Is Shylock More Sinned Against Than Sinning?

Is Shylock More Sinned Against Than Sinning?

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There are many sides to this argument. The first is that Shylock does not sin at all, the second is that all the characters sin as much as each other, the third that Shylock is the only one who sins, the fourth that they all sin, but Shylock sins the most making the above statement false, and the fifth way of arguing it is to agree with the statement.

Shylock may sin when he makes the contract with Antonio saying that he must pay back the 3000D within 3months if he lends it to him, or he can take 1lb of flesh from his body, but it is not clear whether he wants to harm Antonio because he claims to want “Only friendship”. Later on in the scene he has his aside and he tells the audience that he hates Antonio. “For he is a Christian” and he will do anything to harm him. The quote from his aside is clearly racist and this breaks one of Gods rules “Love thy neighbour” (Leviticus). But later on there is evidence for the Christians breaking this rule as well. Shylock says to Antonio

“You spat on me Wednesday last,
You spurned me such a day, another time
You call me dog:”

Shylocks daughter Jessica steals money and jewels from Shylock and this is clearly a sin because she is breaking one of the 10 commandments “Thou shall not steal”

She also elopes with Lorenzo and this is clearly a sin according to the 10 commandments because you should      “Respect your father and your mother”. When she has to turn from a Jew into a Christian in order to marry Lorenzo, it becomes unclear whether changing belief i.e. changing from Jew to Christian is a sin, because Shylock doesn’t say to Jessica at any point. “Don’t become a Christian” so therefore she is not breaking any of the 10 commandments such as “Respect your father and your mother”

In court when Antonio has failed to pay back the sum of money that Shylock is owed, Shylock refuses the correct sum of money that has now been found by Antonio and wants “only my bond”. Even when Shylock is offered 6 times the money owed he say’s “I only want my bond”. Strictly speaking it is not a sin to refuse the money but as we find out later, he wants to harm Antonio and could not care less about the money he has lent.

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“If every ducat in 60000 Ducats
Were in 6 parts, and every part a Ducat
I would not draw them; I would have my bond”

While in court Portia (who is pretending to be a male solicitor) asks Shylock to show mercy on Antonio, the duke also asks this and says that he is expecting Shylock to show mercy at the last moment, but Shylock refuses. This again could classify as a sin but is a bit hazy as Antonio has the money and is willing to give it to Shylock but Shylock is refusing the money and chooses to take the flesh that his “Bond” entitles him to, and the law says he can take. Portia can be seen as misleading Shylock by making him refuse the money in court and take the flesh instead, then telling him that he must not shed one drop of blood or he will be done for murder.

“Take then thy bond,
Take thou thy pound of flesh but in the cutting, if though does shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are by the laws of Venice confiscate
Unto the state of Venice”

This too could be seen as a sin because she wasn’t telling him the whole truth.

We can see that Shylock is sinned against by Jessica who steals and elopes, and by Antonio who is racist. Shylock sins against Antonio because he is a Christian and by demanding his pound of flesh. He also lies when he says all he wants from Antonio is friendship. More hazy are the sins of Portia who misleads shylock and the sin of Jessica who converts to a Christian. I there for disagree with the statement that Shylock sins more than he is sinned against.

The society they are living in is obviously full of racism and hatred between the Jews and Christians and this is what causes most of the sinning.
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