This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

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
evil, but he does also allow us to see Shylock as a human being who
has himself been wronged.

Only Jews who had converted to Christianity were allowed to live in
England in Shakespeare’s day. Jews who practised their own religion
were ...view middle of the document...

In this scene, shylock even tries to be nice to Antonio and make for
the past: “I would be friends with you, and have your love, forget the
shames you have stained me with.”. Shylock seems to be really trying
here, however there is quite a lot of dramatic irony here as he has
said to the audience that he wishes to catch Antonio ‘once upon the
hip’ but however Antonio does not know this and he does not respond
well, he still insults him and tells him of his dislike for him: “I am
as like to call thee so again, to spit on thee again, to spurn thee
too.” In this scene we really see the human side of Shylock’s split

Another side in which we again see Shylock’s human side is in Act 3
scene 1, where shylocks tells Solanio and Saliero of his upset over
his daughter’s departure with all his jewels however all they do is
scorn Shylock and we can imagine them laughing at him and shouting:
“here comes another of the tribe, a third cannot be matched unless the
devil himself turn Jew”. later on in the scene he talks of prejudice
and how unfair Antonio is towards them, especially him “hath not a Jew
eyes, hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections,
passions?” and then of how he wants revenge on Antonio “He hath
disgraced me, hindered me half a million, laughed at my loses, mocked
at my gains.” Although getting revenge on someone seems a very cruel
thing to do, it is natural for humans to feel that need to get revenge
if they have been wronged, therefore this shows Shylock as a human,
especially all that Antonio has put him through.

Later on in this scene we again feel sympathy towards Shylock as he
expresses his loneliness after his daughter, Jessica, runs away from
home “no sighs but of my breathing, no tears but of my shedding.”, and
loneliness is also a natural human emotion, we also feel sympathy
towards him as he has been struck down by the double blow of losing
his daughter and his money (because in those days the Elizabethans
would have seen daughters as the position of their fathers, so this
would have been very disrespectful.) what is more, he has lost
Jessica to a Christian.

However in the play we don’t just see the human side to Shylock, he is
also presented as an ogre. This is first seen in Act 2 scene 5, when
he is first talking to his servant Launcelot and then to his daughter
Jessica. When he says “there is some ill-a-brewing towards my rest,
for I did dream of money bags tonight.” Shakespeare presents a
stereotypical picture of the money obsessed Jew and shows that
everything important in shylock’s life relates to money, and he then
stars to order Jessica about, telling to lock up the house, as there
is a masque on tonight. “To gaze on Christian fools with varnished
faces. Let not the sound of shallow foppery enter my sober...

Other Essays Like The Presentation of Shylock in The Merchant Of Venice by William Shakespeare

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 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

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

Discuss How Shakespeare Shows the Significance of Money in Act 1+2 of the Merchant of Venice

1030 words - 5 pages A recurring theme in Shakespeare’s play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is his use of money as a centre around which all of Venice revolves. This is apparent in all parts of the play- even when Shakespeare is discussing the seemingly perfect romance between Bassanio and Portia. To introduce this, when Bassanio first talks of Portia he says that ‘in Belmont there is a lady richly left’- the way the first thing that he says to describe her is comment on

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

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

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

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

The Vanity Of Polonious In Hamlet By William Shakespeare

1205 words - 5 pages The Vanity of Polonious in Hamlet by William Shakespeare Polonius is an important and respected person. It seems appropriate that he investigates and controls the behavior of his son and daughter. He, as the King's advisor is no longer a private person but a public one: what he or his children do has important public, not just personal implications. However, if his actions and speeches are examined closer, it is evident that he is a limited

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

The Merchant Of Venice By W Illiam 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

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

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