Literary Styles, A°
October 13, 2014
The Poison of Pride and Unforgiveness
People who seek vengeance are often driven blindly by flaws within their character. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare illustrates this underlying attribute. A casual reading of this play may suggest that Shylock’s act of vengeance was what had led to his downfall, yet a closer reading indicates that it was because of his underlying characterial flaw of hubris and the lack of mercy that had led to his ultimate end.
Shylock’s characterial flaws prompt an chain reaction of deprivations, as they ultimately all contribute to his ruination. For instance, Shylock’s lack of mercy deprives him of all Judaism associations, as this lack of support had stood impotent in liberating him of his fall. As Shylock debates whether or not to lend the loan to Antonio, he portrays his hatred towards him, as he states; “I hate him...If I can catch him once upon the hip...Cursed be my tribe / If I forgave him” (I, iii, 12). Shylock seeks revenge for the sole purpose of fulfilling his grudge against Antonio, as he strongly believes that shame would be brought upon Judaism if he ever dares show mercy towards him. Yet the true offense that is brought upon Judaism is Shylock’s unforgiving character. As humans, the desire for revenge after being done wrong is understandable. Yet the matter of whether revenge is a reaction one should act upon on is debatable, as revenge often brings harm back upon the executor, as portrayed by Shylock. Here, acts of vengeance had consequently signified Shylock’s disloyalty and apathy towards Judaism, as injunctions opposing acts of revenge appear in the Jewish Bible. Subsequently, this act of revenge p...
... middle of paper ...
...t, is met by his ultimate end by valuing his pride more than anything; even his life.
Revenge is manifested by an underlying homogenous mixture of characterial flaws, as these flaws cause one to act rationally rather than through just reasons, ultimately guiding its executor into a plunge. Revenge is a sign of weakness, as one often executes vengeance in order to make themselves feel redoubted. Thus, only people of true strength possess the blessings of forgiveness, as it takes a real person with a true heart to let go. This element of revenge is illustrated in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, as Shylock ultimately meets his end as a result of his characterial flaws. While it may seem that Shylock’s vengeance is what left him in ruins, essentially it is because of his excessive pride and absence of mercy that he is greeted by his inevitable end.
Need Writing Help?
Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.Check your paper »
- Upon an initial examination of William Shakespeare’s play, The Merchant of Venice, a reader is provided with superficial details regarding the moral dilemmas embedded in the text. Further analysis allows a reader to recognize the multi-faceted issues each character faces as an individual in response to his or her surroundings and/or situations. Nevertheless, the subtle yet vital motif of music is ingrained in the play in order to offer a unique approach to understanding the plot and its relationship with the characters.... [tags: The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare, Love]
930 words (2.7 pages)
- It is fairly obvious that marginalization can distort logic action and reason. Even if one is not inherently marginalized, trauma, whether physical or mental, may occur from unfortunate experiences. Case in point, we as a society become more aware of those living with PTSD every day, such as soldiers and victims of sexual assault, and how these people are challenged to continue living a normal life. We see veterans flock to the Artillery Club, victims of assault go to group counselling, trying to find people that share their experiences and understand how they feel.... [tags: Love, The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare]
1414 words (4 pages)
- 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]
1464 words (4.2 pages)
- 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]
768 words (2.2 pages)
- 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]
385 words (1.1 pages)
- 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]
2196 words (6.3 pages)
- 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]
1565 words (4.5 pages)
- 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]
522 words (1.5 pages)
- 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]
1878 words (5.4 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)