Merchant of Venice - Do you sympathise with Shylock? Consider the presentation of his character and the way he is treated by Venetian Society.

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Introduction

Merchant of Venice Essay Do you sympathise with Shylock? Consider the presentation of his character and the way he is treated by Venetian Society. Shakespeare was a playwright in the 17th Century. He was born on the 23rd April, 1564, in Stratford-on-Avon, England and died the same day and same place in 1616. He lived comfortably with his family until he was 13. He father was involved in local affairs. He married at the age of 18 to Anne Hathaway who was possible pregnant. He attended Stratford-on-Avon's Grammar School. His father's financial problems forced Shakespeare to leave school when he was 13. He never attended a college and later became an actor in London at the age of 22.

Middle

It is set in Venice in the late 15th century. Venice is situated in the north-east of Italy One of the main characters in the play is Shylock. I am going to look at the evidence in the play and the presentation of his character and decide whether or not I think Shylock is a victim or a villain. Jews worship God but unlike Christians they don't believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, therefore they do not follow the Christian faith. Jews that settled in Europe after the Romans in 1500's were treated with suspicion and were isolated from general society. Some cities would not even admit Jews in.

Conclusion

He is trying to gain revenge against the Christians for the way that they treated him and his people. Everyone has a 'good' side and a 'bad' side, like a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other. Shylock reveals his evil side towards the Christians and so by having this 'bad' side, he is only human. He has an evil side towards Christians because they mistreat him and he's only trying to gain revenge. I think that Shylock is a weak person because he knows he is different and stands out. He is singled out and alone. He acts evil and gives the impression that he is a powerful, to try and hide how isolated he feels inside. Fiona Hibbard - 1 -

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