Venice, where this drama takes place, is a largely religious Italian City. Although filled with spiritual people, the city is divided into two different religious groups. Venice was primarily and dominantly a Christian society with Jews as it’s unfairly treated minority. Stereotypes classified Jews as immoral, evil, and foolish people while the Christians were graceful, merciful, and loving. Representing the Christian belief is Antonio who is summoned to court by a Jew who goes by the name Shylock. The cross between Christianity and Judaism begins as Antonio and Shylock create a legally binding bond. The bond’s fine print expresses that if Antonio cannot fulfill his debt to Shylock, Shylock will receive a pound of Antonio’s flesh. As learned in the play, Antonio cannot repay his debt and Shylock publically exclaims his need to receive fulfillment of that bond. Hastily, Shylock is determined to obtain his pound of Christian flesh. Shakespeare provides his audience dist...
... middle of paper ...
...istian point of view, it was at his disadvantage. Shylock and Jessica’s conversion to Christianity or the New Testament of love, mercy, and grace, indicate the power Christianity had in law and in love. Ultimately, it is safe to say that religion in Venice took the role of judge, and that is, Christ, as its supreme judge.
Bevington, David. The Necessary Shakespeare. 3. Longman Publishing Group , 2008. Print.
Calderwood, James L. Essays in Shakespearean Criticism. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, INC., 1970. Print.
Danson, Lawrence. The Harmonies of The Merchant of Venice. Great Britain: Yale University Press, 1978. Print.
Mowat, Barbara A., and Paul Werstine. The Merchant of Venice. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. Print.
Swisher, Clarice. The Literary Companion Series: The Merchant of Venice. 1. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. Print.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Imperfect Faith in The Merchant of Venice Though William Shakespeare accurately portrays both Christianity and Judaism in his play The Merchant of Venice, the characters in the play do not represent their religions well. A reader unfamiliar with these religions could easily misinterpret flaws in a character's nature as the teachings of his religion. After a preliminary glance at the play, one would assume that Shakespeare wrote unjustly of the two religions depicted therein. However, Shakespeare had to write the play to please his audience, so he added a twist.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
887 words (2.5 pages)
- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Shakespeare’s portrayal of Shylock as rapacious and cruel is in the traditional style of an Elizabethan villain. A modern audience could argue that he has also humanised Shylock, and therefore gained some sympathy for his actions. From your reading of the “Merchant of Venice” examine these diverse reactions to the complex characterisation of Shylock. Shakespeare’s portrayal of Shylock is unconditionally evil, and a stereo-typical villain.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1489 words (4.3 pages)
- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare features, Shylock a very controversial character due to his religion, profession and personal traits. Professionally Shylock lends money to people in debt, in order to gain interest and profit. Although, this is very much central to our modern way of life, in the Elizabethan period, money lending was not accepted as an acceptable profession. Throughout "The Merchant of Venice" Shylock is portrayed as menacing, inhumane and slightly eccentric, yet at times misunderstood and induces sympathy from the reader.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1254 words (3.6 pages)
- Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice In my opinion I think that Shylock is a villain in the 'Merchant of Venice' because he is portrayed as a ruthless money-lender. The plot of the 'Merchant of Venice' is centred on Shylock, a Jewish money lender who is trying to survive in a country, which despises him, and alienates him from society. He has made a bond with Bassanio and Antonio that if his ships do not come back then he would take a pound of his flesh due to the debt of 3000 ducats.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1351 words (3.9 pages)
- Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Although there are various sub plots in the Merchant of Venice, Shylock plays a very central role, interacting with almost all of the other characters to some degree. I believe that Shakespeare has carefully crafted the character of Shylock in great detail. He makes Shylock both a Jew and a money lender, both of these things were despised by many Christians at the time this was written. Shylock is introduced to the audience as a controversial character.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
735 words (2.1 pages)
- The Portrayal of Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice In the 16th century Jews were discriminated against especially in England and Venice. Christians believed that the Jewish race was inferior to them and that Jews should not be accepted into their society. There were very few Jews in England in this period this was mainly due to the fact that Edward had been lent money by several Jewish money lenders, he became unable to repay the money he owed them, and as a result sent them into exile.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
961 words (2.7 pages)
- Defining Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice One of the factors that make Shakespeare plays famous is its capability to appeal to wide range of audience. For example in The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare brings up the question of religion, racism and morality for the intellectuals amongst the Elizabethans but for most off the groundlings and ill-educated it was a simply a battle between Christians and Jews in which the Jew (e.g. Shylock) should end up facing the heat of defeat in the climax.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
2069 words (5.9 pages)
- Response to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice by a Modern Audience Since the time of Shakespeare, The play “Merchant of Venice” has had a dramatic effect on the modern audience today. In the 16th century, Jews were completely disliked, & Jews were not allowed to live in England unless they had converted to Christianity. ====================================================================== Jews who practised their own religion were banned from England. To modern audiences, this is “Anti-Semitic”, so this play completely shows the worse part of Christians, from beginning to end.... [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]
1112 words (3.2 pages)
- Describing Shylock of William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice When then Merchant of Venice was written, the religion in this country was Christianity. Anybody who was not of that religion was looked down upon, especially those who were Jews. They were treated despicably, so as the play starts and as Shylock is introduced as a Jew it is certain that he is going to be depicted as the lowest of the low, as being mercenary and sadistic. However, as the play progresses we see another side of Shylock, we see him as the victim of many years of Christian abuse, both verbal or physical, and we can see that his behaviour is understandable due to the persecution he has suff... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
826 words (2.4 pages)
- The Merchant of Venice The play, ¡°The Merchant of Venice¡± by William Shakespeare has two main settings. One setting is Venice, a city where many businessmen live, a place, full of unhappy and unkind people. It a world of commercial and law. Shakespeare has portrayed Venice as the ¡°real¡± world. The other setting is Belmont, a city which houses a rich, happy society of beautiful people. Belmont is a fairy-tale world of music and love. In this play, it is evident that, good things happen in Belmont and not so pleasant events happen in Venice.... [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]
1384 words (4 pages)