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

The merchant of Venice.

Extracts from this document...


The merchant of Venice At the beginning we meet Antonio and immediately we discover that he is sad, 'In sooth I know not why I am sad'. However Antonio really has little reason to be sad because he is a popular Christian merchant surrounded with good friends and he has plenty of wealth. Even though Antonio is sad Shakespeare does not make you, the reader feel sympathetic towards Antonio because he is so successful, wealthy and popular. Antonio's greatest of friends Bassanio is in debt and not for the first time and asks Antonio if he can borrow money again. Antonio feels that what he will lend he will not receive back but because Bassanio is such a close friend and Antonio is so generous and loving to him he lends Bassanio the money anyway, 'my purse, my person, my extremists means / lie all unlocked to your occasions. Antonio enters and aside Shylock speaks about his hate for Antonio and Christians even though Bassanio and Antonio cannot hear him. Shylock could not have said this aloud because he is a Jew and looked down upon by the major of society because they are Christian. Christians like Antonio and Bassanio would have no need to keep quite when talking about Jews in fact Antonio and Bassanio are likely to make a point to speak aloud when talking about Shylock and Jews. In Shylocks speech he again talks about his hatred towards Antonio and displays an image of some sort of plot and revenge against him, 'I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him'. ...read more.


Shylock also talks about Antonio in a way he would never before. He calls Antonio a coward which he would never at first because of the repercussions but now Shylock has his bond and a plot of revenge. Shylock is now becoming obsessed with revenge, not for money or respect or even to teach Christians a lesson but for only his own pleasure, 'if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge'. Shylock reminds himself of his precious jewels that Jessica stole, he then admits he would rather Jessica were dead if he got his jewels back, 'I would rather my daughter were dead at my foot, and thy jewels in her ear'. This shows how Shylocks priorities have soon changed by circumstances and by his sick thoughts of revenge. Shylock does not see wrong in his revenge, he feels he is a person and has the right like any other person or Christian to enact revenge however cruel it may be, 'if you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us to we not laugh? If you do not poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?'. Shylock has now made it clear he no longer wants the repayment of 3 thousand ducats but would much rather prefer a pound of flesh from Antonio. This is strange because Shylocks first priority was his money now it has become clear it is revenge and he blames Antonio for everything that has gone wrong in his life. ...read more.


Shylock is confused but understands his mistake. His obsession with his bond disappears and his businessman like state re appears asking for his bond paid three times open as he knows he cannot take a pound of flesh with drawing blood. Gratiano offers the money instantly however Portia says no he will have his penalty of a pound in flesh. Shylock now wants to forgive and forget as things are turning round on him. Portia does not let him leave and tells him what is going to be done. Shylock is to give half of his money to Antonio and half to the state which will consist mainly of Christians. He must also forget about being a Jew and become a Christian. Sympathy is felt towards Shylock because he has lost everything. His money, daughter and religion to Christians. Shylock now has to become Christian, which is against all his former beliefs. Christians will now never accept him as a Christian who he will become and his Jew friends will also dismiss him because of being a traitor to his religion. Shylock has lost everything and some could argue he deserved it, however sympathy is still created for him. In the end Antonio begins where he started from and all the Christians are happy. Shylock is the only the person left with nothing. Shakespeare gives some sympathy to Shylock even though you are unsure he deserves it due to the way he has been acting. Antonio has been let off lightly and should of learnt some valuable lessons. By Rory Bradley ...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. Merchant of Venice - Comparing and Contrasting Antonio and Shylock

    This is done for the benefit of the audience. Shakespeare uses the characters in the play to re-cap on events. He also makes contrasts and comparisons between the characters Antonio and Shylock. They praise Antonio, calling him the great Antonio, and dismiss Shylock's as the unacceptable Jew.

  2. How just is the outcome of the trial scene for Shylock in the Merchant ...

    This shows how unworthy Antonio feels- almost like his attitude in the first scene in the play about his concern for laying his wealth on ships at sea. This is the only contrast to his manner at the start of the play and lines 114 to 118 justify exactly that.

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

    In Act3 scene 1 we are informed of a 'turquoise ring' which belonged to Leah; Shylock overtly expresses how he would not have 'given that ring for a wilderness of monkeys'.

  2. Should I Feel Sympathy For Shylock Carstens denied doggiejoy's structuration idea.

    large scenes to explain what's happening.cofe fer sefefew orfe fek infe fofe fe! "I reasoned with a Frenchman yesterday, who told me, in the narrow seas that part the French and English, there miscarried a vessel of our country richly fraught: I thought upon Antonio when he told me, and wished in silence that it were not his."

  1. Friends, Enemies, Lovers, Gossip, Rumour and Money. How and in what ways are these ...

    It is made apparent to the audience that Bassanio's wealth status is not very high, 'how much I have disabled mine estate'. This emphasises Antonio's and Bassanio's friendship in the view of the fact that dilemmas with money is not to be discussed in Venice seeing that it could lead to preface of gossip about one's personal issues.

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

    is telling the audience, indirectly, that he has put up with and has been affected by their abuse, which was quite recent, yet they want him to lend them a substantial amount of money. Shylock is also shown to be a little malicious and bloodthirsty when he asks for a pound of flesh from Antonio to seal his bond.

  1. Jews and Christians in a Merchant of Venice

    he still acknowledged the fact of the differences between the two religions. We had learnt that Shylock had suffered at the hands of Antonio but it did not appear it was just Shylock suffering, Shylock said: "For suff�rance is the badge of all our tribe."

  2. "It is far from clear in The Merchant of Venice where our sympathies ought ...

    despite being begged for mercy, continues to request for another man's pound of flesh. It is clear to see that despite his many vices, his sense of mercy and justice has been deeply fractured by the persecution he endures. He is the victim of both verbal and physical abuse by

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