William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

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William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice The merchant of Venice was written by Willliam Shakespeare. It is a play in which Shakespeare creates a range of emotions for his audience to experience, through one of the characters Shylock. The play is about Antonio, who is a Christian and Shylock, who is a Jew. Shylock is overconfident and a careful money lender and Antonio is the owner of the ships, which is where he gets his income. When Antonio is short of money he goes to Shylock to borrow some until his ships come in. As a result of Shylock being a Jew he suffers enormously, by being discriminated against by Antonio, which is why Shylock wants to get revenge. He does this by making a bond with Antonio, in which he gets to cut off a pound of flesh from his body, if he fails to pay him back. At the beginning of the play Shakespeare portrays Shylock as a careful businessman, by constantly repeating himself and taking his time, when making decisions concerning business. However, he has one fatal flaw – when dealing with business he lets too many of his feeling and emotions show, by letting abhorrence rule his bond with Antonio. An example of this is: “If I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.” From this quotation Shakespeare also shows how much Shylock detests Antonio, as a result of being discriminated against. This is exactly the reason why Shylock made the bond with Antonio, knowing that he possibly might not pay him back in time, which is when he could get his vengeance. This creates a whole range of emotions for the audience to experience, depending on their views of S... ... middle of paper ... ... is when I began to commiserate with him. My overall opinion of Shylock is very varied, and I felt that he had been the most victimized character in the play. I thought all the Christians in the play had played a significant part in the downfall of Shylock. I felt that he often appeared to paint himself as a cruel and evil character. Occasionally he had his human moments, which was the overall highlight of his character. I felt it was extremely arduous not to feel pity for him. He was such a poignant character. I think in Shakespeare’s time there would be entirely different view towards Shylock, as the result of the majority of the public having some kind of prejudice against Jews. The audience’s reaction towards Shylock and the way he was treated would be more subdued and they would find it much more acceptable.
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