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

Hatred and vengeance in "The Merchant of Venice".

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Cyclical Nature of Hatred and Vengeance By Darina Gaievska Love and hatred, happiness and misery, excitement and lethargy ? all of these emotions are inherited to the human nature. Hatred fits in among one of the strongest human feelings; it is a seed that engenders vengeance. In the Shakespeare?s play, The Merchant of Venice, these two inextricably bound terms are portrayed unequivocally. There are three main reasons why hatred was such a focal ingredient to the play: the Anti-Semitism, the unacceptability of usury and the personal altercations between the focal characters First and foremost, the tensions between the play?s protagonist and antagonist take place primarily due to the cultural notion of Anti-Semitism. In spite of Venice being the multicultural and hence multi-religious trade city, the discrimination of the Jewish people was yet apprehensible. ...read more.

Middle

In the merchant?s eyes, Jews were traitors, who deceived the Christ. Although Shylock shows his awareness of the Christian religion, Antonio does not respect him more; arguing that in spite of the knowledge he possesses ?The Jew? is nevertheless a disbeliever. The second reason due to which hatred skulks throughout the play is the un-acceptance of usury. During the Elizabethan era, Jews were not allowed to have any mercantile business, making usury, the practice of lending money on interest, the only source of profit to them. Antonio proves his negative attitude towards usury by lending money with no interest. Shylock, on the other hand, feels indignant of Antonio?s actions: ?He lends out money gratis and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice.? Their different views on lending nurture the characters? animosity and foreshadow the conflict that arises later in the play. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shylock justifies his thirst for revenge in act three: ?The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction?. ?The Jew? argues that if Christians (specifically Antonio) treat him as if he were ?a dog? hence showing that they are hypocritical when contradicting the concept of mercy, which is so deeply enshrined in their religion. He blames the Christians for ?teaching? him cruelty, and even promises to excel his masters. To sum up, the recurring hatred is a cycle that comes out of the culture?s prejudices. It is one of the main themes in the play. Hatred and animosity, caused by the anti-Semitism, unacceptability of usury and disrespect, are the inciters of the conflict between Shylock and Antonio. Without them, the play would be dull and boring, because emotions are the ones to spice up the play, making the interaction between characters more fervid. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our International Baccalaureate World Literature 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 International Baccalaureate World Literature essays

  1. Theme of violence and hatred in Romeo and Juliet

    The antithesis suggests that a love of such force and intensity can only be balanced by an outcome of equal force and intensity thus foreshadowing the ending of the play. It is a warning which if heeded may have prevented the tragedy but as we are aware from the outset

  2. How and why George Orwell in Nineteen Eighty-four used Winstons memory as the drive ...

    the fact that all energy must not be wasted on else other than Big Brother and the Party. Other evidence of how Winston's memory had created pain that had contributed the reason for his hatred of the Party is the event when Winston had actually find the evidence to prove

  1. Death in venice and the plague comparitive essay

    The introduction of the town noting that it is just out of view of the ocean already sets it up as a town entrapped by something. The common aspect between the characters explored in this text is their reliance of habits within their daily retinue.

  2. Review of Death in Venice

    discipline and self control, giving us a stronger impression of how a man of intellectual and reason can descend into a stage of frenzy and loses common sense. Mann uses strong imagery to express the intensifying passion of von Aschenbach towards Tadzio and also to set the atmosphere and mood of where the events occur.

  1. Hamlet Journal - rewriting key passages from the play

    But when a heart's on fire, it gives out more light than heat, and the fire will be out even before he's done making his promises. Don't mistake that for true love. From now on, spend a little less time with him and talk to him less.

  2. Merchant of Venice Summary

    Bassanio agrees to it and tells his servant Leonardo to prepare dinner for him and Shylock. Gratiano then arrives and tells Bassanio he'll help him win over Portia. Shylock's daughter, Jessica, has a relationship with Lorenzo and the only way she can get in touch with him was to give

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