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GCSE: The Merchant of Venice

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  1. to what extent can the Merchant of Venice be seen as a fairytale

    This is the case in Venice as no amount of money could buy Shylock the happiness he wanted. His daughter Jessica, in her opening lines, exclaims, 'Our house is hell', showing she is not content with her privileged life in Venice (the real world) because she is still miserable even with all the money she possess. This contrasts with Belmont where the rich, happy and sophisticated society lives. Belmont is a fictional place full of love and happiness and Shakespeare portrays this as the fairytale world that we would all love to be in.

    • Word count: 3180
  2. Merchant of Venice- is he a victim or villain

    In relation to the quote, it does seem true to say that Shylock has a dominant and complex disposition. He seems to go through an emotional rollercoaster which in effect has an impact upon the audience. Shylock's character, throughout the years of the play's performance, has been portrayed in many different ways. Initial interpretations expressed the Jewish moneylender's personality in the form of a 'stage villain.' A stage villain is a classical character who embodies negative characteristics, probably physical and psychological, which encourage negative feedback from the audience, but not be taken seriously or sympathetically. In general terms he was a figure of a pantomime.

    • Word count: 2113
  3. Tolerance: We NEED IT

    One of the most important and controversial themes in "The Merchant of Venice" is anti-Semitism. Shakespeare depicts Shylock as a cold-hearted Jew that hates Christians and wants to kill them. His intent is to exhibit Shylock as an inhuman scoundrel, whose diabolical cunning is bent on gratifying a satanic lust for Christian flesh. Anti-Semitism is a very talked about issue not only for the Jewish people, but also for many non-Jews. Those who have no real first hand interaction with Jewish people will believe that Shylock is the model of a common Jew and start hating all Jews.

    • Word count: 1198
  4. How does Shakespear represent the Character Shylock in the Merchant of Venice?

    Christians regarded usury as a sin, yet as we can see from the play it did happen. In Act 1 Scene 3 the bond is accepted and Shylock agrees to lend Antonio 3000 ducats for three months under one condition that if the money is not returned to Shylock exactly three months from the bond being sealed then Shylock can have an equal pound from, "In what part of your body pleaseth me." In this bond Shylock is not interested in making more money he wants to spite Antonio, hoping he doesn't return so he can really smite Antonio.

    • Word count: 1107
  5. The merchant of venice

    Because of shylock's beliefs he replied "I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you but I will not eat with you, drink with you nor pray with you". This suggests Shylock feels very strongly about his Jewish beliefs. The play is considered as a comedy because people could laugh at 'The Jew'; Shakespeare creates hatred and tension between Shylock and Antonio, we here about this because Shylock agrees to the bond. Shylock is known as one of the best prose-speaking parts in all Shakespeare, the reason why his part is prose is probably to show a clear difference in language use between the Christians and the Jew.

    • Word count: 1687
  6. The Merchant of Venice Essay

    By allowing the reader to see this reaction of Antonio towards Shylock's actions, and the fact that Antonio was supposedly the "good man" of the play, Shakespeare influences the audience's view of Shylock's actions to be similar of the reactions of Antonio towards Shylock. Therefore Shakespeare creates the image of Shylock to be villainous. This impression that the audience gets of Shylock is quite near to the beginning of the play, and so this impression seems to stay with us throughout.

    • Word count: 1409
  7. In this essay I will be considering the meeting between Antonio and Shylock, and show how the language and delivery is combined to indicate the relationship between these two characters.

    Bassanio and two other guys are asked to choose from 3 boxes, lead, gold and silver. Bassanio chooses the lead box, so he is able to marry Portia. But Antonio isn't able to pay Shylock back in three months, so Shylock takes him to the court and he wants to take a pound of Antonio's flesh. He is stopped by Portia dressed up as a lawyer. She says that Shylock can take a pound of flesh but is not allowed to spill any blood of Antonio's body. This is the summary of Act 1 Scene of Merchant of Venice.

    • Word count: 2105
  8. The Merchant of Venice

    Christians may have been jealous of the money Jews made out of "usury" which could have been another reason for their racism. Chris- Venice, however was different. Director- Yes it was, It was the richest city in renaissance Europe despite it having no natural resources. Venice was incredibly tolerant of different nationalities and denominations compared to other countries back countries and cities back then. However this was solely for economical reasons, Venice was located where products from Asia could be conveniently exchanged with Arabs, Africans and Christians.

