• 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. exploring the various forms of love displayed in Shakespeares Merchant of Venice

    It is remarkable that this point is still so relevant to the British people of today, due to the fact that we are, in comparison with other European countries, behind when it comes to learning foreign languages, and there are constantly stories in the media about racially motivated attacks.

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

    He is apparently taking delight in the sudden and unexpected reversal of 'roles'. Now the Christians, who had previously been so racist to him, were at the mercy of his decision. This gives Shylock an unmistakeable air of smug confidence when he mocks them by saying: "For these courtesies /

  2. The Merchant of Venice: Is Shylock a villain or a victim who deserves our ...

    When Launcelot calls for Jessica, Shylock tells him off somewhat for this. Even though he is not really in his service any more. When Jessica comes in, Shylock tells her that he is going to dinner, but it is not a dinner with a friend , more as with a

  1. The Character of Shylock in a Merchant of Venice.

    Shylock says 'My daughter! O my ducats!' which puts both his daughter and his money on the same level of importance. Shylock, from this evidence, shows that he is greedy and more worried about his money. He also shows that he wants revenge on his daughter through the law, which

  2. how does one experience sympathy for shakespeare's shylock - in the merchant of venice

    In Act 4 scene 1 Shylock is rendered speechless as the Christian establishment exacts even more severe financial concessions stipulating that Antonio should 'seize one half (of Shylock's) goods' and that the other half (well earned and deserved) 'should come to the privy coffer of the state'.

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

    Shylock wants Antonio to worry, because for too long Shylock has been under-estimated and ridiculed by Christians, and Shylock wants Antonio to get his just desserts. Solanio later says "The villain Jew with outcries raised the duke, who went with him to search Bassanio's ship".

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

    Jessica says that home is "hell" and that she is "ashamed to be my father's child", while in Act II scene ii, Lancelot Gobbo, his servant, describes Shylock as mean and "the very devil incarnate." If these two people who know him well see him as wicked, then the audience is being invited to share their views.

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