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Is Shylock More Sinned Against Than Sinning? Discuss...

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Introduction

Is Shylock More Sinned Against Than Sinning? Discuss... In the play 'The Merchant Of Venice' by William Shakespeare, the main characters, Shylock and Antonio are money lenders. Shylock lends money for a business making money from interest whereas Antonio lends money without interest, his main occupation being a tradesman. Shylock hates Antonio for not charging interest along with many other things and Antonio also hates Shylock, mainly for being a Jew. Shylock has a daughter, which makes her Jewish, but she is deeply in love with Lorenzo, a Christian man. Shylock is highly against this, he wishes for his daughter to marry a fellow Jew as he thinks that Christians are all bad, they are mostly against him. Jessica runs away from home with Lorenzo to get married, Shylock is very distraught at this. Antonio is very good friends with Bassanio. Antonio is always willing to lend any money he has to Bassanio, they are both very loyal to each other. Bassanio wishes to impress Portia so she will become his partner, he wishes to borrow money from Antonio, Antonio needs to borrow the money from Shylock. Antonio signs a bond saying he is allowed to borrow 3000 ducats to be paid back over three months, if not paid back in time Shylock is allowed to take the pound of flesh closest to Antonio's heart. Antonio is confident he will be able to pay back the money but while some of his ships are at sea, awful weather causes all of his ships to sink. ...read more.

Middle

He says that he wants Antonio's flesh 'to bait fish withal. If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge' Line 49-50. Shylock says of how Antonio has 'laughed at my loses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies' Lines 51-54. Shylock is constantly getting angrier and remembering things that Antonio had done in the past. A servant for Antonio then enters and informs Solanio and Salerio that Antonio wishes to see them. The three, Solanio, Salerio and the servant, all exit and Tubal, a fellow Jew and friend of Shylocks enters. Tubal talks to Shylock about Jessica, he has been looking for her but had no luck. He has though heard rumours of Jessica spending much of Shylock's money, which makes him distraught, this brings up the question of does Shylock care more about his money or his daughter. Shylock is constantly getting more angry and wants revenge on Antonio now more than ever. In Act 4 Scene I, the court scene takes place. Shylock has taken Antonio to court as the bond stated if Antonio couldn't repay the money to Shylock, Shylock can take the pound of flesh nearest to Antonio's heart. It seems that Antonio may be jealous of the amount of money that Shylock owns 'out of his envy's reach' Line 10. Although Antonio knows he is about to be killed by Shylock, he still wears a brave face. After a short speech by Antonio the Duke calls in Shylock, once again called by the name of 'the Jew' Line 14. ...read more.

Conclusion

'But say it is my humour' Line 44, he is acting the way he is because of his mood, he is very happy that finally he is getting rid of his enemy and business competition Antonio. When Portia enters the courtroom disguised as Balthazar, she knows what the probable outcome of the case will be, she already knows of the loopholes involved. She tries to persuade him to save him from getting a penalty out of it but he is too immovable which turns out to be at Shylock's loss. ___________________________ Looking at the evidence of both how Shylock sins and is sinned against, I have come to the conclusion that obviously Shylock is more sinned against than sinning throughout the play. There is no proof to the evidence Launcelot put forward that Shylock starves him and there is no proof to how bad Jessica finds her father and what he is like as a person in the house as we don't have a proper speech between the two of them to see what their attitudes towards each are like. Although we have no verification on how Shylock treats Jessica and Launcelot, they both live in the same house and describe Shylock in the same way. Also it is unfair against Shylock in that he is discriminated for his religion, he being a Jew bothers Antonio and many other people, on many occasions Shylock is called the Jew rather than by his proper name. This makes no difference though to my final conclusion in that Shylock is more sinned against than sinned. 1 ...read more.

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