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The Merchant of Venice Essay

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Comparison and Contrast of Shylock and Claudius
Introduction
This essay looks into the lives of Shylock and Antonio. These are two of Shakespearean antagonists of all time. They are alike in more ways than one. Shylock in Merchant of Venice is a Jewish moneylender based in Venice. He has been tormented and repressed mainly by the Christian population. One finds it easy to sympathize with him mainly because he has his own reasons to be loathing, greedy, and miserly. This ends up making the entire ‘Merchant of Venice’ bittersweet. This was when Shylock was forced to give up all that he owned and further converted it to Christianity. This meant that that Jewish community would no longer accept him. It also meant that he would be shunned by a Christianity community that would not see him as a true convert (Merchant of Venice 3).
Discussion
Antonio is a merchant of Venice. He is the play’s titular protagonist. He is close to forty years of age and lives his life to the fullest. He is also a successful businessman who owned a fleet of several trade ships. One surprising thing is that Antonio appears in few scenes in the play. He is the driving force behind several actions. Comparing him to Shylock portrays Antonio as a Christian defined by Elizabethan society. Character wise, he represents among several other things the ideal of friendship and nobility. He is also a kind and generous human being both to his friends and to the poor Venice. He however sometimes appears as a hopeless depressive and someone who cannot find the accurate reason for his melancholy. Throughout the entire play, Antonio devolves into someone who is unable to muster all the energy required for him to defend himself against being executed. He never names reaso...


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...ple. His main goals are to benefit his own ego out of other characters expenses. In order to have a positive result in his money lending ventures, Shylock want to get rid of Antonio, his competitor. He plots to sign Antonio as Bassanio’s guarantee with a pound of flesh. He also treasures money than his own daughter.




Works Cited

Merchant of Venice. 12 December 1999. 9 February 2014 .
Pritner, Cal. Introduction to Play Analysis. New York, NY : McGraw-Hill Humanities/Social Sciences/Languages; 1 edition, 2004.
Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. New York, NY: The John C. Winston Company, 1914.
Wright, Courtni Crump. The Women of Shakespeare's Plays: Analysis of the Role of the Women in Selected Plays with Plot Synopses and Selected One Act Plays. New York, NY: University Press of America, 1993.



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