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Merchant of Venice Essay

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Introduction

Do you sympathise with Shylock? This play is about the king of Belmont, Brutus Cato leaving a will for his daughter, Portia saying how she shall choose her suitor. Antonio, a merchant who is willing to do anything for his beloved friend, Bassanio, such as getting a pound of his flesh cut off and agreeing to a loan, just so that his friend can marry the Princess of Belmont. The play is set in Elizabethan Times and takes place in Belmont, Venice. The main characters are Shylock a Jewish moneylender in Venice, Portia a wealthy heiress from Belmont, Antonio a merchant, Bassanio a Kinsman and gentleman of Venice, Graziano a friend of Bassanio, Nerissa is Portia's lady in waiting, Jessica is a woman who elopes with a Christian, Lorenzo is a man who elopes with a Jew. In Act 1 Scene 3 Antonio asks Shylock for a loan of three thousand ducats for the term of three months, so that Bassanio can go to Belmont and woo Portia. ...read more.

Middle

Firstly Jews didn't believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God, they didn't believe in the Christian faith and they were hated for simply being a Jew. What Shylock said about being a Jew is, "If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?" What Shylock is implying here is that a Jew and a Christian are equal and that were all human. The trial is about Shylock taking revenge on the thing that he hates most, Antonio. Just like some Christians back then hated cats, pigs and rats that is how much Shylock hated Antonio. Also the trial goes back to the bond Antonio signed in Act 1 Scene 3 saying that Shylock owns a pound of Antonio's flesh. ...read more.

Conclusion

I think a lot of his behaviour was understandable and if we were in his shoes we would have probably reacted in the same way. I think that Shylock doesn't deserve his punishment but then again he does. Because I see when Shylock was right in what he did but when he did something wrong it was very bad. When he almost took another mans life for his personal reasons even if that man wronged him he didn't have the right kill him. But I felt sympathy for him when he was ripped away from his religion and was forced to convert to Christianity. This play is relevant to us today because people are still treated differently if they are from another religion, by a few people. Although religion at the moment is much better then it was back then, racism is becoming a much bigger issue in the world. ?? ?? ?? ?? Huma Darr (8.1) ...read more.

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