• 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 - With particular reference to Act 4 scene 1 how far is Shylock presented as a victim or a villain within the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Merchant Of Venice With particular reference to Act 4 scene 1 how far is Shylock presented as a victim or a villain within the play? Introduction. The play The Merchant Of Venice was written in a time of anti Semitism. There was a great divide between the Jewish and Christian religion when Shakespeare wrote this play. He wanted to put these religions together and predict a miscellaneous ending. He does this by punishing Shylock for choosing law over love and mercy. There are two different ways of looking at this play. The modern audience would have different views and opinions of the play and it would have been acted out differently. I am looking at a modern point of view, so Shylock is presented with a more human side to an alternative of a stereotypical Jew. Shakespeare teaches us the values he believes in, through the character Portia. Throughout this play shylock is shown as both victim and a villain. I have pin pointed the scenes in which this has happened, giving quotes, explanations and backing my answers up . ...read more.

Middle

Shylock is presented as a villan but we are made to feel sympathy for him in view of the fact that of his daughter leaving him with nothing. Even though Shylock isn't in this scene we get varied impressions of him. Shakespeare did this to make the audience form an opinion about Shylock and I think the opinion that the audiences form is that Shylock is a villain. In Act 2 scene 8 there are many aspects showing Shylock as a victim. An example of this is when Salarino says, " why all the boys in Venice follow him" This displays him as a victim as it illustrates that Venician children have a higher status than a Jewish man. Although in this scene Salarino and solanio are mimicking Shylock. The main content of what they are saying could portrait him as a villan. "My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter" Throughout this speech when Solarino is mimicking Shylock there is more reference to his riches than to his daughter. This suggests that he is more hurt about the loss of his riches then his daughter. ...read more.

Conclusion

This doesn't make us think very highly of Shylock as he is happy to take a pound of flesh no matte what it takes. Though parts of the play affect our views as Shylock was driving to act like this by the Christians poorly treating him Shylock implacably refuses to show mercy until he is given no choice as blood is not mentioned in the bond " This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood" This means Shylock has to show mercy ads you can not take a pound of blood without shedding blood. We now see shylock as a victim as he didn't get his revenge and is left with nothing, not even his dignity. To conclude I would say that Shylock is too controversial a character to be a victim or a villain., There are different Factors to show Shylock as a victim or a villain like his is portrayed as a villain when he wants to take Antonio's life but is displayed as a victim when his daughter Jessica takes his possessions. In perspective I would say that Shylock is rather a villain then a victim as we have seen more evidence of him being displayed as a villain. Stephanie Brightman 10R ...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. Marked by a teacher

    From the study of ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is shylock presented as a villain ...

    5 star(s)

    He is blatantly influencing the court, with his own prejudiced views; therefore Shylock is having an unfair trial. He is being judged in a Christian court, not a court of law. Shylock wants his form of justice in his bond he made with Antonio, who is known as the merchant

  2. Merchant of Venice Act 1 Scene 2 - Describe Portia's Suitors, and discuss her ...

    audience would have believed that all Germans drank a lot, which the young German defiantly plays up to. Portia when asked if she likes him says "Very vilely in the morning when he is sober and most vilely in the after when he is drunk" She also says that he

  1. ACt 4 scene 1 of The Merchant Of Venice

    Portia also informs Shylock that he has violated Venetian law by seeking the life of a citizen, and Shylock's life, lands, and goods are now forfeit to the state and to the victim Antonio. This ironic situation occurs because Shylock demands the letter of the law without the mercy that

  2. Discuss the Ways in Which the Themes of Love and Hate are Explored and ...

    Before any man may chose one of the caskets, he first must go to the temple and swear an oath that if he doesn't win Portia's hand in marriage after picking the wrong casket, he will never marry again.

  1. 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.

  2. Explore the ways Shakespeare presents Shylock in The Merchant of Venice.

    probably not have questioned the treatment Shylock receives as we do today. During the period of time the play was written, audiences would have preferred Shylock to be the villain of the play, as in a pantomime character to be booed at, at every entrance or devious action, especially with the fact that Shylock was a Jew.

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

    and when the Duke opens the case with a speech that is very patronising and cruel to Shylock. For example, the aforementioned quote 'We all expect a gentle answer Jew' is the last line in his speech, which will make the audience feel great sorrow for Shylock, as he is seemingly shunned due to his religious beliefs.

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

    On a contrasting view of this scene, Shylock does make an extremely moving and emotive speech, starting "Hath not a Jew eyes?" The speech makes a very valid point that anyone, regardless of race, creed or faith is a person.

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