William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Length: 678 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓
William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice


Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is the story of a man who
wishes to wed a woman, in order o do so he needs to borrow money from
his good friend. The play is that of an anti-semitic one. The play
is an anti-semitic one because the Jews are looked upon as evil and
untrustworthy. For the entire play the Jew is never meant to look as
a good person, and he is abused by almost everyone in the play. When
the Jew does have his sympathetic lines, they were actually meant to
be comedic. Only because of his religion is he discriminated against,
people of this time would have found this amusing. Through the way
that Jews are looked upon as the racist ones, Jewish people are only
care of wealth; which makes them materialistic, Jewish people can
suddenly turn Christian overnight, abuse should not cause hate from
the Jews, the Jew suffers great loss in the end.

The Jews in the story are looked upon as the racist ones. Shylock,
the villain in the story, is depicted as the one being racist at some
points. When he does Shakespeare makes it look as though he doesn’t
have the right to be racist, for he is a mere Jew. He is equal to a
dog in this story from a Christian’s point of view. He makes the
audience feel sorrow for Antonio, the merchant, for having to borrow
money from someone beneath him by saying it was done as a last resort,
so that Antonio, out of his good heart, could help out a friend. When
Bassanio asks Shylock to dine with the Christian’s he denies him the
offer (p.20). This makes Shylock look bad because he turns down the
Christian’s kind offer to dine with them simply because he does not
want to eat pork.

Jew’s are looked upon as greedy people, only lending money out so that
they can make more in the long run, where the Christian, one of a

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice." 123HelpMe.com. 16 Dec 2018
    <https://www.123helpme.com/view.asp?id=142058>.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Essay on Homosexuality in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

- Homosexuality in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice With every great story line comes a theme. William Shakespeare created an art of intertwining often unrecognizable themes within his plays. In Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, one hidden theme is the idea of homosexuality. This theme might not have even been noticed until modern Shakespeare fans discovered them. According to Alan Bray’s book, Homosexuality in Renaissance England, “the modern image of ‘the homosexual’ cannot be applied to the early modern period, when homosexual behavior was viewed in terms of the sexual act and not an individual's broader identity.” (Columbia University Press)....   [tags: William Shakespeare Merchant Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1464 words (4.2 pages)

Essay on Iago's Motives in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

- Iago's Motives in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Iago, having the typical attributes of a Machiavelli character; seems to be inherently evil. He revels in his ability to dissemble and destroy. Defending himself through constant reassurances- Iago claims to disgrace Cassio because of his `daily beauty' and the fact that a `Florentine' who knows nothing about battles `more than a spinster' becomes lieutenant. This seems to outrage him- a spark that sets of the fire raging in his heart. As a result, he fabricates an ingenious plan- one by one he would make everyone pay....   [tags: William Shakespeare Merchant Venice Essays]

Research Papers
768 words (2.2 pages)

The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare Essay

- The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare The "Merchant Of Venice" is a poem I have studied recently and will be going on to describe it's four themes - Love/Hate/Friendship and Money. I will go on to describe contrasting characters in the poem. The theme Love is mostly shown through Portia & Bassanio, because all she wanted was to have a choice in the man she married and the reason she could not do this was because her fathers will had forbidde. When Portia & Bassanio meet they really feel they want to be with each other but she does not want Bassanio to chose casket straight away because if he picks the wrong casket he must not see Portia again....   [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]

Free Essays
385 words (1.1 pages)

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Essay

- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was written between 1594-1596.It is classified as a comedy; it is also a work of good triumphs over evil, but serious themes are examined and some issues remain unresolved. In the play Shakespeare has woven together plots from different books. Shakespeare gets the bond story and the story of the ring from an Italian novella, LL Pecorone, in a collection put together by Sir Geovanni and published in 1558....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
2196 words (6.3 pages)

Essay on The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The Merchant of Venice is a play full of different relationships ranging from love and friendships to hate. These relationships are affected by gossips and rumours, which due to the close community are flying around all the time. Money is involved in everything in the play; it is at the centre of work, relationships and rumours. It also holds together and makes the main tension of the play. There are many relationships in The Merchant of Venice....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1565 words (4.5 pages)

