In many ways, shylock is a more difficult character for a modern
audience than for an Elizabethan audience. With close reference to Act
1 scene 3, Act 3 scene 1 and Act 4 scene 1 show how an actor might
reveal the human being behind the stereotype.
The merchant of Venice is a play written in Elizabethan times by
William Shakespeare. The play is set in Elizabethan Venice. The play
starts with Antonio, a rich merchant, who is depressed without any
obvious reason. He denies that he is worried about his merchant ships
or that he is in love.
Antonio has lent money to his friend Bassanio in the past, but this
time Bassanio wants to borrow some money so that he can try for the
hand of Portia, who is a wealthy and beautiful heiress. In order to
lend Bassanio the money, Antonio himself must borrow money as all of
his moneys are on his merchant ships, which are trading to distant
Meanwhile, in Belmont, Portia is irritated. This is because of the
terms laid down in her father's will. His will says that everyone who
wishes to marry her must choose between a casket of gold, silver or
lead. Portia must accept the man who chooses the "correct" casket.
Also, the suitors must take an oath never to marry if they fail in
this contest. Half a dozen totally unsuitable young men leave rather
than taking their chances. The next candidate up to choose a casket is
the prince of Morocco.
Back in Venice, Bassanio has approached a wealthy Jew named Shylock.
Shylock is a money lender, who lends money in return for interest and
at this time Christians were not allowed to do this. Shylock and
... middle of paper ...
...uld be broken,
on the floor, sobbing, unable to move, he must fully portray the hurt
that comes with losing everything that you have except for life. This
is when the actor must portray Shylock as a broken man, not as a
The Audience would be cheering, as they would now have no sympathy for
Shylock whatsoever, they have seen him try to kill Antonio and he has
In Conclusion, Shakespeare is trying to portray Shylock as a human
being who has lost everything. Shylock is a man who has lost his
daughter, his money and his pride. Shakespeare Portrays him as both
villainous and humane.
Shakespeare shows us that every man has the willingness to kill.
Shakespeare gives us unmistakably human moments, but he often steers
us against Shylock as well, painting him as a miserly, cruel, and
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