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The Merchant Of Venice

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Introduction

The Merchant Of Venice By Bernard Prelec Title: In The light of your study of Shakespeare's presentation of shylock in act 1, scene 3 and act 4, scene 1 of "The Merchant Of Venice" Would you agree that shylock is more a villain or a victim. Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice, which is about a Jewish Money Lender Called Shylock lending money to Antonio (The merchant of Venice). When Antonio Fails to payback the loan of 3 thousand ducats he is faced with loosing a pound of flesh which was written in shylock's bond in Elizabethan England and even though it is set in Venice which was made to look wealthy and a desirable place to be. This is to do with the trade routes crossing straight through Venice, carrying wonders from the East by land and West by sea. The play reflects the moods and attitudes towards Jews at the time of the play in England during the 16th century. The play is about Shylock a Jewish money lender trying to make a living and survive in a country that despises him and alienates him. In this period England was a Christian country, all children would be baptised soon after they were born, and were taught about the Christian faith at an early age. ...read more.

Middle

Antonio is ready and is refused that a surgeon be present to stop the bleeding otherwise Antonio would probably die, because as shylock says "Tis not in the bond" which just shows how determined shylock is to get his bond which in time, will be the very thing that destroys him. Shylock is left alone with no family, as Jessica, his daughter, elopes with Lorenzo, a friend of Bassanios. Shylock earns pity from the audience when he tells Bassanio that, "My daughter is my flesh and blood", meaning that with her gone it is as if a part of him has been taken too. But he is made out as a villain when he screams in rage showing his emotions and strong views "My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! Only Christian ducats" This shows his hate for Christians, that his property has more value to him than his daughters life. He is shown as a villain when he lends money to bassanio and demands that if Antonio doesn't pay back the loan in time then shylock is allowed to take a pound of his flesh. ...read more.

Conclusion

Still Shylock is classed as an alien in his home because he is a Jew. Shylocks possessions are confiscated because of the attempted murder of Antonio. Antonio now makes two conditions if shylock wants to keep his life, firstly he must become Christian, and secondly he must make a will leaving all his belongings to Jessica and Lorenzo. Not only has Shylock been converted to a Christian and humiliated in court, but friend his another Jew, walked out on him as he very nearly carved a pound of flesh from Antonio. (As shown in the film) At the sight of this his only friend left him .So without his revenge, wealth, and his daughter, now he is alienated from his fellow Jews. Ironically he is left alone with nothing but what ruined him; his new found Christianity. Shylock can be seen as both comic and tragic because of his quick-witted responses, almost playing with the insults that are thrown at him from day to day. And tragic because of the loss of his daughter, friend and possessions. I think because he has been driven to the edge of insanity, from the torment and prejudice pushed on him throughout his life by his own Venetian community. That has led him to such misfortune and bitterness. ...read more.

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