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MERCHANT OF VENICE The Elizabethan audience was mainly white Christian males who were sexist and arrogant. They expected to be highly entertained and not insulted because otherwise no one would go to any of Shakespeare's plays. Even though Shakespeare manages to please the crowd he adds some subtle insults like Antonio being seen as homosexual the audience then were very arrogant and thought Antonio was just being a great friend, He also insults the Christians though jibes at their racist attitudes and arrogance. When we first meet Shylock we think he is obsessed with money because the first thing he says is "three thousand ducats, well" This suggests that he only cares about money. Here Shakespeare is appealing to the Christian audience because he is portraying Shylock as a stereotypical Jew concerned only with money he is willing to lend Antonio money despite all the mean things that Antonio has done to him in the past He says "You called me a misbeliever a cut throat dog and spat on my Jewish gabardine" The audience would think this is amusing. A modern audience however thinks this is sad and mean and feel sorry for him. ...read more.


We can tell she dislikes him because she says "Though I am daughter by blood I am not to his manners." This shows that she really hates him and wishes they were not father and daughter. While leaving Jessica steals all of her Father's jewels and a lot of his money. Among the jewels is Shylock wife's ring, He says where he got the ring from he says "I had it Leah when I was just a bachelor." The Audience feel he does not deserve this because he has only loved and cherished, Jessica, She has also stolen his ring that was from his wife. The ring is later sold for a monkey, Shylock is furious because that is the only thing that reminds him of his dead wife. We can tell he truly cherished the ring because he says "I would not have sold it for a wilderness of monkeys." This shows he truly loved his wife unlike Bassanio and Portia who are only getting married for the money and looks. This is the first time Shylock is not seen as just loving money he seems to really care about Leah &Jessica. ...read more.


An Elizabethan audience would have found this a comic ending. However a modern day audience would have found this an inappropriate ending as it Attracts from the argument Shakespeare is making about anti Semitism. He does however make a point in the scene as Christians Bassanio and Gratioarno give away their ring with out much persuasion Gratioarno calls it " a paltry ring" This contrasts with shylock who is devastated to find Jessica gave away his ring from his dead wife he says he would not have swapped this for a " Wilderness of monkeys". Here Shylock appears better than the Christians. But the Elizabethan audience would not have seen this. Shylock's punishment is not deserved because he should have had the pound of flesh not lose his religion, money, and house. It could be argued he did deserve the punishment because he was quite arrogant and annoyed the Christians. Antonio was also well aware be was putting his life on the line when he signed the deed. There is a lot of anti Semitism shown in the play and a modern audience would not be in favour of this. Throughout the play Shakespeare often shows the Christians in a bad light and in contrast to them Shylock is a sympathetic character. ?? ?? ?? ?? Edward Hems ...read more.

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