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GCSE: The Merchant of Venice

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  1. Shylock Coursework

    After a while of thought Shylock decides that he would like to speak to Antonio. Shylock hates Antonio for he is a Christian and Antonio makes fun of Shylock often. Finally at the end of this scene Shylock says that the terms are that if the loan is not repaid he will take a pound of flesh from Antonio. This seems as Shylock is bloodthirsty. But he wants to keep a good record during the play. This scene sets the play up as you would want to know what is going to happen to Antonio.

    • Word count: 822
  2. Write your impression on 3 of the characters (Antonio, Bassanio and Shylock) based on Act 1 and Act 2.

    "My purse, my person, my extremest means/ lie all unlocked to your occasions". Antonio's devotion to Bassanio is generous and unselfish, just as he has been generous in the past, "lends out money gratis", in paying to release various people from the crippling weight of Shylock's interest charges. However, it is this devotion which leads him to accept the ill-considered death bond with Shylock later on in the play. He was confident that some of his investments would bear fruit before the appointed day for repayment of the loan though. No doubt his love for Bassanio and a desire to help him clouded his judgement in this matter.

    • Word count: 1526
  3. Shylock Essay

    When Shylock first appears with Bassanio he is discussing a loan proposal and the terms of it are repeated so many times, this is done to show the contrast between the two characters, the cautious crafty old business man and the decent young client. A bit later on in the play when Shylock is finalising the deal with Antonio and after he has shown the audience how much of a victim he is by way of the long speech about how Antonio has abused him on the street, he suggests a different approach to the loan in time a pound of flesh will be taken off Antonio.

    • Word count: 779
  4. "Shylock is a two dimensional villain who does not deserve our sympathy" To what degree do you agree with the statement?

    This can be seen from "My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penalty and the forfeit of my bond." Act 4, Scene 1. Even after Portia pleads for mercy for Shylock to rip his bond and grant mercy to Antonio, Shylock refuses, making himself seem cruel and unmerciful. Shylock's bloodthirstiness is further emphasized later in the scene when Bassanio asks "Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?" Act 4, Scene 1, to which Shylock replies, "To cut the forfeiture from the bankrupt there."

    • Word count: 3160
  5. Shylock: Villain or Victim?

    Shylock the right to a pound of Antonio's flesh: 'let the forfeit be nominated for an equal pound of your [Antonio] fair flesh, to be cut off and taken in what part of your body pleaseth me. Shylock can be revealed as a villain because mean attitude towards business and his dislike of Christians, but it is only because of people like Antonio who make Shylock feel this way. In Act I: Scene III, we see how Shylock feels towards Antonio when he says, aside, "I hate him for he is a Christian."

    • Word count: 971
  6. Was Shylock, in the Merchant Of Venice, an unattractive character?

    (1.3.160-2) Antonio, having been convinced by Shylock, agreed to the bond. He was bloodthirsty as well. When he heard that Antonio's ships had sunk, Shylock said, "I am very glad of it. I'll plague him; I'll torture him. I am glad of it." (3.1.108-9) The quote shows his viciousness and his thirst to kill. During Act 4 Scene 1, Bassanio asked Shylock, "Why dost thou whet thy knife/ so earnestly?" Shylock was confident of victory, and he was going to enjoy cutting of Antonio's flesh. Next, he was bent on seeking revenge.

    • Word count: 1975
  7. Merchant Of Venice'

    Act 1 Scene 1, lines160-170 We can say that Portia shows many of the acts of a Renaissance woman. She is not ambitious. We think of her as something that many men would think for an ideal woman. However, with her opening line, 'my little body is aweary of this great world' Act 1 Scene 2, line 1. She becomes human and feminist. Her nature delights us throughout the play. She is a young woman, who describes herself openly, too many people, whether it is the bad side of her or the good.

    • Word count: 1617
  8. How should we best understand Shylock- villain or victim?

    Shylock is one of the most confusing characters in all of Shakespeare's plays. On the surface, he is a villain only concerned about money and revenge. Some critics, however, argue that Shakespeare takes this "stereotypical" Jew much further, making him a complex character whose sufferings at the hands of racists motivate his anger. While Shakespeare gives no definitive answer as to how Shylock should be viewed, he does make important points in support and in denial of this antagonist. In relationship to the Merchant of Venice and Shylock's character, is another partially similar play otherwise known as the 'Jew of Malta.' Written by Christopher Marlowe, (produced in the 1590 and published in 1633)

    • Word count: 2477
  9. Merchant of Venice How should we best understand shylock - villain or victim?

