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

Shylock can be seen as a victim and a villain. Discuss his relationship with Antonio and the theme of hatred as a cyclical phenomenon.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Essay: Shylock can be seen as a victim and a villain. Discuss his relationship with Antonio and the theme of hatred as a cyclical phenomenon. The Merchant of Venice was written in the late 16th century by the famous playwright William Shakespeare. The Elizabethan era coincided with the 'renaissance', a time of revival for art, literature and drama throughout Europe. During the Elizabethan era, Venice was regarded as the business capital of the world. This attracted the world's wealthiest and most regarded businessmen to the city. The play is set in the Italian cities of Belmont and Venice. Venice is a setting that befits the plot of the play because the play deals a lot with business, money and self-interests. Jews were not allowed to own property, so they practised money-lending, which itself was illegal. However, the Christians turned a blind-eye to the practice as they were the main beneficiaries from it. Christians hated Jews for the biblical reason that they were responsible for the crucifixion of Jesus. However, they hatred of Jews can also be classified as a form of jealousy, as Jews were very fluent in business. ...read more.

Middle

This unveils a more sensitive side to Shylock. She also runs a way with a Christian, Lorenzo, as well as betraying her father after he trusted her with his possessions by spending his money recklessly. She spends "four score ducats" in one night. The actions are unfair to Shylock because they are spiteful and hateful. Firstly, the ring was given to Shylock by his presumably late wife Leah. Secondly, Shylock is a steadfast Jew and wouldn't want his daughter running away with a Christian. Finally, Shylock trusts his daughter with his possessions but she betrays him and spends his money recklessly. The readers are likely to feel sorry for Shylock because he is unaware of the fact that his daughter is going to run away with his wealth and betray him. The audience, however, know what is going to happen which creates dramatic irony. In the courtroom, Gratiano is disrespectful and aggressive. He insults Shylock with abusive names such as "inexecrable dog" in an angry tone. This reveals to us the fact that Shylock is a target for all Christian and anti-Semitists and is victimised in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

This contributes to the theme of hatred as a cyclical as it shows that Christians were happy to see Shylock (a Jew) victimised. Despite all this ill-treatment, Shylock also has an evil side which also makes him a villain. He also contributes to the theme of hate. Shylock hates Antonio so much that he refuses to forgive him. "Cursed be my tribe if I forgive him!" Moreover, he hates him for he is a Christian. From Shylock's attitude you can tell that he hates Christians, especially Antonio. This contributes to the theme of hatred as a cyclical phenomenon as it shows the extent of Shylock's hate towards Antonio. Shylock compares his money to the loss of his daughter. This suggests that Shylock values self-interests over love. Furthermore, Antonio is reluctant in signing the bond, however, Shylock tricks him into thinking that it is a joke, when it is not. Shylock wants the pound of flesh as a form of revenge towards Antonio. "If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge." This exposes Shylock's inhuman and cruel character. "The villainy you teach I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction." ?? ?? ?? ?? The Merchant of Venice English Coursework ...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. The Merchant of Venice: Should Shylock be seen as a victim or a villain?

    The play begins in the middle of a conversation, in which Solanio describes nervously waiting for the safe outcome of a trade deal involving transport by sea. ".......and every object that might make me fear misfortune to my ventures, out of doubt would make me sad."

  2. In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock can be seen as a gentle Jew and/or ...

    "I did dream of moneybags tonight." This creates tension, as traditionally whatever you dream, the opposite will happen. So this dream indicates his future peripeteia, he will lose his money to Jessica and Lorenzo. This could show his obsession and constant thoughts of money.

  1. In your opinion does Shakespeare portrayShylock as a victim or a villain

    " But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners." Here Jessica is really being rather hurtful to her father and is describing how she is totally and utterly different to him. Here we could either consider that Shakespeare is portraying shylock as a

  2. Shylock - Villain or Victim? Examine the language and behaviour towards others, as well ...

    'Hear you me, Jessica, Lock up my doors.' Shylock is telling his daughter to lock the doors and ignore the street party outside. Shylock a single Jewish parent is trying to show his love for Jessica but comes across as being a villain.

  1. José Martínez Ruiz,"Azorín": La voluntad as a regenerational novel.

    It is more a case of Mart�nez Ruiz becoming Azor�n than the other way around. La voluntad also has metafictional characteristics, as shall be seen in Niebla, within it there exists a theory of the novel, what it should be like, and a critique of the novel.

  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. to what extent can the Merchant of Venice be seen as a fairytale

    Antonio is seen as a kind-hearted person who values his friends' happiness over his own and is in some ways na�ve. He is referred to constantly as 'good Antonio' and 'respected Antonio'. Shylock, the evil villain, looks as if he may win at the trial but Antonio is saved, thus restoring the good versus evil balance.

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

    The audience will therefore feel that Shylock is more of a victim than a villain in this instance. Also, the audience will feel bereavement for Shylock, as the Duke was certainly not a fair judge. The judge is particularly prejudiced, as is highlighted in his opening speech in this scene, when he suggests 'we all expect a gentle answer, Jew'.

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