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

Merchant Of Venice - Shakespeare(TM)s presentation of Shylock

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Merchant of Venice Coursework Essay Question: Explore Shakespeare's presentation of Shylock Shakespeare has presented Shylock as an interesting character, he appears in only 5 scenes yet to many people he is the center of the plays interest. The audience's feelings and reactions towards Shylock are mixed throughout the play. On the one hand he is hard to like as he is a cruel and miserable villainous man, he is obsessed with money and uses his wealth to overpower people. He is strict and controlling towards his daughter and servant. Although, on the other hand he is a victim as he is treated like dirt for being a Jew, he is spat on in the street and is called a 'dog'. He lives in a society where Jews are lower than Christians and so he is a victim of racial hatred but he is also racist towards Christians himself. These mixed feelings of sympathy and hatred toward Shylock make him a difficult character to deal with. As Shylock is a Jew he is restricted with what professions he can have. One job he can have is to be a money lender, which he does. Through this Shylock has developed an unhealthy obsession with money, 'I dream of money tonight'. ...read more.

Middle

Shylock seems to have a desire for revenge and for his bond to happen. Shylock says 'Let him look to his bond! He was want to call me the usurer. Let him look to his bond!' shylock also explains that Jews are the same as Christians and 'if a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Why, Revenge! If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge!' This quote seems to be in a sarcastic style but at the same time an angry serious way. I thing this passage clearly shows Shylock wants revenge and wants the bond to go thorough. Shakespeare repeatedly refers to Jewish and Christians because he is trying to show that Shylock is upset about the way Jews get treated inhumanly and less than Christians he is trying to win the audiences sympathy. When Tubal says 'Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio, as I heard Genoa -' shylock wants to hear more 'what, what, what? Ill luck? Ill luck?' When Shylock hears Antonio 'Hath an argosy cast away, coming from Tripolis.' Shylock is ecstatic 'I thank god, I thank god!' he seems to be gloating over his danger maybe he thinks that if Antonio is in trouble he is more likely to have the bond. ...read more.

Conclusion

I have been able to establish many different aspects about Shylocks character throughout the play, he is a bitter man and loves money but has had many problems in his life that make us feel sympathetic for him. He is not just an average stage villain he is more complex and you can really understand how he feels in parts of the play. Although he is a cruel man who treats people horribly including his daughter and he uses his money to his advantage to overpower people. Also we feel sorry for him because he looses his daughter and in the end he looses everything his home and money. So throughout the play we feel sympathetic but at the same time we think he deserves it. Shylock is a very memorable character as he has such an impact on many characters and is a main part of the plays interest. Shylock provokes many issues in the play and causes many problems with people. Shakespeare has displayed Shylock as a powerful character as when he enters the stage he does it in an impacting way and controls the conversations. I think I will always remember Shylock as the character who I didn't really understand and he had many issues. Becky Lloyd 1 ...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. What is your assessment of the presentation of the character and role of Shylock ...

    you to dine with us", it can be read as a kind offer rejected by Shylock or ignorance of the Jewish faith, either unintentionally or intentionally to patronise and provoke Shylock. But one point in this very important scene, Act 1:3, is when Shylock recounts all he has suffered at the hands of the Christians, epitomised in Antonio.

  2. Examine how Shylock is presented in The Merchant of Venice.

    All pity has now gone, as he has just said that he wants revenge, and he's only doing what the Christians have taught him. Although we no longer see him as a victim, he still cannot be seen as a total villain.

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

    He must have had the ring quite a long time, because he will have had it before Jessica was born, and therefore since Jessica is old enough to run away from her father, she must be at least fourteen. Therefore it must hold a lot of sentimental value and he

  2. Explore the conflicting responses, which the character of Shylock provokes in the audience. How ...

    Shylock will be seen as a victim of racism due to his speech 'to bait fish withal...' and how the Christians scorn him, for example the rudeness shown to him by Salario and Salarino in the scene. The audience will also feel sympathetic to Shylock, as the one person in

  1. Shylock - Victim or Villain - What is your assessment of the presentation of ...

    I'll lend you thus" And mocks the Christians approach in mimicking their intentions when he says, "Shylock we would have monies". Both of these quotes reinforce the point that Shylock is being cruel, and deliberately reminding the duo of all he has suffered.

  2. The Merchant of Venice Coursework Essay - Shylock; Victim or Villain

    I think he only loves the world for him.", was added to lighten the mood, and to try to lift the doubt that has been set in the audience's mind after learning that a shipwreck has occurred "in the Narrow Seas".

  1. The Merchant of Venice is a racist play - Discuss

    very vengeful and he is very stereotypical towards Antonio and other Christians he blames all of them for his race's problems even though it may not be all Christians that are racist towards the Jews and he says Christians have persecuted his race when he says "To bait fish withal.

  2. Discuss Shakespeare's presentation of Antonio in 'The Merchant of Venice'

    The anti-Semitic audience would have laughed and applauded Shylock's morose excuse of feeling "not well" as his usually austere language is saved for jubilant Antonio's demand that he "presently become a Christian". They would have supported Antonio's stoical, yet hypocritical, nature as he never denies the accusations of "spitting on

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