The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare

Good Essays
The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare

In Act 4 scene 1 Shylock has brought Antonio to court to receive

payment of his bond. Antonio’s ships have sunk and been raided by

pirates and his wealth along with it. In Antonio’s bond with Shylock

it was agreed that if the bond couldn’t be paid, then a pound of

Antonio’s flesh was to be forfeit. Shylock is angry about many

misfortunes in his life, which include the loss of his daughter to a

Christian, this is a real embarrassment and a painful experience

because of strong racial prejudice and hatred between the religious

groups at the time. Also for losing his daughter, Shylock is enraged

as he loved her very much and whilst leaving, Jessica (Shylocks

daughter) stole many precious jewels and money from Shylock somewhat ‘

delving the knife further into the wound’ as such. So when Shylock

enters the court he knows Antonio will not have his money, for Tubal

has told him about the merchants ships, but this is irrelevant as

Shylock is not interested in money, but revenge on the ‘Christian’ for

all the trouble Christians in general have inflicted in his life. This

scenes importance is tremendous as this is really the climax of the

play. Antonio is almost certain to die for the loan he bestowed his

friend and also it looks set for the Jew Shylock to triumph in the

court in terms of revenge rather than money though. Winning this case

would also be a triumph for Shylock as it will be his comeback to all

the pain and ridicule he has suffered as being a Jew.

So far we have seen Shylock in different lights so to speak. Shylock

has been the victim and villain. This is surprising as in Elizabethan...

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...s and it give you an

insight into how people handle judging and tragedy. The contrast of

this plot with the others is large. Shakespeare has used this plot as

his serious plot with a message amongst other plots such as the

romance between Bassanio and Portia, the forbidden love of Jessica and

Lorenzo, the loyalty of true friends Antonio and Bassanio, the comedy

of Bassanio and the ring and the treachery of Jessica to her father

Shylock. Which all add something different to the play along with

their own messages. I think Shylock was a man driven by years of

mistreatment and abuse. I believe it was not his fault entirely that

he became so unforgiving and vengeful but rather the Christians that

taunted him. But in the end he tried as hard as he could to be

unmerciful and ended up as what he hated most and thus a just end.
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