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GCSE Merchant of Venice Shylock Essay AQA GCSE English Literature (8702)

Essays on Shylock

❶William Shakespeare also portrays Shylock as a merciless Jew. Yet we cannot feel deep sympathy for him — some, perhaps, but not much.

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Bassanio chooses the lead casket, which contains
William Shakespeare
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This comment becomes ironic by the end of the play, as Shylock will have done all of what he says he will not. Shylock also makes a comment in this scene about the "hard dealings" of Christians, which teach them not to trust anyone. While this may be true of Antonio and Bassanio, it is also true of Shylock, who loans money at interest in order to make a profit.

The racist part of Shylock's hatred makes him no different from the Italians, who hate and mistreat Shylock for his religious beliefs. Antonio makes disparaging remarks to Shylock throughout the play, despite his compromising situation.

In Act I, scene iii, Antonio compares Shylock to the devil, who can "cite Scripture for his purpose" l. Antonio not only lacks any remorse for his treatment of Shylock, but he even insults Shylock directly in this scene despite the fact that he is attempting to borrow money from him: Although Antonio should not insult Shylock if he expects to borrow money from him, he does so anyway because of his racism and his disagreement with Shylock's business practices.

Despite these comments, Antonio appears to relent at the end of the scene, saying that there is "much kindness in the Jew" and referring to Shylock as "gentle Jew. Antonio equivocates kindness with Christianity: Antonio's attitude and treatment of Shylock in this scene is characteristic of many characters in the play, and is one of the sources of Shylock's resentment of Antonio and his friends.

However, racist treatment is merely the surface of Shylock's dislike. During his aside in Act I, scene iii, Shylock mentions the deeper reason for his hatred of Antonio: Although Shylock's racism does affect his impression of Antonio, it is clear that Shylock is more concerned with Antonio's effect on his business. This is consistent with his reaction to events later on in the play. Shylock's resentment of Antonio's business dealings and religion lead him to thoughts of revenge in this scene, before the means of Act IV, scene i of The Merchant of Venice not only provides the climax of the play but also encapsulates all of its major themes.

In this scene, the concepts of racism and justice combine to create the play's final results and to reinforce the points made through previous scenes. Racism is apparent in the scene from its inception. Shylock's inhumanity stems from his religion, and the implication throughout the scene is that, if Shylock were Christian, he would be more "human. I pray you think you question with the Jew. Interest is applied so lenders can lend more out to business ventures.

It was the only way Jews could make money as they were not allowed to own property. These two different views on the value and purpose of money foreshadow the clash in court to come. To the forefront comes anti-Semitism. In the play, his first scene is one of trade and hatred of those who lose his money. Perhaps demonstrating the behaviour of Christians as morally bankrupt. Actions speak louder than words — perhaps. The characterisation sin Merchant of Venice may be a convenient allusion to issues closer to home.

Is Venice just like London perhaps? This might explain the scant attention to setting in the original play. He bred the sheep to his advantage, getting all the streaky ones. This behaviour, earning through thrift, is admirable. Antonio disagrees Jacob should have made money while in the employment of his uncle. Antonio does not see the danger signs and underestimates his foe. Act 1 sc3 closes upon this bargain, and Shakespeare has achieved some semblance of balance here.

We have a bet ladies and gentlemen — whose side the audience is on depends on the era. Particularly if Shylock is not motivated by avarice, as he would appear not to be, when Bassiano offers to repay ducats as usury for the loan [when Antonio has to forfeit the pound of flesh. A Shakespearean audience would see Shylock as quite wicked]. In a great irony, the stereotypical Jew, scheming with avarice intentions is not how Shylock can be analysed in the play.

I stay here on my bond. Shylock has taken it all upon himself, and this could be viewed as noble. By a modern audience, it probably would be. The Venetian court presses further the pound would have killed Antonio, adding further charges of intention to murder against Shylock.

The moral of the story in the play? If you are a victim of racism, intolerance, bullying and discrimination, murder is not a suitable form of justice or revenge to exact. This is the law of criminals not civil law and would have provoked much outrage. This idea of revenge goes against every Christian principle practised and understood by an Elizabethan audience.

That a modern audience has more sympathy for the attitudes towards Jews, and the discrimination suffered is evident. The attraction of making a modern adaptation of the play must be in exploring these aspects alongside the setting where iconic bridges of Venice and expensive costumes of Elizabethan times contrast with the treatment of Jews who lived in the poorest parts of the city.

Shylock is drawn in bold strokes; he is meant to be a "villain" in terms of the romantic comedy, but because of the multi-dimensionality which Shakespeare gives him, we are meant to sympathize with him at times, loathe him at others.

Shakespeare's manipulation of our emotions regarding Shylock is a testament to his genius as a creator of character. He is a defeated man. Yet we cannot feel deep sympathy for him — some, perhaps, but not much. Shakespeare's intention was not to make Shylock a tragic figure; instead, Shylock was meant to function as a man who could be vividly realized as the epitome of selfishness; he must be defeated in this romantic comedy.

In a sense, it is Shakespeare's own brilliance which led him to create Shylock as almost too human. Shylock is powerfully drawn, perhaps too powerfully for this comedy, but his superb dignity is admirable, despite the fact that we must finally condemn him.

Perhaps the poet W. Auden has given us our best clue as to how we must deal with Shylock: Removing book from your Reading List will also remove any bookmarked pages associated with this title.

Are you sure you want to remove bookConfirmation and any corresponding bookmarks? The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare. Scene 1 Act I: Scene 2 Act I: Scene 3 Act II: Scene 1 Act II: Scene 2 Act II: Scene 4 Act II:

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Few characters created by Shakespeare embodies pure evil like the character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a usurer and a malevolent, blood-thirsty old man consumed with plotting the downfall of his enemies. He is a malignant, vengeful character, consumed with venomous.

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- In this essay I will try to discover is Shylock a villain or a victim, in the William Shakespeare play “The Merchant of Venice” It is difficult to say if Shylock is a complete villain or a victim, as his character is complex and ambiguous.

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Free Essay: The Character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice Victim or villain. These two words are the total opposites of each other. A victim is someone. The Shylock is one of the most popular assignments among students' documents. If you are stuck with writing or missing ideas, scroll down and find inspiration in the best samples. Shylock is quite a rare and popular topic for writing an essay, but it certainly is in our database.

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In The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare portrays Shylock as a covetous Jew. Shylock charges interest to those who borrow money from him when they are in need. Shylock is mercenary. Shylock’s love for objects overweighs his love for his own daughter. This character trait shows that in Venetian times, it was a time of [ ]. Free Essay: How Shylock is Presented in The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice, one of his romantic comedies, was written in