The Character of Shylock in a Merchant of Venice.
The Character of Shylock in a Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare wrote the play 'The Merchant of Venice' in the 16th Century. It was written at that time as a comedy for audiences of that time to enjoy. Shakespeare makes it obvious that the treatment of Jews in England was very harsh and the population was very anti-Semitic and viewed Christians as being superior to other races. The play of The Merchant of Venice is set in Venice because Jewish people were allowed to live in the city's outskirts, whereas Jews were not allowed to live in England at all. A 16th century audience would not only have tolerated the racism shown in the play towards Jews, but would have supported it and found it comical when a racist remark was made. A modern audience of the late 20th and 21st century would find it shocking to have such racism included in the play because of political correctness and also because of the Holocaust, which opened people's eyes to how far racism can go; far enough to want to rid a country of, or exterminate, an entire race. In Act 1, Scene 3 we get our first impression of Shylock, a rich Jewish man who lends money to people with interest. Shakespeare introduces Shylock as a man of business but also a very proud man, who shows his distaste for Christians with his devious attitude, using chapters and stories from the Old Testament to show that Christians are lowly
Trial Scene - Merchant of Venice
Trial Scene Shakespeare uses contradictory emotions and beliefs though out the play. He raises many questions about racism and morality. Theses attitudes are relevant to the period the play was written. The play confronts the subject of Christians and Jews. There was great conflict between Christians and Jews, and Shakespeare portrayed this incredibly well thought out his play. Anti- Semitism had been present in England ever since Jews had inhabited the country. Tales were contrived of Jews stealing babies, drinking sacrificial blood, and thieving money. Although at first look at the play it might look Anti-Semitic, as the play develops and the plot unfolds Shakespeare portrays a feeling of remorse towards the Jew Shylock. Shakespeare interpreted theses current beliefs and conflicts into his characters. This ethicized the effect of the play and enabled the audience to understand and become involved in the plot. The Jew is exposed as the evil character in the plot, and the Christians as the heroines. The characters emotions are clear through out the script and peak during the trial scene. This causes some of the characters to become venerable. Portia uses her knowledge of Jurisprudence to exploit these emotions, to her advantage in the trial. She uses cunning tactics to effectively confuse the characters present in the court. The other characters in the court are obviously
Background to the "Merchant of Venice."
Background to the "Merchant of Venice." During the 16th Century, William Shakespeare wrote an extraordinary play and called it the "Merchant of Venice." Elizabethans of this time, were extremely anti-Semitic and because of their anti-Semitism the subject matter of the play alone would have grabbed the audiences' attention. Inspirations for the "Merchant of Venice" came from two different places for Shakespeare. Firstly there was a play showing called the "Jew of Malta." In this play, written by Christopher Marlowe the Jews were portrayed as monsters. Again, prior to Shakespeare's play Dr Lopez-who was queen Elizabeth's physician, was accused of attempting to poison the Queen. The events only added to the Elizabethans Semitism and because of these events the Elizabethans were not happy or pleasant towards the Jews. The "Merchant of Venice" seemed to be a perfect opportunity to express their hate for the Jewish nation. "Lopez" is the Spanish word for wolf. A wolf is a type of dog and throughout the book we read of Shakespeare referring to the Jews as dogs. Once again the Elizabethans would not have seen anything wrong with this, for that was how they referred to the Jews themselves. What we need to realise is that there isn't only one audience; in fact there are two- the 16th Century audience and the 21st Century audience. Whereas people of the 16th Century agreed with
The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare
The Merchant of Venice By William Shakespeare I have just read the play "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare and I have decided to write about Shylock, one of the main characters in the play. He is a greedy, Jewish moneylender. In the play, Shylock lends out money to a Christian, who he dislikes immensely and this feeling is mutual. If Antonio, the Christian, cannot repay Shylock the money that is owed to him within three months, Shylock will take a pound of Antonio's flesh. Shylock is disliked by the Christian's of Venice and seems to have just one companion, Tubal. At the beginning of the play he does not seem to be a gentleman because he says: "I hate him for he is a Christian; But more, for that in low simplicity He lends out money gratis, and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice." He does not give us a good impression of himself at this stage in the play because he says he hates Signor Antonio for the reason that he is a Christian. He curses Antonio because Antonio lends out money without interest and also because Antonio brings down the rate of interest for Shylock who is a moneylender. I did not like Shylock in this part of the play because it seems that Shylock is being impertinent towards Antonio for no reason. But further on in the play we realise that this is not true, when Shylock makes a lengthy speech about the way Antonio
