The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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The Merchant of Venice is a play written by William Shakespeare in 1596 and finished writing it in 1598. The play starts off with Bassanio wanting to marry Portia. He confronts Antonio to ask him for a loan so he can have enough money to marry his soon to be wife. Antonio finds he doesn’t have enough money to give Bassanio the loan so he agrees to be the person to guarantee the loan. The two of them find Shylock to give him the loan. Portia then welcomes the prince of Morocco, who has come in an attempt to choose the right casket to marry her, he chooses the wrong casket and loses her hand in marriage (Spark Notes: Plot Overview). 3 of the most important things in the play are how people that look nice on the outside may be rotten and mean at heart, giving mercy to enemies may turn back on you (Spark Notes: Themes, Motifs & Symbols, par. 3), and how people treat other people based on their religions or beliefs. I realized in this play that people that look nice and innocent on the outside may be rotten and mean at heart, Portia is a perfect example of this. Throughout the play Portia turned more and more evil then she seemed to be at the beginning of the play. She seemed looked like a nice young woman but in near the end of the play she turned against Shylock and made him even more poor then he already was: “Tarry, Jew: The law hath yet another hold on you. It is enacted in the laws of Venice, If it be prov’d against an alien That by direct or indirect attempts He seek the life of any citizen, The party ‘gainst the which he doth contrive Shall seize one half of his goods; the other half Comes to the privy coffer of the state; And the offender’s life lies in the mercy Of the duke only, ‘gainst all other voice.”(Sh... ... middle of paper ... ...ases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute—and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. (Shakespeare, 45) I think Shylock did a good job portraying his thoughts in this quote as to showing how he was fed up being treated differently just because of his religion and beliefs. I agree with him fully about how Antonio should have treated him the same as all his Christian friends and family.
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