Free Merchant of Venice Essays: The Role of Shylock

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Perhaps The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, is neither pro-Jewish, nor pro-Christian, since the illustrations which show neither the Jew nor the Christian to be perfect are countless. After having suffered through The Merchant of Venice, and seeing how unjustly poor Shylock was treated by his Christian contemporaries, I can't help but wonder if Shakespeare was actually trying to show the world how hypocritical members of any religion could be, be it Jewish, Christian, or anything else. For, although these buggers disliked each other based mainly on differences of religious doctrine, they had more in common than bleeding when pricked, laughing when tickled, or dying when poisoned. As stated in the book of Timothy (vi, 10), "The love of money is the root of all evil." It's not money that is the root of all evil but the love of it that is pure evil and causes so many problems. The principal characters do love their money, don't they? From Portia to Bassanio, Antonio to Shylock, Martin to Lewis. Shylock, in particular, keeps babbling on and on about those precious ducats of his, as if they could actually be more important than his own flesh and blood (and, considering his daughter's deviation, they probably were). As for that bozo Antonio, he was one who loved money, but, in a different way than Shylock, for he seemed to get more of a buzz out of loaning/giving it to others than out of hoarding it, but, nevertheless, he certainly felt an incessant need to have it, as demonstrated by his appeal to deal with the cunning Shylock. Unfortunately, Shylock's cunning didn't match up to his greed, as he was bested by a woman, of all things. Yes, folks, that pesky Portia, who was hot for Bassanio's bod (lust, after all, is a type of greed, is it not?), used her wily ways to help destroy the Jew's empire. Bummer. Of course, Shylock really didn't lose it all, since Antonio allowed him to keep the half he was to have been allotted, provided Shylock give it to his unworthy daughter upon his passing from this plane. What a sweetheart.
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