    Through history trials and retributions of Jewish representation, treatment and discrimination has been highlighted with their part and punishment received to their innocent race in historic events. But due to the horrific atrocities Jewish people have suffered during the WW2 under Hitler's repugnant and persecution before that as mentioned. Up to the present day pragmatics are very predisposed to the use of speech that disseminate the foundation and formation of our personal Jewish Stereotypes, views and opinions of Jewish individualism.

    • Word count: 1810
  10. Why is the trail scene so important and how would you bring the drama and tension if you were a director?

    And I'll make the people also be silence as the duke enters in. and as the duke; the court he with be escorted with his armed officer one on his left and other on his right. As shylock enters he is the odd one out, because everyone in the court is Christian and shylock is the only Jew in the court. As the director, I would show shylock emotion through the use of body language by walking up and down smiling in the court.

    • Word count: 1626

    A modern audience however thinks this is sad and mean and feel sorry for him. Shylock's beliefs should not get him mistreated. Shylock is Jewish and most people around him are Christians this means that he gets abused. Antonio also leads money "gratis" so Shylock's business suffers as a result. The Christians would not feel sorry for him because they believe he is taking their money. We would because we know that he is only trying to run a business. We would see the Christians as anti Semitic Antonio is arrogant because he lends all his money interest free so on one will go to Shylock and all Shylock is trying to do is run a business, Antonio also does not apologies for insulting Shylock and still expects to borrow money from him.

    • Word count: 1534
  12. How has the love plot been developed in Acts 1 and 2?

    In the second scene of Act 1, we are introduced to Portia, whom we have heard little of from the first scene. In the second scene she is longing to finally find her future husband. We learn of a test that Portia's father had devised before his death, that all her suitors must submit to. As Portia and Nerissa (her lady in waiting) laugh about some of the mens' peculiarities, Nerissa reminds her of a young Venetian soldier whom Portia met when her father was still alive.

    • Word count: 1265
  13. Do you agree that Shylock is "a goodly apple, rotten at the heart" or do you consider he is a product of his environment?

    The audience learn that Portia would choose Bassanio if indeed she had a choice. Meanwhile in Venice, Bassanio has approached Shylock, a Jewish money lender, for a loan of 3000 ducats. Shylock appears to prevaricate about whether or not he should make the loan of 3000 ducats. He shows he is most knowledgeable about the business affairs of Antonio "he hath an Argosy bound to Tripolis, and other to the Indies..." Immediately the audience can see that Shylock actually quite enjoys the thought of the fleets being shipwrecked "the peril of the waters winds and rocks".

    • Word count: 1814
  14. "Shylock is arguably Shakespeare's most evil creation"

    When we first hear of Jessica leaving, we are told by Solanio. The situation is bad for Shylock, he has lost his daughter, some money, some jewels and all to a Christian, we should feel a great deal of pity for Shylock at this point, but Shakespeare avoids this by not having Shylock present on stage at this point and by having Solanio make light of the situation, implying that his grief for his ducats may even surpass his grief for his daughter.

    • Word count: 1003
  15. The Merchant of Venice

    An example of this is: "If I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him." From this quotation Shakespeare also shows how much Shylock detests Antonio, as a result of being discriminated against. This is exactly the reason why Shylock made the bond with Antonio, knowing that he possibly might not pay him back in time, which is when he could get his vengeance. This creates a whole range of emotions for the audience to experience, depending on their views of Shylock and Antonio, who are from different religions.

    • Word count: 2058
  16. Shylock victim or villain?

    This is an allegory with Christianity, Jesus laying down his life, reinforcing the Christian message. However there are many incidences where Shylock is the victim of racial banter e.g. puns of gentile. "If you prick us do we not bleed... if you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" Here Shylock is saying that Christians and Jews are both human and deserve to be treated the same. In the scene of Antonio's trial, the Duke, who should be impartial is very obviously biased towards Antonio and doesn't feel the need to conceal this.

    • Word count: 1224
  17. The merchant of VeniceWhy is the trail scene so important and how would you bring the drama and tension if you were a director?

    The table would court would be centre in the middle of the court to show the procession be held. The duke is a world famous figure; I would direct his entrance by making the people in the court stand up as the duke enters the court room. And I'll make the people also be silence as the duke enters in. and as the duke; the court he with be escorted with his armed officer one on his left and other on his right. As shylock enters he is the odd one out, because everyone in the court is Christian and shylock is the only Jew in the court.

