Essay question: The Merchant of Venice
The outcome of the trial of Shylock versus Antonio doesn’t reach an apt conclusion at the end of the play. In the preceding essay I plan to demonstrate the factors that influenced my decision to object to the verdict that concludes this play. I believe Shylock’s punishment is too harsh in this unjust court of law. It is of most relevance to highlight the fact that Antonio was entirely aware of the penalty that would arise from the bond forfeiting. Shylock is presented as an envy ridden character but an in-depth analysis of the theatrical piece shows he has been emotionally, financially and spiritually annihilated by Antonio. Throughout this novel Shylock is presented as a villain but in my belief he is a victim of anti-Semitism. He only reacts as human nature presents. His vengeance and grudge is justified. He has been maltreated and his emotions and finance were shattered by Antonio. He wishes to bestow this melancholy feeling brought onto him by Antonio, back to the perpetrator. Lets reminisce on shylock’s speech when asked to lend Antonio money: “If I can catch him once upon the hip , I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. He hates our sacred nation; and he rails,
Even there where merchants most do congregate,
On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift, (1.3.41-45)
Shakespeare puts one of his most eloquent speeches into the mouth of this "victim": Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same...
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