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

How Is Shylock Presented In The RSC Production Of The Play 'The Merchant Of Venice'?

Extracts from this document...


HOW IS SHYLOCK PRESENTED IN THE RSC PRODUCTION OF THE PLAY 'THE MERCHANT OF VENICE'? In the RSC production of 'The Merchant Of Venice', the character Shylock is presented as a man who wants to be accepted, but cannot accept rejection. Referred to as 'Satan' by his daughter, and called a Cur by the Christians. When he hears what he doesn't want to hear he becomes a man who is very volatile. In Act I, Scene III it is made clear that Shylock is a man who has been wronged, and has come to be hated by Christians; 'Signior Antonio, many a time and oft in the Rialto you have Rated me about my monies and my usances; still l I have borne it with a patient shrug... ...You have spat upon my Jewish Gabardine' Here we see how Shylock has been harassed and ill treated, in the RSC production I feel that Shylock is presented as the bad guy because of his religion, which may be due to Jews not being popular at the time of the original scripting (1594-1958), it is known that Shakespeare and other playwrights of the time wrote to impress the queen (Elizabeth I) ...read more.


I do not bid thee call.' Shylock judges this man because of his poverty and because he is socially beneath him. This shows Shylock as a prejudiced and a selfish man, who wants to pass his stereotypical views onto his daughter by 'guarding' her from the Christian beliefs and believers. 'Lock up my doors; and when you hear the drum... ...Nor thrust your head into the public street to gaze on Christian fools ...' Although it may seem instinctive to fear for one's kin, I felt it shows Shylock as someone who is narrow minded, and not willing to even let his family hear the 'Christian music', the productions choice of body language and tone at this point made me feel that he wanted her to share his hatred, and wanted her to support him in his spite. Another of Shylock's negative attributes made clear in the production is his greed. 'My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats... ...read more.


This could be described as un-Christian behaviour, which is quite possibly what Shakespeare, and consequently the RSC set out to achieve. Throughout the RSC production I felt, as an audience, that Shylock was presented as an un-Christian character, to the extent that he is wicked. I believe the reason he is treated as different and people are prejudiced, and racist toward him is because he is a Jew. As was true in the Shakespearian period, Jews were unpopular, and seen as greedy, and corrupt - misbelievers. To some extent I feel that the modern audience was also racist toward him, this was when Shylock was stripped of his possessions and forced to give up his religion. The audience laughed at this, which I felt was shocking, although this man had mistreated others I felt he did not deserve this, and did not deserved to be mocked for his losses. I feel that the message of the play was an anti-Jewish message, the play is a dark-comedy, and it would seem that Shylock provided the darkness, and comedy through his being mocked, and his having to lose his faith. Ben Shepherd 10DSM 28/04/2007 ...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. Although the Merchant of Venice is a "comedy" there

    Antonio agrees to this because he is so certain that his ships will come in before the bond is due to expire. Bassanio however, is not so happy about this and tells Antonio not to agree to such a thing.

  2. Examine how Shylock is presented in The Merchant of Venice.

    But Shylock also shows some human qualities in this scene. He shows emotion at his daughter's disappearance and is sad at the loss of his wealth. We learn later in the play that Shylock used to be happy until his wife died.

  1. 'Is, 'The Merchant of Venice' a racist play? Discuss'.

    The reason the case turned around was because in the bond it was never stated that Shylock was allowed to spill a single drop of blood in cutting the pound of flesh from his nemesis, Antonio. In finding this there was no way Shylock could continue with the bond and

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

    " if every ducat in six thousand ducats were in six parts, and each part a ducat I would not draw them. I would have my bond." Therefore, since Shylock refused to show mercy to Antonio, he should not be shown mercy himself.

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

    Also he claims that he has, "scorned my nation". This suggests that he has made mockery of the fact that he is a Jew. This shows racism, as Antonio does not appreciate the Jewish culture or traditions. Shylock had made a bond with Antonio, which Antonio could not break.

  2. How helpful is it to call the 'Merchant of Venice' a comedy?

    Though later in Act IV Scene I, Nerissa and Portia (disguised as the lawyer and clerk) request that these rings be given to them as reward for their good deed. "For your love, I'll take this ring from you." (L423).

  1. Is the Merchant of venice a racist play?

    ACT ONE SCENE TWO Here we are introduced to Portia, the heiress of Belmont, and Nerrisa, her waiting gentle-woman. In this scene we see Portia mock "stereotypes" from various countries, including a Baron from England. This scene could be racist since all stereotyping is prejudice and therefore racist.

  2. The Merchant of Venice is a Racist Play.

    However, Shylock could feel so angry and betrayed by his daughter, who has so freely given up her family and religion without a second thought, so it seemed, that he had to reject her from his family. One quote in favour of Shylock would be when he says "I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys".

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