Imagine you are the theatrical director of a production of
Imagine you are the theatrical director of a production of "Merchant of Venice" English coursework essay: response to Shakespeare. I am going to set my theatrical production of "Merchant of Venice" act 1 scene 3 in a building in a street in Venice. The building in which this scene is set should be lit by candle light creating a slightly dark, gloomy atmosphere to give the audience a sense of mischief and wrong doing on Shylock's part. Costume wise I would make a clear distinction between the clothes of Shylock and the Venetians. Shylock will wear old dirty looking, dull coloured clothes whilst the Venetians wear colourful, more elegant looking clothes to portray their higher stature and importance. This will show that at the time the play was written Shylock, because of his religion, is regarded as being less important and has a low economic status. I will make Shylock around 30 years old with typical Jewish features including uncut facial hair and skullcap. He should generally approach his speeches with a slightly spiteful and mocking tone of voice. Antonio will also be around 30 years old and taller than Shylock wearing more elegant and colourful clothing to show his dominance. He should approach his speeches putting over to the audience an attitude of hatred for Shylock and his religion. Bassanio will be slightly younger than Shylock and Antonio, about 25 years
Court case - Antonio the Christian Vs Shylock the Jew.
Court case - Antonio the Christian Vs Shylock the Jew The Magnificoes, Antonio, Bassanio, Graitiano and Solanio enter the court. Shylock is asked to enter the court. Solanio goes and gets him. Shylock is ready waiting behind the door. Shylock is asked to show Mercy but he says that he has sworn to himself that he will have his bond. Bassanio agues with Shylock decision. The amount of money that Antonio failed to pay back (3000 ducats) is offered to Shylock but he refuses. He is then offered 6,000 ducats double the sum but still he refuses saying that he wants his bond. He tells the court that if this wish were denied then the laws in Venice will be worthless. Bellario is asked to enter the court to help decide on this case. Instead there is a lawyers clerk with a letter from Bellario standing at the door. The lawyer's clerk is permitted into the court and the letter is read. Shylock, While the duke is reading the letter, is sharpening his knife. There is another argument with Shylock and Graitiano who is trying to insult him. It is announced that a learned doctor has come instead of Bellario the layers clerk is told that the learned doctor Balthazar is permitted to enter the court. Meanwhile the letter is read allowed. Balthazar enters the court. There is a short discussion with the duke and then Balthazar familiarizes himself with the case. Balthazar asks whether
Is Shylock a man more sinned against than sinning?
IS SHYLOCK A MAN MORE SINNED AGAINST THAN SINNING? DISCUSS, WITH REFERENCE TO THE TEXT OF THE PLAY It is believed that that Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice, between 1596 and 1589. At the time England was a Christian country, and the Jews were a misunderstood, prejudiced and marginalised people. They were often forbidden to own land or engage in trade in England so the only occupation open to them was money lending which they exploited to the full, Christians were forbidden to practice usury and the Jews were constantly portrayed as greedy misers and money-lenders. So before the plot even starts, Shylock is condemned by the audience for being a Jew and a vicious moneylender. Shakespeare took a big risk in this play; if he portrayed Jews well, so that the play offended the queen or if the audience disliked it and took offence, he could have lost his life! Luckily for Shakespeare, he was able to time invoke the audience's hatred for the "most impenetrable cur", but at the same capture sympathy and understanding from the audience towards Shylock. A measure of Shakespeare's achievement is that the play allowed a range of different interpretations of Shylock; people left the theatres with mixed emotions about Shylock. He is one of the most complex characters in English literature and scholars today still debate whether Shylock is more a villain or a victim. In the course
How does the modern audience responds to Shakespeare 'The Merchant of Venice?'