    • Word count: 3139
  9. Merchant Of Venice

    Before Antonio enters in the scene, Bassanio asks Shylock to dine with him. Shylock's reply is that he will not dine with the Christians because they might try to feed him pork, which he is not allowed to eat because of he is a Jew. Shakespeare's audience must have disliked this but the modern audience will think that Shylock is being clever and uses his brain around those he does not trust. In Act 1 Scene 3, Line 104, Shylock starts to talk about how Antonio has been treating him, calling him misbeliever which is considered racist, a dog and how Antonio has spat on him on several occasions.

    • Word count: 863
  10. The Merchant of Venice

    Therefore the audience wouldn't have taken any offence to the way Shylock is presented and characterised. An Elizabethan audience would have enjoyed the play because Jews would have been restricted as they only had two occupations, being money lenders and peddlers. If this play were real and done today I think it would have had a lot of complaints, of being very racist and the government would probably not allow it. Act 1 Scene 3 In act one, scene 3, Shylock agrees to lend Antonio some money, but he demands an unusual bond.

    • Word count: 1852
  11. Merchant of venice

    Belmont is very femininely dominated. It's a wealthy city like Venice. Belmont is a fairy tale world of 'love' and 'romance', which Shakespeare imagines it to be. It is a harmonious and tranquil city. Although we are not told if it is an island or not, we get passing references that give us a hint it is an island as it is described as a beautiful, opulent mansion; "The watery kingdom, whose ambitious head Spits in the face of heaven, is no bar To stop the foreign spirits, but they come" This shows the reader that the house must be a luxurious mansion.

    • Word count: 1552
  12. In Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" discuss whether Shylock is a villain or victim of the society in which he lives

    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?" A3.S1.L52 In this line Shylock was trying to make it understood to the Christians that he was the same as them and suffered, just like they did and felt it unjust that he was persecuted and tormented for his religion alone. Bassanio, the young Christian Venetian is trying to woo the wealthy heiress Portia, he needs money for travel and goes to his wealthy friend Antonio who is a rich merchant.

    • Word count: 1700
  13. the merchant of venice

    Antonio tells shylock "I am as like to call thee so again, to spite on thee again" He also says, "Lend it not as to thy friend, lend thee as enemy" Like Antonio the Christians disliked shylock as he was a Jew. Jews were allowed the jobs that Christians hated like skinning animals. Their education was separated. I know that shylock and Antonio hate each other as shylock tricks Antonio into signing the contract. At the end of the agreement they both get what they want as shylock tricks Antonio and Antonio gets his money.

    • Word count: 659
  14. 'The Merchant Of Venice' - Shakespeare

    William was born in Stratford-on-Avon in 1564 and spent his childhood in a wealthy middle class. The boy enrolled at a grammar school in Stratford and later became an illustrious poet and dramatist in London. Shakespeare altogether created 37 plays, 2 narrative poems and 154 sonnets in his lifetime. There were virtually no Jews in England in the period Shakespeare compiled this play and very little chance that Shakespeare would have even encountered a person who was Jewish. This reveals that Shakespeare would not have treated Shylock justly, but only on hearsay. Shylock causes great concern in the Christian community of Venice; he creates the problem of insisting that Antonio forfeit a "pound of flesh" and keep his expired bond.

    • Word count: 1497
  15. Can You See It

    When her mother discusses the topic of Paris's interest in her, Juliet consents to go to the party and meet Paris. She adds that she will only allow her looks to During the Elizabethan era it was very clear as to what society's expectation were in the r-oles of men and women. Men were the providers and masters of the household, women on the other hand, were to be the homemakers and servants to the males. The women in this patricidal society, subsequently, had virtually no control over their own destines.

    • Word count: 2360
  16. Explore the presentation of Shylock in Act 1 Scene 3: Ehat are your first impressions of him?

    Also keeps his life more secret from Bassanio from the content of the conversation. In Act 1, Scene 3, Shylock is equated with the name devil. "The devil can cite scripture for his purpose" and "An evil soul producing holy witness is like a villain with a smiling cheek. Antonio, who is trying to persuade Shylock to lend the money to him for Bassanio, gives Shylock the name 'devil'. Antonio is comparing Shylock with the devil, by saying that even the devil that is evil is prepared to use scripture, which is holy for his own purposes.

    • Word count: 838
  17. The Merchant of Venice- Sympathy of contempt for Shylock?

