World Literature 10
15, May 2013
Immorality of a Faulty Reality
Characters that choose to live in faulty reality create an immoral environment for those closest to them and those who experience their change. For example, in a novel or play, characters’ immoral behaviors change the perspective on the reader. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare and A Street Car Named Desire by Tennessee Williams are prime examples of this hypothesis. Shylock and Blanche, the respective protagonists, constantly struggle with their faulty sense of reality, creating an immoral effect on those surrounding them and in turn leading cause the reader to examine their own value system. The authors composed these characters so that the reader can easily relate to them, and towards the end of the works destroy their moral code. Each character experiences some sort of loss because of their individual immoral behavior.
During the Elizabethan era the majority of the people were anti-Semitic, immorally believing that they were the superior people based on their vast numbers and the majority of rulers being Christian. Shakespeare spoke of this unjust behavior in his acclaimed play The Merchant of Venice. Shylock, a Jewish merchant, struggles with racial subjugation throughout the text. He experiences first-hand the true immorality of Christian rule and culture. Antonio, who is an upper-class Christian, borrows from Shylock, the Jew. Shylock, being the most moral character in the play, agrees to the deal but only on the condition that he may keep his morals and values. “I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you” (Shakespeare I. III. 120-130). Antonio, just like many other Christians, thinks of himself as superior to the Jews in this unjust anti-Semitic society. “If one shed One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods Are confiscate Unto the...