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The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice 'Despite giving some good lines to Shylock this is ultimately an Anti-Semitic play "Examine Shakespeare's representation of Jewish people in the play": Though "The Merchant of Venice" the reader finds Shakespeare's representation of Shylock as a man who is hated by many, and he indeed has moments of extreme irrationality and inflexible assertion that make him a rather unattractive and even terrible character. Yet, there are many moments in which Shakespeare overcomes the reader to consider the different angles of this most interesting character. We can say with certainty that Shylock is not without motivation. His treatment at the hands of the Christian merchants is decidedly un-Christian. They spit on him, call him a dog and finally take half of his money and force him to convert. Shakespeare presents Shylock sympathy at the beginning of the play, when Shylock claims a Jewish person is equality with a Christian. All this is in spite of Shylock's famous plea for sympathy in Act III, Scene I: "I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses... ...read more.


He demanded strict loyalty to the rule of law, and possibly it was his stiffness that made his daughter run away. For centuries, Jewish and I am sure all parents in the world expected and required faithfulness from their children. Shakespeare may not have intended to note on this situation, but the play brings this matter to the forefront of my mind. However some readers have no doubt that Shakespeare intended Shylock to be the villain of the piece. Others argue that Shylock does not have a single pleasant characteristic. He is unmerciful, mean, vengeful, and his quality of being careful and not wasteful with money and other resources is hardly to be distinguished from miserliness. "If every ducat in six thousand ducats / Were in six parts and every part a ducat, I would not draw them; I would have my bond" this quote supports some readers views. Shylock will not be discouraged from his revenge. With the use of strong language, Shylock wishes for his daughters death "were dead at my foot and the" "Jewels in her ear! Would she were hears'd at ..."" ...read more.


At third look, the audience is not sure which illustration is the right one. Shakespeare achieves in making the audience to discover controversial matters. The representation of the two religious groups, Jews and Christians, is the focus. Shakespeare leaves us with two different ideas, irony and displacement. But Shylock has lost his livelihood, his property, his self-respect, and his identity. Shakespeare was making an effort to show people that Jews were people too. So again I don't think Shakespeare is anti-Semitic, I suppose he wrote a play about anti-Semitism. Although back in Shakespeare's time racism, prejudice against different religions and other issues dealt with in "The Merchant of Venice" were all acceptable. Back then, 'racism and cruelty' was considered a comedy. But may be this was interpreted wrong. I found myself wondering why it was called a comedy when it wasn't funny. However, perhaps this comedy does not apply to Jews or any other religions may be the humorous part was based on any random people relationships between each other and the poor construction of law, which even unprofessional woman like Portia or Nerrisa is able to manipulate in Shakespeare's time. In anyway this humiliation certainly does not apply to all Jews in the past, present or future. ?? ?? ?? ?? 1 ...read more.

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