Shylock In William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

1587 words - 7 pages

Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

There are many reasons how this scene is more effective than all the
others in the play for range of reasons. In this one scene it goes
through nearly every other thing that has been mentioned earlier in
the play. Also why most scenes have mainly one big point to them, this
one has five, and some more sub - plots.

Before it starts there is the aspect of Christian Justice, either way
the case goes its going to cause problems, if it goes in Antonio's
favour then there is going to be a problem from the Jews, saying he
got off just because he is a Christian, and the state needs to keep
the Jews ...view middle of the document...

Throughout the play, Antonio has always been played as the hero, by
being willing to sacrifice his life for his friend Bassanio, and
Shylock played as the typical villain, although there has been a few
times where he has gained sympathy. One example of this is where his
daughter Jessica elopes with a Christian, and he is a Jew. A famous
speech he makes to gain him sympathy is;

"I am a Jew…Hath a Jew not eyes? Hath a Jew not hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections, passions?..."

This speech gains him a lot of sympathy, he is trying to make the
point, he is no different from everyone else, apart from he is not a
Christian.

Although he gains this sympathy, Shakespeare make sure that he does
stop as the villain, by making him still go against the Christian,
which are typically the good people. A great example of this is in Act
1 scene 3, where shylock says;

"I hate him for he is a Christian:

But more for hat in low simplicity

He lends out money gratis, and brings down

The rate of usance here with us in Venice"

Here he is shown as someone who hates Christians, and only cares about
his money, as he says he lends out money gratis, meaning he lends
people money without interest.

The approach he takes towards making Antonio the "hero" is different
though. Rather than just one big thing that makes him good, it is
composed of lots of little things, but the main one is that he is
willing to risk his life to get the money for his friend Bassanio to
try and marry Portia, a rich woman from Belmont. Perhaps the best
quote to describe Antonio is taken from the court scene, just as he is
about to lose his life, he says this;

"But little I am armed and well prepared.

Give me your hand, Bassanio fare you well!"

Here he doesn't seem to be bothered about dying, he just wants
Bassanio to be there with him when he dies, meaning Bassanio will be
left with this for the rest of his life, meaning that Antonio has gone
to his death, so he can marry Portia.

Portia plays a major role in the play, although, this part is split
into 2 in a way, Portia the rich woman everyone wants to marry, and
Balthazar, the young doctor of Rome, who steps in and saves Antonio's
life seconds before he is about to be killed by shylock, although
nobody even knows its her. The way in which she takes the court scene
is very tactical, when she first enters the court, she tries to sum up
the whole situation, and also fooling them as if she is on shylocks
side. Both Portia and Shylock are agreeing with everything the other
one says, and looking through the contract together, as if they are
both of the same side. Before she makes it clear she is against him,
and tells him that he cannot be stopped from taking his bond, she asks
him if he wishes to take trice the amount of money, but...

Other Essays Like Shylock In William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

The Merchant of Venice: Is Shylock Villain or Victim?

2488 words - 10 pages The Merchant of Venice was written in 1598 by William Shakespeare. The story is set in Elizabethan times, which was the sixteenth century. People back then were quite prejudiced towards any race that was not Christian. They would have hated Jews. When Shylock would come onto the stage, the audience would have just booed him back off. The Christians had their reasons for hating the Jews. The fact that they supposedly killed “Jesus” still angers

The Merchant Of Venice By WIlliam Shakespeare

868 words - 4 pages Does Shylock receive a fair trial? Is his punishment just and fair? Which character is more respected? In the Merchant of Venice, the trial scene is the climax of the play. In this scene, Portia finds a loophole in the bond making it almost impossible for Shylock to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh. As a means of punishment, Shylock loses half his estate to Antonio and when he dies, the other half to his daughter, Jessica. Shylock is also

Merchant of Venice - Portia Outwits Shylock in Act IV Scene I

1029 words - 5 pages Merchant of Venice - Portia Outwits Shylock in Act IV Scene I     "Portia: Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge To stop his wound, lest he do bleed to death.   Shylock: Is it nominated in the bond?" Act 4 Scene 1 lines 255-257   This is the time that Portia traps Shylock into a corner and saves the life of Antonio at the same instance. Portia builds up her defences as Shylock lets his down as

Act I Scene II In The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

1397 words - 6 pages Act I Scene II in the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare The overwhelming impression from Act I, scene iii, is of the tension between the two main characters, Shylock and Antonio. We learn that this tension is owing to the way Shylock has been treated by Antonio in the past, and yet in their verbal battles Shylock appears unable to take full advantage of Antonio needing his help and the unique power this should

