Final Essay for Merchant of Venice
Although the Merchant of Venice, written by the renowned playwright William Shakespeare, is part of brilliant romantic comedy series, it is known largely for its drama and intense allusions to themes and concerns of the time period, which may be looked at differently in the modern society. The title of the play refers to the character of Antonio, who is ‘the Merchant of Venice’, even though the Jewish moneylender, Shylock is the more prominent character, who leaves the audience with strong emotions and a desire to introspect and reflect upon their own lives. Shylock is well known for his dazzling speech in act three, where he manages to elude the villainous, egoistic, and disreputable façade of himself, which is put up due to the naïve stereotypes retained by the Europeans of the 16th century, in spite of later returning to his ways of deception and evil at the completion of his monologue. Shylock’s speech addresses numerous themes and ideas that can be interpreted in various ways depending on the audience’s setting.
One of the possible interpretations of the speech is the idea of Shylock completely breaking out of the position of being the scared little kid at the back of the class, and taking a courageous stand against the schoolyard bullies. The performers in the scene could ask the questions in the speech to the other characters, emphasizing that they need to understand what Shylock wants. During the speech, Shylock makes it clear that his hatred is born of what he sees as Antonio’s bullying behavior. Shylock is portrayed as an angry, yet weak man, as he is hated by the Venetians, despised for his religion, culture, and profession, and he is even betrayed by his daughter, and at the end of the day, undone by the very city in which he lives, but these set of unfair treatments sets up his position of power in the trial. Shylock has previously been called a dog, been spat on, and gotten trash talked about, especially by...
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