• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore how both original and contemporary audiences might respond to the trial scene in Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare wrote the merchant of Venice in a time when Jews were seen as the most inferior

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Merchant of Venice Explore how both original and contemporary audiences might respond to the trial scene in Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare wrote the merchant of Venice in a time when Jews were seen as the most inferior to Christians this was because they were stereotyped for being "money lenders" and doing anything for money but most of all they were blamed for the death of Jesus. It was also said that some of their feature were to resemble that of the devil because of this an original audience would have seen the play as a comedy. A contemporary audience would have watched the play in a more serious state of mind this I because we live in a time were prejudice is seen as wrong, there also more reasons like if the Jews had not killed Jesus he would not have resurrected and the religion of Christianity might not have existed and that Jesus was a Jew himself. ...read more.

Middle

In line 80, act 4, scene 1 Antonio refers to shylock having a Jewish heart when he does not show mercy, an original audience would have looked at shylock as a monster and would have understood why Antonio made that quote. A contemporary audience would have seen the comment as prejudice and would understand that shylock has reasons for not being merciful. In line 142, Act 4, Scene 1 Shylock makes a good point "I stand here for law" a contemporary would see this as a good point because Shylock made the contract and Antonio agreed with it, it is also a smart thing to do because he is using the Christian laws against them. An original audience would know that shylock isn't going to get away with it but also saw him as very cunning and devious when he said that quote. There is also another reference to shylock showing no mercy made by the duke in act 4, scene 1, line 8 "incapable of pity, void and empty from any dram of mercy" ...read more.

Conclusion

The original audience will be glad that eventually the Jew lost but the contemporary audience will think that this is wrong because the Christians used illegal methods just to set someone free. In the movie adaptation of the merchant of Venice they have given the play a serious atmosphere to make it seem as if shylock has been victimised. In the trial seen Shylock is continuously interrupted by the Christians when he is trying to make a point this makes the Christians look prejudice because it shows that they are not even bothered to listen to what shylock has say. My conclusion is that original audiences and contemporary audiences will have a difference in opinion because in the year that the play was written insulting a Jew was not seen as wrong or prejudice but a contemporary audience lives in a multicultural society where everyone is respected for their views of religion even if they are not agreed with. ?? ?? ?? ?? - 1 - Jeffrey Celis ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Background to the "Merchant of Venice."

    was a Jew and in contrast because Antonio was against Shylock in many ways he was seen as the hero. Even before the dialogue is introduced there's an air of expectation for example audiences would be thinking "whose going to win the battle; Antonio or Shylock?

  2. Friendship in The Merchant Of Venice

    Nerissa is Portia's waiting-woman. In this scene the suitors of Portia Neapolitan prince, Country Palatine, French Lord, Falconbridge, Scottish Lord, young German, Bassanio, and The Prince of Morocco come and do the test. The test contains a gold, silver, and lead box. The suitors have to choose one of these boxes and who ever chooses the correct box marries Portia.

  1. How does Shakespeare create tension in the trial scene of The Merchant of Venice?

    The duke is asking Shylock for mercy: 'Glancing an eye upon his losses... Enow to press a royal merchant down, and pluck commiseration of his state... We all expect a gentle answer, Jew' The duke is desperately trying to give Shylock a reason to have mercy, he is listing everything

  2. The Merchant of Venice

    Shylock has been portrayed as a miserable money lender, who only cares about his profits, even more so than his runaway daughter. Such portrayals see him as a villain who gets his punishment at the end of Act 4, Scene 1. Another view of Shylock portrays him as a victim.

  1. The Merchant Of Venice

    Also Shylock makes a lot of his choices based on the Bible and the teachings of the Jewish Faith. The Bible story is important in terms of the practice of usury as Jacob benefited from charging interest, exactly like Shylock.

  2. Plot outline of the Merchant of Venice

    a love letter to Launcelot and order him to deliver to Lorenzo. In the letter, it says that Jessica will disguise as a male torchbearer for him at the supper between Antonio and Shylock. Shylock, going to the supper, leaves his house keys with his daughter, Jessica, telling her to

  1. Merchant of Venice

    Whilst Shakespeare did well to create an interesting and in-depth character in Portia, it seems strange that she acts completely differently from what we have seen before when later on in the play, when it becomes apparent that she is to marry Bassanio.

  2. The Merchant of Venice

    By reaping this phrase on several occasions shylock shows that he is impatient for the judge to come up with an answer in order for him to go throw with the killing of Antonio. Antonio is certain that shylock will not show any mercy.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work