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

Is Shylock treated fairly?

Extracts from this document...


Is Shylock treated fairly? The Merchant of Venice is set in Venice, though mostly in Belmont. Venice is a very old and well-known Italian city. There are several different types of religions in Italy, but the most common were the Jews and the Christians. The Jews and Christians resented each other; an example of this is in the merchant of Venice play with Shylock and Antonio. Jews, when moving into the city, had to convert to a Christian or be rejected among the others. They could be easily spotted in crowds and mocked because of their tendency to wear large, black robes called 'Gabardines'. In Venice the Jews were the minority of people living there. The Jews would come to Venice to live, for only one thing, lending the Merchants money to buy ships. The main type of job for the Christians are Trading jobs, being a Merchant. They would import and export goods from all Four Corners of the earth to make a living, trading by land to the east and by sea to the west. Though this was the main type of job, many Christians and Jews would be 'Money Lenders' i.e. lend money to others and charge interest. However, again this caused another major problem in this country. In the Christian's sacred text (the Bible) it stated that no Christian had the right to lend money and charge interest. Normally, people wouldn't lend money to people without gaining something in return...profit, though Antonio (The Merchant) did so. He would lend money and not charge interest, it was like having a second job, but you didn't get paid. ...read more.


Is she sure that she wants to leave the house and leave Shylock alone, yes. 'Our house is hell'...'I have a father, you a daughter, Lost' This is where a very interesting parallel comes in here. Shylock leaves Jessica, his "trustworthy daughter" to look after the house whilst he reluctantly goes to dinner with Bassanio. Ironically, whilst he is gone, Jessica steals all his possessions and then escapes with Lorenzo. Do you think this is fair on Shylock? You may also feel very sorry for Shylock when he finds out about the horrific tragedy of his daughter leaving. This part is also very ironic because he seems more concerned with his money than with his daughter. 'My Ducats! Oh my daughter!' Again, is he treated fairly? In Act 3 Shylock is so upset and mad, he takes his revenge out on Antonio by listing all the evil things that Antonio has done to him. Shylock states that Jews have the same 'organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions...': 'If you prick us, do we not bleed?' We may agree with Shylock on how his own flesh and blood rebelled against him and took of with his possessions . However, any sympathy that is gained towards Shylock by the audience on his compassionate speech quickly disappears as he complains about his daughter. His only concerns are about his ducats, his jewels and now more threateningly, his revenge. 'Why there, there, there, there, a diamond gone cost me 2000 ducats...' He talks about torturing Antonio and gaining his revenge. 'I'll torture him! I am glad of it' As you can see, he is not really one bit concerned about his daughter but just his ducats. ...read more.


He decides to take nothing and is punished by the court. The Duke does not have Shylock executed but instead decides one half of Shylocks possessions will be taken and the other half will go to Lorenzo and Jessica. Perhaps the crowning fate that Antonio demanded Shylock go through was the worst. Shylock was to be converted to a Christian. The one thing that Shylock hated, the Christians, he was to be. How can someone deny you the right to follow your own religion just because you are different. It's like the Nazis killing all the Jews just because they were different. I think that it is very wrong and that shylock has not been treated fairly. He has gone through enough I think. Losing all his possessions and losing his daughter is enough for one man to go crazy. Taking the rest of his possessions e.g. his house and converting him to a Christian is just taking it too far I think. Overall I agree that Shylock had done a lot of evil things in the play and I realise that he is not a real character, but this probably happened in real life in the time the play was wrote. Shylock, I think, had the right to be evil towards Antonio but not to take it as far as killing him. Antonio was very nasty and unsympathetic towards Shylock and I think Antonio should have been punished for that too. Racism seemed to be acceptable in those times, I don't think that kind of behaviour would be tolerated at all in the present time. Racism is very wrong and I do not approve of how Shylock was treated to a certain extent. ?? ?? ?? ?? ...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. Peer reviewed

    To what extent do you think Shylock deserves the treatment given to him in ...

    3 star(s)

    This is the first real mercy Shylock receives, even if it was out of pity. In my opinion, the Duke is the only important character in the play who truthfully just wants peace between everyone. For example, the Duke basically says what other people want and what's best, but he doesn't insult people like Shylock.

  2. Merchant of Venice - Comparing and Contrasting Antonio and Shylock

    Intimating that he was foolish to lend money without worry or planning. Shylock is mocking Antonio's job and looking down on him. Shylock no he has control over Antonio and is enjoying it. Antonio pleads with shylock calmly and politely.

  1. Do you think Shylock was treated fairly by the Christians?Was his behaviour justified?

    Shylock is sarcastic about lending money to Antonio as he has been abused by him and is now needed to help Antonio. 'Hath a dog money? If it is possible a cur can lend three thousand ducats'. Bassanio doesn't trust Shylock and shows this by saying 'I like not fair terms and a villain's mind.

  2. To what extent would an audience have sympathy for Shylock?

    Shakespeare uses this as a significant way if making the audience feel sympathetic towards Shylock. In act 2, scene 5, Shylock and Lancelet are talking with Jessica. Shylock says, 'Nor thrust your head into the public street to gaze on Christian fools with varnished faces'.

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

    Shylock likes to work and throughout the play we don't see him do anything leisurely, i.e. go for a walk, etc. He doesn't allow 'Foppery' in his house, which means that he doesn't allow fun in his house, i.e. music and dancing.

  2. Does Shylock Get Everything He Deserves?

    This implies that Shylock has a hidden agenda. This makes the reader think that Shylock posseses inhumane qualities. as he is asking for part of human flesh that he would please him to cut of. Antonio had the chance to congitate about the bond however, without hesitation and thinking through

  1. Should I Feel Sympathy For Shylock Carstens denied doggiejoy's structuration idea.

    feel sympathy towards Shylock.coca car secacaw orca cak inca foca ca; An Elizabethan audience would have been appalled by Shylock for two major reasons, one he was a Jew and many Elizabethans had never even seen a Jew but had been brought up to believe that Jews were in league with the devil.

  2. More sinned against, than sinning How far do you agree with this description of ...

    his use of hate imagery to express Gratiano?s underlying hatred towards Shylock. The Christian hurl insults at Shylock; it is also true, however that Shylock cannot be softened but the Christians don?t realise that their own abuse and institutional prejudice actually fuels his rage.

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