Free Merchant of Venice Essays: Secular and Religious Views

Free Merchant of Venice Essays: Secular and Religious Views

Length: 651 words (1.9 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Excellent

Open Document

Essay Preview

More ↓

Merchant of Venice - Secular and Religious Views


The secular and religious views of both, Antonio and Shylock,  were portrayed very bluntly. The religious opinions of both characters  were that their religion was superior to infidels and also very  stereotypical. In the business world, Antonio owned ships with  valuable goods and was extremely generous. He always relied on their  return to shore and expressed his faith in this book. On the other  hand, Shylock was a greedy man and used the Bible for sources of  interest to collect more money. Relating to religious views Antonio  and Shylock were very parallel, but in means of business the two were  reverses.

       "I[Shylock] hate [Antonio] for he is a Christian. . . [Antonio]  hates our sacred nation." This phrase said by Shylock, a Jew, is based on the beliefs of other Jews upon other Christians. Shylock is  being very stereotypical because Shylock doesn't really know Antonio,  Shylock heard of Jew-hating Christians, so he thinks that all  Christians hate Jews. Antonio happens to be a great man and Shylock  didn't even give him a chance, he just hates Antonio for being of  different religion.

       "The Hebrew[Shylock] will turn Christian; he grows kind."  Antonio says this, thinking that no Jews are kind, emphasizing naiveness. Then Antonio sees the Hebrew, Shylock, becomes amiable, so  he believes that's impossible. So Antonio interprets the scenario as  Shylock being Christianized, because he is becoming  generous. This  quotation shows how Antonio thinks that his religion, Christianity, is  superior to Judaism. The previous quotation illustrated how Shylock  was stereotypical about Christians. Both characters have similar  beliefs about other religions.

       "Why, fear not, man, I will not for felt it! Within these three  months- that's a month before this bond expires-I do expect, return of thrice three times the value of this bond." This phrase was said by  Antonio assuring Shylock that his ship with all his goods will return  with the interest that Antonio owes Shylock for borrowing money. This  shows Antonio's trust in his ship even though there were strong winds  and high chances that his ship will be overturned. Antonio is very  naive about the real world of business and no matter what happens he  thinks he will be successful.

       On the other hand, Shylock is a wise business man, but very  greedy.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Free Merchant of Venice Essays: Secular and Religious Views." 17 Jul 2018

Need Writing Help?

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

Check your paper »

Merchant of Venice Essay: The True Nature of Venetian Society

- The idea of mercy is important in The Merchant of Venice because it provides a focus for the contrast between Venetian Christian society and the alien invader, represented by Shylock. Mercy occupies a "central" position in the trial scene (IV.i.), where the power struggle between aristocratic Venetian society and the threatening force Shylock comes to a climax. My thesis is that the contrast between (and equation of) mercy and revenge in the trial scene reveals the true nature of Venetian society as insecure , hypocritical and vengeful....   [tags: Merchant Venice Essays]

Research Papers
876 words (2.5 pages)

The Merchant of Venice Essay example

- William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is one of his most controversial plays for a variety of reasons. Written in sixteenth-century England, where anti-Semitism was common and the presence of Jews was not, the play poses many questions concerning racial, religious and human difference. The play is especially tricky to examine in today’s society, as its anti-Semitic themes and language can be uncomfortable to face in a world post-Holocaust. Additionally, the depiction of the relationship between Jews and Christians, which has always been an ambivalent one, adds a very interesting albeit difficult dimension to this play....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
2942 words (8.4 pages)

Dispute Resolution in The Merchant of Venice Essay

- Shakespearean literature has been long commended by scholars for its incorporation of legal discourse into its plot structures that further paves way for interdisciplinary study of law. Practically all of Shakespearean texts are known to have tangential relation and relevance to legal practice but plays like “Merchant of Venice” have scenes that do not only depict a courtroom trial but also shed light on some key aspects and methods of dispute resolution that are arbitration, conciliation, negotiations and mediation....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1360 words (3.9 pages)

Religion in The Merchant of Venice Essay

- Religion was a major factor in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. Religion motivated action and reasoning. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. In the “Merchant of Venice,” “a Christian ethic of generosity, love, and risk-taking friendship is set in pointed contrast with a non-Christian ethic that is seen, from a Christian point of view, as grudging, resentful, and self-calculating.” (Bevington, pg....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1944 words (5.6 pages)

The Merchant Of Venice Essay

- What They Cannot See In this world, there are many aspects of blindness whether it is mentally or physically. Either way, each blindness brings out the disability in each person. Such portrayal was shown throughout the play The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare presents more than one form of blindness, which complicates the social order of the society, and I feel that the blindness, being their imperfection, creates tension between characters, which is weakened by blindness. When the characters are being blind, they are corrupted by their actions and somehow they do not care who they are hurting as long as they know they are getting the best out of something....   [tags: Free Merchant of Venice Essays]

Free Essays
2455 words (7 pages)

Imperfect Faith in The Merchant of Venice Essay

- 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]

Research Papers
887 words (2.5 pages)

The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Essay

- The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The character Shylock was a stereotypical Jew of his time, and as Jews were generally unpopular, the audience would have been automatically prejudiced against him. In Shakespeare's time, Jews were not treated well at all. This was because they were a minority group, as they had been previously banned from the country by Edward I unless they were willing to become a Christian. But, in large European cities, like Venice there was a large Jewish population....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1017 words (2.9 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 examples

- William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice The play centres on two main characters, Antonio, an extremely wealthy merchant and Shylock, a very wealthy Jew. In Venice, a person's word was their bond. A promise made by word of mouth was the same as having an agreement in writing; they had to keep their word or pay the consequences. Shylock is a usurer, a person who lends sums of money to others, charging vast amounts of interest. However, Antonio also lends amounts of money, but minus the interest....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays]

Research Papers
1208 words (3.5 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)

Related Searches

These characteristics are displayed in the following  quotation:

"Mark what Jacob did . . . and in the doing of the deed of kind

 [Laban] struck them up before the fulsome ewes, who then conceiving did in eaning time fullparti-colored lambs, and those were Jacob's.

 This was a way to thrive, and he was blest; and thrift is blessing if

 men steal it not."


 When Shylock gave Antonio a loan, he charged him interest justified by  the story in the Bible mentioned before. Shylock compares Antonio to  Laban, both being kind, therefore both must be givers of interest. My view is that Shylock puts himself on the level of Jacob, a  righteous man, showing his egotistical character. His greedy  personality is expressed when Shylock finds sources of interest in a  farfetched manner. In truth, this passage is an act of kindness,  stressing Shylock's characteristic of being narrow minded.

       Antonio and Shylock are very similar people as well as  opposites. Both, as proven in the story, are against the infidels to  their religion and believe that their religion is the superior one. In  terms of business, Antonio is generous, being willing to give thrice the loan, and Shylock is greedy, by asking for three times the loan.  Antonio agrees to the deal, being very naive that his ship will return safely, and Shylock is very clever, but sneaky, in terms of  this deal. While Antonio's perspectives on the secular and religious  world are very naive, Shylock makes judgements based on first  impressions. Antonio and Shylock showing their good qualities, suggest  that men may look perfect, but deep inside, they acquire negative  characteristics.
Return to