Is the treatment of shylock justified in

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Is the treatment of shylock justified?


The play I have been studying is called "The Merchant Of Venice". This play was written in the early 1590's, and was first performed in 1596. William Shakespeare wrote “The Merchant Of Venice”.

There are many possible influences that inspired William Shakespeare to write "The Merchant of Venice". There are four strands to the story, which are;

        The caskets; the winning of Portia hand in marriage.

        The elopement; Jessica and Lorenzo

        The rings; a love test

        The bond; Shylock and the pound of flesh

The four strands in the play are not any of Shakespeare's own inventions or ideas. The bond between shylock and Antonio was based on an Italian story "Il Pecorone" (the idiot). The Italian story could have influenced Shakespeare in the writing of his play. What also influenced Shakespeare in his writing is the hugely successful play called  "Jew of Malta" which was written by Christopher Marlow, in which a stereotypical wicked Jew performed all kinds of outrage. I also think that DR Lopez (Jewish doctor) who had been executed for theoretically trying to poison Queen Elizabeth.  


There has always been hatred of Jews since the Romans took over their country, which was Israel. At first the Romans allowed then their religious freedom but later tried to crush the Jewish faith and culture. This persecution led many Jews to seek new lives in other countries. This process is also known as the Diaspora, which was the Scattering of the Jews.

Jews have always been known as intelligent and hardworking businessmen. These qualities in Jewish people sometimes led them to be mistrusted and disliked. This was the case in Christian countries, where anti-Semitism was very strong. The reason the Christian disliked the Jews is mainly because the Christians believe that the Jewish people are to blame for Jesus' death, and virtually since then they have disliked each other.

I will be analysing the bond and will be studying the treatment of Shylock and if the treatment is justified, in this assignment.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

In the play "the merchant of Venice" the main two characters I am going to mention in my assignment are shylock and Antonio. Antonio is a rich merchant and has ships out at sea doing imports and export and he has all his money on the ships. Antonio is also a Christian. As for shylock who is a Jew, and who is a well-known moneylender.

And in them times money lenders or usurer was a sinner so we can already imagine how the treatment would turn out to be like. Many people depended on Shylock’s loans for help although no one really accepted interest which they had to pay back along with the sum of money, which was borrowed. Shylock gained success in his money lending.

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        Shylock made it clear that his relationship with Christians was strictly and only business, shylock said;

“ ...I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you...”

Act 1 Scene 3 Lines 28-30

This quotation informs us that Shylock was willing to offer his profit making services to Christians but was not prepared to socialise with them.

One person who also depended on Shylock’s loan was Antonio. Shylock agreed to give Antonio ...

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