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The Merchant of Venice Essays

A Character Study of Shylock

❶Scene 4 Act II:

Essays on Shylock

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Bassanio chooses the lead casket, which contains
William Shakespeare

This behaviour, earning through thrift, is admirable. Antonio disagrees Jacob should have made money while in the employment of his uncle. Antonio does not see the danger signs and underestimates his foe. Act 1 sc3 closes upon this bargain, and Shakespeare has achieved some semblance of balance here. We have a bet ladies and gentlemen — whose side the audience is on depends on the era.

Particularly if Shylock is not motivated by avarice, as he would appear not to be, when Bassiano offers to repay ducats as usury for the loan [when Antonio has to forfeit the pound of flesh. A Shakespearean audience would see Shylock as quite wicked]. In a great irony, the stereotypical Jew, scheming with avarice intentions is not how Shylock can be analysed in the play. I stay here on my bond. Shylock has taken it all upon himself, and this could be viewed as noble.

By a modern audience, it probably would be. The Venetian court presses further the pound would have killed Antonio, adding further charges of intention to murder against Shylock. The moral of the story in the play?

If you are a victim of racism, intolerance, bullying and discrimination, murder is not a suitable form of justice or revenge to exact. This is the law of criminals not civil law and would have provoked much outrage. This idea of revenge goes against every Christian principle practised and understood by an Elizabethan audience.

That a modern audience has more sympathy for the attitudes towards Jews, and the discrimination suffered is evident. The attraction of making a modern adaptation of the play must be in exploring these aspects alongside the setting where iconic bridges of Venice and expensive costumes of Elizabethan times contrast with the treatment of Jews who lived in the poorest parts of the city.

The final scene with Shylock shows shows Shylock abandoned by all his Jewish community, stripped of his honours under Judaism.

The door is shut. AO1 critical explanation of theme within the context of the drama. We are looking at a strong finish here, with a sustained analysis of the significance of the play as a whole and how the audiences feel, and how Shylock and Jewish stereotypes worked. Imagery discussed and motivations analysed. AO3 Sustained explanation of audience at the time: Elizabethan culture versus modern culture.

A perceptive explanation of the relevance of the play to the audience. The script is closely focused throughout on Shylock, and sustained a textual overview of the whole plot. The material is well organised, clear with a stretch of coherent fluency and terminology use in the last paragraphs.

View all posts by Pass English UK. In the end, Portia manipulates the law, breaks the bond, and frees Antonio of his forfeiture. Shylock is in a predicament and must beg the Duke for his life.

The Duke shows mercy to Shylock. Shylock is a merciless usurer. Merciless is reflection of the values of Venice of the day.

It is very clear that Shylock plays an important role in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is mercenary and merciless with a vengeful attitude. These traits are essential in the plot development of the play.

Home Essays Shylock Merchant of Venice. Shylock Merchant of Venice 6 June Or his attitude toward them? Is he a bloodthirsty villain? Or is he a man "more sinned against than sinning"? One of the reasons that such questions arise is that there are really two stage Shylocks in the play: Shylock's function in this play is to be the obstacle, the man who stands in the way of the love stories; such a man is a traditional figure in romantic comedies.

Something or someone must impede young, romantic love; here, it is Shylock and the many and various ways that he is linked to the three sets of lovers. The fact that he is a Jew is, in a sense, accidental. Shakespeare wanted to contrast liberality against selfishness — in terms of money and in terms of love.

There was such a figure available from the literature of the time, one man who could fulfill both functions: Usury was forbidden to Christians by the church of the Middle Ages, and as a consequence, money lending was controlled by the Jews; as a rule, it was usually the only occupation which the law allowed to them. As a result, a great deal of medieval literature produced the conventional figure of the Jewish moneylender, usually as a minor character, but also too, as a major character.

It is from this medieval literary tradition that Shakespeare borrows the figure of Shylock, just as Marlowe did for his Jew of Malta. Some commentators have said that the character of Shylock is an example of Elizabethan and Shakespeare's own anti-Semitism. In contrast, many have seen the creation of Shylock as an attack on this kind of intolerance.

But Shakespeare, they forget, was a dramatist. He was not concerned with either anti- nor pro-Semitism, except in the way it shaped individual characters in his plays to produce the necessary drama that he was attempting to create. The play is thus emphatically not anti-Semitic; rather, because of the nature of Shylock's involvement in the love plots, it is about anti-Semitism.

Shakespeare never seriously defined or condemned a group through the presentation of an individual; he only did this for the purposes of comedy by creating caricatures in miniature for our amusement.

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Few characters created by Shakespeare embodies pure evil like the character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a usurer and a malevolent, blood-thirsty old man consumed with plotting the downfall of his enemies. He is a malignant, vengeful character, consumed with venomous.

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- In this essay I will try to discover is Shylock a villain or a victim, in the William Shakespeare play “The Merchant of Venice” It is difficult to say if Shylock is a complete villain or a victim, as his character is complex and ambiguous.

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Free Essay: The Character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice Victim or villain. These two words are the total opposites of each other. A victim is someone. The Shylock is one of the most popular assignments among students' documents. If you are stuck with writing or missing ideas, scroll down and find inspiration in the best samples. Shylock is quite a rare and popular topic for writing an essay, but it certainly is in our database.

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In The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare portrays Shylock as a covetous Jew. Shylock charges interest to those who borrow money from him when they are in need. Shylock is mercenary. Shylock’s love for objects overweighs his love for his own daughter. This character trait shows that in Venetian times, it was a time of [ ]. Free Essay: How Shylock is Presented in The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, one of his romantic comedies, was written in