    • Word count: 1653
  18. There are two Shylocks in 'The Merchant Of Venice' - the ogre and the human being: explore presentation of Shylock in the play.

    However this is before he meets Antonio, he then has a short aside in which he tells the audience about how much he hates Antonio, he says "I hate him for he is a Christian. But more, for that in low simplicity he lends out money gratis." Shylock clearly hates Antonio, but he still seems willing to do the deal. However he then says a speech about how Antonio has mistreated him in the past all because he is a Jew, and this is the first time that we really feel for Shylock and we see him as a human being, rather than an ogre, "you call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gaberdine."

    • Word count: 1481
  19. How The Character Of Shylock From "The Merchant Of Venice" Is Presented To The Audience In Scenes 1.3, 3.1 and 4.1

    In act 1 scene 3, Shylock is first introduced as "Enter the Jew". In the first few lines of the play, we find out that Shylock is happy because Antonio is to borrow three thousand ducats from Shylock for his friend Bassanio to get married. We know that Shylock is happy because he repeats that Antonio wants three thousand ducats for three months and that he is bound to the contract. This makes Shylock seem like a greedy man as he is excited at the prospect of gaining interest from the money he is about to loan Antonio.

    • Word count: 2298
  20. Merchant of Venice

    The Jews in the story are looked upon as the racist ones. Shylock, the villain in the story, is depicted as the one being racist at some points. When he does Shakespeare makes it look as though he doesn't have the right to be racist, for he is a mere Jew. He is equal to a dog in this story from a Christian's point of view. He makes the audience feel sorrow for Antonio, the merchant, for having to borrow money from someone beneath him by saying it was done as a last resort, so that Antonio, out of his good heart, could help out a friend.

    • Word count: 960
  21. Was Shylock a Victim or a Villain?

    This led to Jewish communities living all over the world. Their hatred towards them can be understood, because of their differences to the Christian faith. Today, there is still quite a lot of racial hatred towards the Jews. One example is the Palestinians. They live in a country next to Israel, called Palestine and attack the Jews regularly. The Palestinians are Arabs and have strong views against the Jews. The first scene where Shylock appears is Act 1 Scene 3, where Antonio and Bassanio ask Shylock for the loan. It is clear in my opinion, that their relationship is quite bad, and has tension between them.

    • Word count: 2515
  22. Shylock, the ogre or the human?

    Personally I do believe that Shylock is in fact a mixture of both an ogre and a human because I have to give my interpretations according to the text as it is the subject of my piece. During the play many lines and scenes are related to ogres or similar creatures. Firstly I will deal with the point I made at the beginning about the human flesh reference. As you know the main and central storyline to the play is the bond between Antonio and shylock, where if Antonio does not pay pack the loan of three thousand ducats from

    • Word count: 1312
  23. How does the modern audience responds to Shakespeare 'The Merchant of Venice?'

    This argument continues and Shylock starts to use sayings from the Old Testament. The story of Jacob grazing his uncle's lambs is Shylock's excuse for charging interest. Antonio says in Act 1, Scene 3, line 55, 'The devil can cite scripture for his own purpose'. This means that even the devil can use sacred writing for his own needs. By saying this Antonio is calling Shylock a devil. At the start of line 103 Shylock reminds Antonio of his past abuse towards him.

    • Word count: 1213
  24. How does the modern audience respond to Shakesphere ? (The Merchant Of Venice)

    Then there is the innocent and rich "Antonio" (Merchant), who is a Christian, and is a complete Anti-Semitec. Antonio's character is wrong, he hates Jews, he loves being regarded as rich, and would do anything to make Shylock's life a misery. Antonio hates Jews; this is proved in Act 1 Scene 3 where Antonio says, "The Hebrew will turn Christian, he grows kind", this is blatant racism shown against the Jews. The story progresses, a new character is introduced, Portia. Portia play's a major role in trying to persuade Shylock to be merciful to Antonio, as the story continues.

    • Word count: 1476
  25. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Antonio in 'The Merchant of Venice'

    A key element of this tragedy is Antonio's ambiguous relationship with "good Bassanio". The compliments on Antonio's temperance by his peers are further expressed by Bassanio as he emphasises the kindness and gentle nature of Antonio, acknowledging that he already owes to him "the most in money and in love" but feels quite confident that his friend will help him one last time by providing the capital to woo "fair Portia". Antonio seems too busy with his business investments to pursue his own relationship with a woman; his like-minded bachelor companion Bassanio was his only emotional outlet and so it

    • Word count: 1623

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