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

How does the modern audience respond to Shakesphere ? (The Merchant Of Venice)

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Saturday 06th November Name: Sufyan Mussood ?????????????????????????????? ????????????????????????? ??????????????????????????? Since the time of Shakespeare, The play "Merchant of Venice" has had a dramatic effect on the modern audience today. In the 16th century, Jews were completely disliked, & Jews were not allowed to live in England unless they had converted to Christianity. Jews who practised their own religion were banned from England. To modern audiences, this is "Anti-Semitic", so this play completely shows the worse part of Christians, from beginning to end. It changes the fact that Jews had the same rights as Christians did, also today's world doesn't care about the race of a person, everyone has the same right. Some of the audiences in the 16th century, believed that Jews were at a lower stage than them, and they only believed this because the Jews were a different ("different" referred to as "wrong "for Christians who lived in the 16th century), religion they believed they were not people, like them. The play Merchant of Venice shows the evil side of the Jews. The character's name is "Shylock". He is the character of evil doing; he is also the character that Shakespeare chose to represent a Jewish character. As a Jew, he represents the race as being wicked, evil etc. Then there is the innocent and rich "Antonio" (Merchant), who is a Christian, and is a complete Anti-Semitec. ...read more.

Middle

Portia out of all the characters is a beautiful and rich lady, but also turns out to be racist. Portia's father decreed that she must marry the man who picks the right casket. This makes the audience feel sympathy for her because she does not have any right to choose who she loves, but when she realises the Prince of Morocco has come to take her hand in marriage, her racism increases. This is proven in Act 1 Scene 2 when Portia says "If he have the condition of a saint, and the complexion of a devil, I had rather he should shrive me than wive me." This scene expresses Portia's true feeling for other races. This scene impressed 17th century audience, with the racism shown. If this play was updated, like the 17th century audiences accepting the stereotype, modern audiences also have acceptable stereotypes, if instead of a Jew, Shylock was an American, and modern audiences saw it today, they would still feel the same way as the late 17th century audiences, they would laugh. To modern audiences this would be an acceptable stereotype, which was the same case with the 17th century audiences, they also accepted it. The three caskets have many fairytale elements to it. For example. Portia is a beautiful princess under a spell (the conditions laid down in her fathers will). ...read more.

Conclusion

When in the courtroom scene, the Duke expects Shylock to be merciful, but Shylock replies that he has sworn to do what it says in the bond, and purely because he hates Antonio. This is proved in Act 4 Scene 1 where Shylock says "More than a lodged hate and certain loathing." When all looks lost for the Merchant, Portia (The Christian Heroine) comes to save the day. Portia studying the bond deeply, also agrees with Shylock that he deserves to get his vengeance, but he realises he can't because it does not state that he may kill, or drop blood of Antonio's. Shakespeare's audience here were happy to see Shylock being tortured by his own writing, he made the bond, and has ruined his life by doing what he had sworn to do. Modern Audience are affected a lot in this scene. Because Shakespeare completely reverses the scene, he lets the torture go upon Shylock, and for a happy ending, he decides that Shylock must convert to Christianity. Modern Audiences look at this play and are shocked, with the amount of racism shown, and how people were forced to do things they did not want to do. Everyone now in our society has a free right to speech, and are not forced to do anything, but Audiences in Shakespeare's time did not believe that Jews had rights, only because of their beliefs. Although Shakespeare's plays are still funny now, it still disturbs modern audiences mainly because of the racism shown. ????????????????? ...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. The play "The Merchant of Venice" is described as Romantic Comedy. One aspect of ...

    The borrower is a Christian, the moneylender a Jew. The "merry bond", a pound of flesh, has overtones of the crucifixion of Christ, and in a Venetian courtroom, justice and mercy get so entangled that the final verdict seems neither just nor merciful.

  2. The Merchant of Venice is a racist play - Discuss

    bad just because he is a Christian, Shylock says, "How like a fawning publican he looks! I hate him because he is Christian" Shylock is stereotyping Antonio just because he is Christian and even though Shylock thinks he is the one who is on the receiving end of racism he is also giving it out.

  1. Merchant of Venice- Scene by Scene summary & analysis

    In fact, there is a never a scene on the Venetian streets in which a woman is present. The only way a woman can walk through the street of Venice is to dress as a man, a fact that will reinforced when Portia pretends to be Balthasar and dresses as a man before entering Venice.

  2. 'How does Shakespeare present Shylock to the audience as both a stereotype and a ...

    By showing Shylock as demanding his bond, Shakespeare lives up to the image that an Elizabethan audience would expect, a villainous unforgiving devil, "How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?" the duke asks Shylock, he might assume Shylock is doing this as a sick, demented joke.

  1. "The Merchant of Venice" was offered to Shakespeare's audience as a comedy. What problems ...

    To them he just was a bloodthirsty moneylender. Now we see Portia as a touch of cruelty. We understand in the trial she carefully plans her actions against Shylock. She knows about the loophole in the bond all along, gives him three chances to back down and waits until the

  2. Is 'The Merchant of Venice' a racist play?

    The phrase, "you spat upon my Jewish gabardine". This shows definite racial abuse. It clarifies the idea that 'The Merchant of Venice' is a racist play. It is noticeable that Antonio does not deny abusing Shylock, instead Antonio suggests, "I am as like to call thee so again, to spet on the too".

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

    However, Shakespeare exhibits a villain with many human characteristics that give us an impression of an ability to love, not just hate in Shylock. When his friend Tubal tells him of what Jessica traded his stolen ring, he declares that 'I would not have given it for a wilderness of

  2. "How might modern audiences react to Shylock's fate in the trial scene?"

    Solanio and Salerio are openly admitting pride at their involvement in Jessica's disappearance. At this point, our sympathy for Shylock returns. In lines 49-67, Shylock gives his speech: "...and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes...The villainy you teach me I will execute..."

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