But this time, because his ships are at sea and have not yet returned with their riches, Antonio has to ask Shylock for a loan. He would have to give up half of everything he owned to his daughter and her new Christian husband. Shylock was very angry at this thought because this man she had fallen in love with was a Christian called Lorenzo and Jessica was going to turn Christian in order to marry him. Bassanio needs three thousand ducats currency to travel to Belmont and claim the love … of Portia, an esteemed character and the heart throb of many men. The scene is meant to be amusing - and it is - but Shakespeare draws his humour from real emotions and never lets us forget he was on intimate terms with his characters. Antonio's money is tied up in his merchant ships abroad, so he cannot give his friend any money.
Long brooding over the shameful treatment of his people has marred his character and dried up the founts of tenderness in his bosom. Antonio's Bad Luck As the story progresses, Antonio's ships are lost at sea, leaving him unable to pay the debt. Shylock was made a laughing stock of and is ridiculed by the Christians because he was Jewish. Shylock has been made the hard, savage, relentless creature we see him by long and cruel oppression. I hate him for he is a Christian, But more for that in low simplicity He lends out money gratis and brings down The rate of usance here with us in Venice. The Jewish community… 469 Words 2 Pages William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is a classic play that has also brought about some issues revolving around the antagonist of the story Shylock. I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor.
Professor Lounsbury refers in his Shakespeare as a Dramatic Artist, p. If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? Of course racism still exists but Anti-Semitism appears to have decreased in society as time has gone by. The audience's attitudes toward Shylock are also conditioned by history since the time the play was first performed. Shylock is revealed as a hard-hearted, stubborn and merciless man in the play as he refuses to show Antonio any mercy and lessen his demands even though offers from Bassanio to pay twice as many ducats as he was originally owed. Shylock is greedy, vengeful and cruel. A modern audience would surely consider his religion to be of no consequence in terms of his status as a villain, he could be considered a reprehensible character who also happens to be a Jewish man.
In the Middle Ages, Jew baiting was popular. He also exposes the hypocrisy of the Christian characters who are always talking about love and mercy but then go out of their way to alienate Shylock because he is Jewish and different. In Venice, Jews were not given equal opportunities. However, it actually refers to Antonio who borrows money from him. Whatsoever be the denouement, it is hereby justified.
Shylock is depicted as a typical bloodthirsty Jew who lives a life void of any depth or meaning. Like the majority of the habitants of Venice, Antonio is Christian. Shylock still refuses to take the money instead of the pound of flesh. Chan brought the house down with his over-the-top portrayal of the Prince of Morocco and the Prince of Arragon, the two failed suitors of Portia. Here, he encounters a wealthy heiress named Portia, who disguises herself as a doctor of law in order to help her beloved Bassanio and his friend, Antonio. Shylock in this play was treated terribly badly by the Christian people; he is treated as if he was the man who killed Jesus himself, people aimed all hateful comments at him and spat on him.
You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gaberdine - and all for use of that which is my own. William Shakespeare, George Brandes, The Macmillan Company, New York, 1899. Shylock agrees to loan Bassanio 3,000 ducats, or gold coins, for three months, but requires Antonio to sign a notarized agreement. To add to this, he had Jewels… Words 2119 - Pages 9 Two Interpretations of an Elizabethan Production of The Merchant of Venice An Apprentice: Today is a good day!. But the Christians now show their cruel side. In Elizabethan times, when anti-Semitic plays were extremely popular in England, especially after the Jewish doctor Roderigo Lopez was convicted of trying to poison the queen, it was enough to say a character was a Jew to make him a despicable villain, one who would descend to any level of depravity.
I think that they shouldn't have taken Shylock's religion away from him because he was only trying to get what he was owed the money or the mutually agreed alternative, a pound of Antonio's flesh. In his tones we hear the protest, crying to heaven, of human rights trodden under foot, against the love of humanity paraded by the hypocritical mouths of his oppressors; and if his towering revenge mounts to fanaticism, it is verily of a different stamp to the fanaticism of usury and greed which the critics are fain to find in his character. To make matters worse for Shylock his daughter has eloped with a Christian and as a result of this he wants to take his revenge on the whole Christian world. Hudson, Ginn and Company, Boston, p. If you tickle us, do we not laugh? The Merchant of Venice was in the repertory of Shakespeare's company before they took up residence at the Globe in 1599. He revels in his ability to dissemble and destroy.
For interpreters of the play differ greatly in their attitude toward Shylock - and their attitude toward Shylock influences greatly, as a matter of course, their attitude toward the other characters of the play. And yet I felt he must be hidden under one of those white talars, praying more fervently than his fellow-believers, looking up with stormy, nay frantic wildness, to the throne of Jehovah, the hard God-King. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? The prince of Morocco asks Portia to ignore his dark countenance and seeks to win her by picking one of the three caskets. Antonio spits on Shylock one minute, yet is asking for his help the next - Christian society at the time is shown to be ignorant of it's foundations, to the point of resenting them, and is therefore shown to be unstable. His only companions are Jessica, who eventually leaves him and Tubal who we get the impression does not like him very much anyway. The Jewish people were seen as a race apart.