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Discuss the way in which Shakespeare dramatizes the prejudices of his own society in the court scene of The Merchant of Venice.
The first 200 words of this essay...
Discuss the way in which Shakespeare dramatizes the prejudices of his own society in the court scene of The Merchant of Venice
In this essay the theme of prejudice will be carefully analysed, by focusing on Act 4 scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice, or as it is also known as the court scene. Though this play is a 'Romantic Comedy' it also highlights the darker sides of human nature: greed, prejudice, hatred and deception. Prejudice was typical of Elizabethan culture, especially anti-Semitism, the hatred of Jews. This is well shown in the play as the stereotypical twisted and evil bad guy is in fact a Jew himself!
In the court the judge, the god like figure is the Duke of Venice. Though he has a lot of power and respect he is as biased as anyone else towards Antonio, the accused in this case:
"I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer
A stony adversary,"
Not only is he biased towards Antonio as he sees Shylock as "stony" and cold like a rock, or perhaps he sees his heart as "stony", unable of feel pity or remorse. Furthermore
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