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

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

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

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 and do you think this type of environment shapes our society today? Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice centres around the conflict of a Christian merchant; Antonio, and a Jewish money-lender; Shylock. Their relationship is fuelled by a passionate hatred, and concludes with the ultimate sacrifice. The character Shylock, is treated extremely badly because, it seems, of the simple fact that he is Jewish. Shylock though, appears to be a very nasty person too, maybe because of the way that he is treated or perhaps he is just nasty at heart. Today, in out modern society Religion plays a huge part and still shapes how different people are treated and how they live. For example, because of terrorist attacks by small minorities of Muslims now a lot of people today blame all Muslims for these attacks and disrespect them. In act one scene three, the character Bassanio comes to Shylock's house to borrow 'Three thousand Ducats' so he may woo Portia. ...read more.

Middle

In this scene Antonio openly expresses his hatred to Shylock, 'To spit on thee again' whereas Shylock, though he despises Antonio he is covert about showing it. He shows and tells us how he hates Antonio aside, 'Shylock [Aside]: how like a fawning publican he looks! I hate him for he is a Christian'. This contrasts to Antonio's open hatred in the play which is overt to Shylocks subtle insults at Antonio. In act two scene three Shylock's daughter Jessica, also ridicules Shylock, 'Our house is hell and thou are a merry devil' Jessica says this to Lancelot, one of her fathers servants, as she plots to steal all of her fathers gold and jewels and run away with then to become Christian. Jessica seems to think that by stealing her father's possessions and becoming Christian she can save herself and become popular. This affects Shylock deeply when he arrives home and discovers what has taken place. This event just increases his hatred of Christians and Antonio. Antonio says 'I'll seal such a bond, and say there is much kindness in the Jew.' ...read more.

Conclusion

Bassanio and others are abusing him openly, 'Thou are an unfeeling man'. Bassanio offers Shylock double the amount owed by Antonio but Shylock only wants his pound of flesh from Antonio. This shows that shylock is so immersed in his plan of revenge that nothing but death will sway him from taking the flesh. Bassanio also says how shocked he is at Shylocks cruelty but not once throughout the play doe she comment on anyone else's cruelty to Shylock. This shows that the Christians will do anything to make shylock seem the evil person who wants to kill Antonio. Gratiano says 'O, be thou damned, inexorable dog' This is another insult cast blindly at Shylock because he is doing what was written down and sealed by the bond and he is following the law. In conclusion Shylock is influenced by the hateful Christian environment he is faced with because he is Jewish. Though as we see in the play, the character Tubal does not share the same level of hatred for Christians as Shylock does therefore I believe that shylock is influenced by the society he lives in but he is an evil person anyway. Also I believe that religion shapes and dominates our society today. ?? ?? ?? ?? Ryan Webb ...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. English - Merchant of Vencice

    At the beginning of the discussion they may have thought that Shylock was a friendly character as he greets Tubal in a welcoming way. However as the conversation continues it becomes clear that Shylock has evil intentions, not only towards Antonio but towards his own daughter too!

  2. Shakespeare's Character of Shylock in 'The Merchant of Venice.'

    Lancelot's dilemma is that he cannot decide whether or not he should leave Shylock to serve Bassanio. Lancelot says: 'I should stay with the Jew my master who - God bless the mark! - is a kind of devil.' Lancelot apologises for the words that he was going to say, and then says that Shylock is a kind of devil.

  1. The Merchant of Venice. Consider the complexities of Shylock's character with detailed reference ...

    This means if Antonio could not repay the bond, Shylock could take a pound of his flesh from his body. Only an evil man could do this, but he may have meant it as a joke at the time. It is just how we interpret it that we decide whether he is a villain or a victim at this point.

  2. You'd think Shakespeare had titled the play

    And the absolute evil of the Holocaust has made his portrayal all the more problematic. Some productions set out to transform Shylock into a heroic martyr to his faith; most feel the need to depict him with at least enough dignity to provide a rearguard defense against charges of racism.

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

    They further tell the audience that Shylock returned home and discovered his daughter had run away with Lorenzo. Shylock then woke up the Duke of Venice and tried to stop Bassanio's ship, which had already set sail. Antonio assured Shylock that Jessica was not on board the ship, but rather had been seen in a gondola with Lorenzo.

  2. Consider Shylock's character. How much has he been influenced by the environment in which ...

    Shylock is an inflexible religious man whose behaviour and attitudes are influenced by the environment in which he lives. He is seen as an "alien" by the Christians of Venice. He is abused throughout the play and we sympathise with him.

  1. To what extent do you feel that The Merchant of Venice is as much ...

    Verbal humour is one of the features of comedy. This suggests that the characters in the story are not taking life seriously. In Act 1 Scene 1, as Antonio sighs that he is the man who plays a sad part on the world stage, Gratiano jokes that he would like to be the fool instead.

  2. The Merchant of Venice - WilliamShakespeare - Discuss the presentation of Shylock's character.

    already does not seem like the sort of person you would like to get involved with. Shylock makes a very effective speech in this scene which shows that he knows his place in society very well. "Yes, to smell pork, to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nasserite

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