    He then carries onto propose a bond out of "kindness" in which he asks for a pound of flesh if the money is not repaid by the given date. Although Antonio is convinced of the Jew's sincerity, the audience would not be so sure. Shakespeare's portrayal of Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" is more complex than is originally thought. Shylock is a tormented character, even the Christ like figure of Antonio seems to hate him for his religion, but he is also a tormentor.

    • Word count: 1026
  18. Assess the imporatance and the contribution to the "Merchant of Venice" of Act 4 Scene 1, the trial scene.

    Before the trial scene, Shylock was generally seen as character to be pitied. We felt sorry for him because of the horrible way that the Christians treated him- Antonio have many times humiliated him in public by spitting on him and kicking him and Gratiano "stealing" his beloved daughter away from him. Shylock is a man created by his circumstances but in the trial scene, we see more of him and Shakespeare gets him into a 3-D perspective making us wonder if he is really the hero or Villain of the play.

    • Word count: 1513
  19. Discuss the view that 'The Merchant of Venice' is a comedy with tragic possibilities.

    It is like a cleansing process as it teaches you not to become a murderer and so forth. It makes you into a better person. Whilst reading the merchant of Venice I felt Sympathy for Shylock and fear arose when Antonio was about to die. The play told me not to be criticising of others because of there beliefs. The Merchant of Venice consequently has the characteristics of a tragedy. A comedy is therefore is a play in which the main character, the comic hero, prospers. The 'evil' character therefore gets what is coming to him and usually dies.

    • Word count: 2880
  20. To what extent would an audience have sympathy for Shylock?

    Shakespeare uses this to try to put the point across that Shylock isn't shown any sympathy by others so why should he show any if he isn't receiving any in return. Also, he is very aware that Antonio's ship, carrying his money, may never come back so an audience would think he's plotting against him so they would be unsympathetic. In act 2, scene 2, Lancelet says, 'The Jew is the very devil incarnation' and 'I will run, fiend, my heels are at your commandment.

    • Word count: 2145
  21. Do you consider Shylock is being portrayed as the victim or the villain in The Merchant of Venice?

    Shylock is a Jewish moneylender from the Ghetto who makes his fortune lending people money and charging interest. From this first encounter with the character, we can immediately deduce some interesting character traits in Shylock. In this short section of text and his connection with Bassanio, we are able to uncover a sly element to Shylock's character. At first he seems cautious to lend Bassanio money because he is unsure if he will pay back all the money with the desired amount of interest. That is however, only up until the point at which Bassanio lays down Antonio's name as surety for the loan, "For the which Antonio shall be bound."

    • Word count: 3063

    However, during the court scene, we witness him drastically trying to kill Antonio, by demanding a pound of flesh by the law. This, in front of Elizabethan audiences, would be seen as unacceptable and evil. Antonio is often compared to Jesus for example, sacrificing himself for his friend, Bessanio. Portia is portrayed as a smart woman, as Shakespeare would have compared her to their Queen, Elizabeth. Shakespeare had definitely tried to please the queen and today's audience with the punishment of Shylock ad the 'justice' of Portia.

    • Word count: 957
  23. How does a close study of two speeches reveal the themes and ideas in "The Merchant of Venice"?

    Shylock's speech is given right after he comes home from a Christian banquet he was invited to. When he arrives he finds that his daughter has stolen from him and run off with a Christian man called Lorenzo as well as his servant leaving him. This means he is very angry which explains why there is a lot of rage and anger in his speech. His speech is centred on his plea for justice. His speech is also based on money and revenge.

    • Word count: 1417
  24. The Merchant of Venice Coursework

    Because of their jobs they often had to be the debt collectors as well and for this reason they were often resented upon by the others and this lead to a lot of negative views on the Jews with religion becoming the main focus of this bad feeling. As stated by Jami Rogers 'In the late 12th century, preparation for the Third Crusade brought a heightened level of anti-Jewish sentiment. Anti-Semitic violence culminated in two massacres, one at the coronation of Richard I in 1189, when 30 Jews were killed, and the other in 1190 in the city of York, when 150 Jews were massacred.

    • Word count: 1978
  25. How much do you think the character shylock, from Shakespeare's 'The merchant of Venice' has been influenced by the environment in which he lives

    Bassanio uses his friend Antonio to take the bond of three thousand ducats because he is a rich merchant. If the money is not paid back in three months then Shylock, who makes a very strange bond, may take a pound of Antonio's flesh. This is because, as Shylock explains aside, because he hates Antonio because he disrespects Shylock because he is Jewish. 'You called me a dog' Shylock says this to Antonio in a subtle way to annoy him.

    • Word count: 976

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