Essay on The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The famous play 'The Merchant of Venice' by William Shakespeare concerns several plot lines, including the bond, the ring, the caskets and the elopement. The bond is the main plot and usury is a key part of this. It is because Shylock is a moneylender who lends money to a Christian. Shylock is crucial because he is a crucial character to 2 plots including the main one. When Antonio first meets Shylock he is immediately unkind to Shylock because he is a Jew....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Free Essays
522 words (1.5 pages)

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare, having spent most of his youth in England, was influenced by England’s beliefs. England was going through a Christian reformation that had caused friction between Christians and Jews. Jews and Christians did not see eye to eye on almost everything and especially on usury, the practice of lending money with interest. Boyce, a Shakespearean critique, sums up the negative attitude that Christians had on Jews in the 16th Century: “Sixteenth-Century Englishmen tended to attribute to Jews only two important characteristics, both negative: first, that Jews detested Christians and gave much energy to devi...   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1878 words (5.4 pages)

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
1254 words (3.6 pages)

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is the story of a man who wishes to wed a woman, in order o do so he needs to borrow money from his good friend. The play is that of an anti-semitic one. The play is an anti-semitic one because the Jews are looked upon as evil and untrustworthy. For the entire play the Jew is never meant to look as a good person, and he is abused by almost everyone in the play. When the Jew does have his sympathetic lines, they were actually meant to be comedic....   [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]

Free Essays
678 words (1.9 pages)

William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice Essay

- William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice 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....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
2277 words (6.5 pages)

supposed ‘kinder’ and more popular faith, would lend out money for
free. This makes it look as though Jewish people have no feelings.
The Christian lends out money because he cares for another person, he
lends to friends and wishes nothing in return. The Jewish person
lends out to enemies or acquaintances and also friends in order to
make a fortune from them. He treats them all the same, which tells us
he only has friends through religion, so he does not really care for
them. They are only his friends because they help him in his
business, to make him more money. Shylock notices some jewels missing
and is deeply upset by this because they were stolen by his daughter
(p.62). Shylock cares more for his jewels departing from him than he
does his own daughter! A Christian would not do this, when Bassanio
is about to lose Antonio he tells him that he would give up everything
to keep him alive (p.100).

Jewish people can simply change to Christian overnight, showing that
they are not true to their religion such as the Christians. Jews are
not true to their religion because they are not making sure their
children are content with it, but all the Christian’s are content,
none of them convert in the story. Christian’s are true to their
faith because they are getting people to convert to it, not to run
away from their heritage like the Jews. In the courts even the main
Jewish person in the story is converted to Christian (p.104).

Jewish people should not have hate for being abused; they chose to
live this way. Shylock is only an insignificant Jew, compared to a
dog in the story. Shylock was an alien in Venice, he did not belong
there, and therefore he did not have the right to hate the
Christian’s. It was a privilege for him to even be living there, he
is lucky to even be living there, he isn’t even a citizen he has no
right to want revenge on those who have criticized him all of his stay
in Venice. In the court Portia reads that as Jew he has no rights, he
doesn’t deserve to be here with Venetian citizens, or Christians,
therefore he is forced to become one to stay and not die (p.103).

Shylock suffers great loss in the end of this story as though he has
not lost enough already. All evil is triumphed over in the end, their
wickedness washed away in the end of the book. This shows everyone
that is bad to be a Jewish person; you will just lose in the end and
turn Christian anyways. It looks as though the Christians have saved
him in the end, he has no reason to feel bad, he is off to heaven now,
and will not be damned in the end. The Jew loses all of his wealth
and heritage to Christians in the end of the play, to the town of
Venice, composed of Christians, and to Antonio, the Christian
(p.104). He would have rather killed himself than to do this if he
were true to his religion, like the Christians were.

Greed only done by Jews showing they have no feeling, Jews being
looked at as the racist ones, conversion, not being allowed to hate,
and great loss all cause The Merchant of Venice to anti-Semitic. Only
modernization of the people may make it look not that way, the play
has not modernized itself, just the way people perceive it, but in
true form Shylock was meant to a clown not to be taken seriously.
Return to 123HelpMe.com