laughs at him and calls him a dog. It is clear none of the characters feel any sympathy towards Shylock, simply because he is a Jew.

A second reason to argue that Shylock is a villain is in Act3, Scene1. He then continues to speak intensely of Jews and Christians common humanity. In this act and scene Shylock realises what has happened. He feels hurt and betrayed by Jessica. Again in this act Solanio and Salerio are deliberately being heinous towards Shylock. Shakespeare is showing how wounded Shylock is at this, as the daughter he raised would never do such a thing.

There was a lot of prejudice against the Jewish minority and they were even forced by the Venetian government to obey special…. He lives in Veniceand he is a money lender. He is a widower and he is isolated by the people of Venicebecause of his religion. He is hated also because he is a money lender and the Christians think that it merchant of venice shylock essay wrong to lend money and charge interest.

The Jews were hated in the Elizabethan times because the Christians believe that the Jews were responsible…. Certainly, Shylock is presented to the audience in so powerful a way that even though he only appears in five…. Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice "Shylock is a two dimensional villain who does not deserve our sympathy" The above statement makes two main assumptions about Shylock.

One is that Shylock is a two-dimensional villain, a man who is a stereotypical, one-sided man with no true motive for his actions…. In the early stage performances of the play Shylock is portrayed as a monster and many audiences had no sympathy at all for Shylock but, nowadays, in general many people are greatly empathic towards Shylock.

This could be for a number of reasons such as: changing attitude towards religion or a changing society. I personally think that this change in attitudes is mostly down to the holocaust in World War 2. This was the mass extermination of the people the Nazi party did not like -Jewish people in the main.

Merchant of Venice Shylock – Victim or Villain Essay

Actors also changed the way they play Shylock, perhaps trying to address thousands of years of hatred. Hath not a Jew eyes? Shakespeare's 'Merchant of Venice' is a comedy which is set in Venice and Belmont. The play contains a great variety of characters. For example, Antonio a merchant of Venice, Bassanio Antonio's best friend who is also in love with Portia, Portia an heiress of Belmont and Shylock a Jew and a moneylender. The basic story line of the play is that Antonio needs to borrow money but the only person he can borrow it off is a Jew called Shylock and as Antonio was a Christian, the time when this was set Christians and Jews were fighting.

Shylock forms a Shylock, one of the most well-known characters from Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, is a Jew and an Usurer, who is generally disliked within the play, and because of this he has his own distinctive way of speaking, and is addressed unusually by others. Shylock is addressed both politely and impolitely by other characters in The Merchant of Venice.

Bassanio and Antonio both speak politely to Shylock at the beginning for example 'If it please you to dine with us' but this is because they are asking for money and not because they are particularly sincere.

In fact after Shylock speaks The Merchant of Venice is one of William Shakespeare's best known plays and was written within - This was the Tudor period.

Merchant of venice shylock essay

The play is set in this time, in Venice, Italy. Medicine essays Miscellaneous essays Psychology essays Religious studies essays Science essays Sociology essays Essays menu. Act 2 In Belmont, the casket bond proceeds: with two already rejected, news comes that Bassanio is at Portia's gate.

Shylock doesn't like this at all because he really doens't like the Christians and Lorenzo is a Christian Act 3 Jessica is now together with Lorenzo. Act 4 Still in the court of law, Portia and Nerissa have disguised themselves as doctor and clerk.

Act 5 Jessica and Lorenzo are romantically together and they are telling each other all these romantic things how much they love each other accompanied by music. Top pages:. Throughout the play the behavior of these characters seems justified. In this way, The Merchant of Venice appears to be an anti-Semitic play. However, The Merchant of Venice contains several key instances, which can be portrayed in a way that criticizes anti-Semitism.

The first instance occurs in Act 1, scene 3 when.

Merchant of venice essay on shylock

These two words are the total opposites of each other. A victim is someone that 'we' in general should, or may, feel sorry for and attempt to sympathise or empathise with. But a villain is the one person that people love to hate.

The best example of this I feel is pantomime.