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Does Bassanio deserve Portia

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By Reference to the Selected Scenes (and to Nunn's directions and the Actor's Performances) Show How Shylock, both Wins and Loses Our Sympathies. Can We Understand The period in which "The merchant of Venice was wrote, the Elizabethan, was very different to today. When William Shakespeare wrote this play in 1599 Jews were heavily prejudiced against. However today, Jews aren't looked at as villains anymore, unlike the Elizabethan era. Jews are more sympathised with today because of the "Holocaust" during the WWII, when seven millions Jews were executed. This meant that Trevor Nunn would have had to be careful in the way in which he directed "the Merchant of Venice" as he did not want to make it anti-Semitic. This romantic comedy deals with moral issues that we still discuss today. Modern day writers could not call this a romantic comedy as modern audiences can not laugh at the same things as Elizabethan people. From Shylock's point of view it would be a tragedy as he eventually loses everything. ...read more.


We gain even more sympathy for Shylock when Antonio says: "I am as like to call thee so again, To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too, If thou wilt lend this money, lend it no As for friends, for when did friendship take A breed for barren metal of his friend? But lend it rather to thine enemy, Who if he break, thou mayst with better face Exact the penalty." In Nunn's production Antonio didn't even look at Shylock when talking to him. In Act 2 Scene 5 Shylock appears once again. Lancelot tells him that he will be leaving as his servant to go and serve Bassanio instead. Shylock does not appear bothered of this scenario, he just tells him that the Christian won't give him as much rights as what he has done in the past. In Nunn's production he sings to his daughter in Jewish and she joins in. This could be Jessica saying a real goodbye where as Shylock is just saying goodbye in general. ...read more.


fed with the same food. Hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" He then breaks down crying, betrayed by his daughter. A sailor showed Tubal a ring which Jessica traded for a monkey, we then find out the ring belonged to Shylock's wife. When Shylock enters the courtroom in Act 4 Scene 1 Christians go to attack Shylock because he intends to harm a Christian, but the judge calls them off. Shylock is offered a cheque for double the amount owed but Shylock rips the cheque up because he wants to prove a point with the forfeit. Shylock knows what he is doing is wrong but he believe the principle is correct because Antonio did agree to it. Venice also runs on legality, if he pulls out of the forfeit, Venice will be seen as a weak City. ...read more.

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