A Not-Quite Happy Ending: Hazard and Love in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice

2148 words - 9 pages A Not-Quite Happy Ending: Hazard and Love in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice By Hubert Ahn William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice begins on a note of melancholy. Antonio, the eponymous merchant, pronounces “In sooth, I know not why I am so sad” (1.1.1). His friends offer possible reasons, all of which are rejected by Antonio. The issue is quickly superseded by a more immediate one. Antonio’s beloved friend Bassanio

The Merchant of Venice

547 words - 3 pages Book Review Title: The Merchant of Venice Author of the Book: William Shakespeare First published in year: 1597 Genre of the Book: Play One of Shakespeare “short” and “easier to understand” plays. The language is comparatively easy than most of his plays. The play is basically put under the category of comedy, but with the passage of time, modern readers take it more as a tragedy than comedy, because it actually depicts Christian

Stereotype in Merchant of Venice

624 words - 3 pages Shakespeare play The Merchant Of Venice, as most of the main characters are looked upon with a stereotypical point of view. However Not all of the main characters are, some take a different perspective and are a completely different breed of character compared to the others. A good example of a stereotypical character in The Merchant of Venice would be Shylock. the villainous Jew. He is a man who is sought after only for a loan, as it was only Jews who

Discuss the Moral Issues Raised in ‘the Merchant of Venice’

659 words - 3 pages Discuss the moral issues raised in ‘the merchant of Venice’ In William Shakespeare’s ‘the merchant of Venice’ the passage taken from IV.i, outlines three moral issues that are running themes throughout the play. The scene takes place immediately after the dukes appeal to shylock to withdraw his bond. It is followed with portia's speech, which outlines the idea of mercy. Shylocks answer to her illustrates his desire for revenge and

Younger Generation in Merchant of Venice

723 words - 3 pages between them whereby, Shylock loans Antonio a sum of money under the condition that if he does not repay the bond in three months, Shylock gets a pound of Antonio’s flesh Shylock describes this as ‘merry sport,’ but in doing this they leave behind good sense and judgment. Bassanio realizes this and try’s to prevent it from happening ‘you shall not seal to such a bond for me’ so the younger people in the play are also actually providing the wisdom

Merchant Of Venice

1423 words - 6 pages The Merchant of Venice The play, ¡°The Merchant of Venice¡± by William Shakespeare has two main settings. One setting is Venice, a city where many businessmen live, a place, full of unhappy and unkind people. It a world of commercial and law. Shakespeare has portrayed Venice as the ¡°real¡± world. The other setting is Belmont, a city which houses a rich, happy society of beautiful people. Belmont is a fairy-tale world of music and love. In this

Merchant of Venice Antonio

887 words - 4 pages “Bigoted and spiteful”and “well-intentioned and loyal”, which of these views best describes the character of Antonio in your question. In “Merchant of Venice”, Antonio is the main character as he is the “merchant” in the story in Venice. As Antonio is a Christian, he is quite anti-Semitic and rude to Shylock, making some people believe that he is spiteful and bigoted. However, most of the play centers on him being the victim of the “villain

Related Papers

Shakespeare's Presentation Of Shylock In The Merchant Of Venice

662 words - 3 pages Shakespeare's Presentation of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice In every play or story, you need a villain, someone you can hate - in Cinderella you have the evil stepmother, in Harry Potter you have Lord Voldermort, and in the Merchant of Venice you have Shylock. In this scene, I see Shylock not as the comical buffoon or villain but as the outsider. The scene opens with a conversation between Basanio and Shylock

William Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

1609 words - 7 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

The Comedy Of The Merchant Of Venice An In Depth Analysis On Shakespeare's Shylock

2906 words - 12 pages the play’s origin. Twelfth Night and Othello illustrate how Shakespeare utilized the context of the play in combination with development of protagonist and main structural elements in order to develop both tragedy and comedy. Taking its context into account and through following examples from the two plays, The Merchant of Venice can be determined as a comedy in which Shylock, the money lender, would have been viewed by Elizabethan audiences as an

The Presentation Of Shylock In The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

1482 words - 6 pages The Presentation of Shylock in The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare When Shakespeare wrote ‘The Merchant Of Venice’ there was a suggestion that he was competing with a very popular play ‘The Jew Of Malta’ written in 1589 by Christopher Marlowe. This play treats the Jew as an evil villain and a wicked ogre. Shakespeare is not entirely free from the idea that all usurers were Jews and therefore all Jews were