Balawal Rehman 4/10/04 English/English Literature coursework How does the modern audience responds to Shakespeare 'The Merchant of Venice?' The modern audience respond in a very negative way. Some of the things which make them respond in this way are the racism and the not so funny jokes. The open racism is a very sensitive subject due to what happened in world war two and the modern audience is not very appreciative of it. When Antonio talks to Shylock about borrowing money he is not kind and polite but is rude and very anti-Semitic towards Shylock. You can tell that Antonio and Shylock hate each other by looking at act 1, scene 3, line 39 where Shylock says 'I hate him for he is Christian '. Lower down on the page he also says 'He hates our sacred nation, and he rails even there where merchants most do congregate, on me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, which he calls interest. Cursed be my tribe if I forgive him'. This tells you that Antonio and Shylock have hated each other for a long time and they also dislike each other because of their religions. This argument continues and Shylock starts to use sayings from the Old Testament. The story of Jacob grazing his uncle's lambs is Shylock's excuse for charging interest. Antonio says in Act 1, Scene 3, line 55, 'The devil can cite scripture for his own purpose'.
There are two Shylocks in 'The Merchant Of Venice' - the ogre and the human being: explore presentation of Shylock in the play.
There are two Shylocks in 'The Merchant Of Venice' - the ogre and the human being: explore presentation of Shylock in the play. When Shakespeare wrote 'The Merchant Of Venice' there was a suggestion that he was competing with a very popular play 'The Jew Of Malta' written in 1589 by Christopher Marlowe. This play treats the Jew as an evil villain and a wicked ogre. Shakespeare is not entirely free from the idea that all usurers were Jews and therefore all Jews were evil, but he does also allow us to see Shylock as a human being who has himself been wronged. Only Jews who had converted to Christianity were allowed to live in England in Shakespeare's day. Jews who practised their own religion were banned from England in 1290, so Shakespeare's audience would have thought that Shylock got off very lightly when he is made to change his religion at the end of the play, therefore it is a lot easier for a modern day audience to sympathise with Shylock. In 'The Merchant Of Venice' Shakespeare does show us a human side to Shylock: This is shown in the first scene that we are introduced to shylock, act 1 scene 3. At the start of the scene shylock is considering Antonio's circumstances and credit rating and already seems confident that he will lend Antonio the money. However this is before he meets Antonio, he then has a short aside in which he tells the audience about how much
How does the modern audience respond to Shakesphere ? (The Merchant Of Venice)
Saturday 06th November Name: Sufyan Mussood ???????????????????????????? ??????????????????????? ????????????????????????? Since the time of Shakespeare, The play "Merchant of Venice" has had a dramatic effect on the modern audience today. In the 16th century, Jews were completely disliked, & Jews were not allowed to live in England unless they had converted to Christianity. Jews who practised their own religion were banned from England. To modern audiences, this is "Anti-Semitic", so this play completely shows the worse part of Christians, from beginning to end. It changes the fact that Jews had the same rights as Christians did, also today's world doesn't care about the race of a person, everyone has the same right. Some of the audiences in the 16th century, believed that Jews were at a lower stage than them, and they only believed this because the Jews were a different ("different" referred to as "wrong "for Christians who lived in the 16th century), religion they believed they were not people, like them. The play Merchant of Venice shows the evil side of the Jews. The character's name is "Shylock". He is the character of evil doing; he is also the character that Shakespeare chose to represent a Jewish character. As a Jew, he represents the race as being wicked, evil etc. Then there is the innocent and rich "Antonio" (Merchant), who is a Christian, and is a