Aragon, Act 2 Scene 9 Let him look to his bond. In other words, he is a gentleman by birth, but destitute. This exchange introduces the theme of playing and perception early on in the play. Shylock's function in this play is to be the obstacle, the man who stands in the way of the love stories; such a man is a traditional figure in romantic comedies. This makes Shylock one of the most vivid characters of the play. Launcelot is surprised by the appearance of his father, Gobbo, who is sand blind and so does not recognize his son in return.
In many ways this is because he is both a victim and a villain. Hath not a Jew eyes? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? Shylock refuses to eat with the Christians: A modern audience may find these lines insulting. Shylock can be seen as both the villain of the play and as a man who is very human. Go with me to a notary, seal me there Your single bond; and in a merry sport, If you repay me not on such a day, In such a place, such sum or sums as are Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit Be nominated for an equal pound Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me. Shylock seems to be justifying the revenge he has planned for Antonio in advance, as he seems to be desperately excusing himself by asking if Jews are any different from Christians in a series of rhetorical questions which query their parallel experiences. If you have any more questions please visit our If you would like to complete your booking on the phone instead, please call the Box Office on 01789 331111. Portia describes herself as an unschooled girl, but one who has youth and breeding on her side, which may grant her the ability to learn from her mistakes.
This line can be performed and heard in two ways. Shylock, Act 1 Scene 3 How like a fawning publican he looks! Once again Shylock responds that he cannot find it in the bond which states all the legal requirements. Duke, Act 4 Scene 1 The quality of mercy is not strained, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath. The contest of wills continues between Bassanio and Shylock when Bassanio declares that it takes more than one offense to build up to hate and Shylock asks Bassanio if a serpent has to sting him twice before he gets the message. He is a defeated man.
If you poison us, do we not die? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. Morocco, Act 2 Scene 7 The portrait of a blinking idiot. Shylock in Shakespeare's work is a money lending Jew who pursues money with strong vigor and attachment. Antonio encourages Bassanio to let him die, saying that Bassanio can live to write his epitaph. Lorenzo has just told Jessica that even a wild frolicking herd of horses will pause to listen to music, which makes the man who is not affected by music, which he describes next, seem particularly bereft. In most scenes the character Shylock has to deal with a lot of racial discrimination, which has at modern… 988 Words 4 Pages The Merchant of Venice: Shylock - Antagonist or Victim? To a foreigner, you may lend upon interest, but to your brother, you shall not lend upon interest.
It would be interesting to revisit Shylock in the years following and find out what he did next. Shylock is also, however, a creation of circumstance; even in his single-minded pursuit of a pound of flesh, his frequent mentions of the cruelty he has endured at Christian hands make it hard for us to label him a natural born monster. However, it is difficult to view Shylock as anything other than a devious, bloodthirsty and heartless villain in the majority of the play. What, are you answer'd yet? It's frequency suggests that Shakespeare based this saying off a proverb that was popular at his time. At the time of the play, the sixteenth century, there was a huge abhorrence against those who were not Christian. It is an attribute to God himself. And if you wrong us shall we not revenge? Lancelet, Act 2 Scene 2 But love is blind, and lovers cannot see The pretty follies that themselves commit.
Shylock has just received the news from his servant, Tubal, that his daughter traded his turquoise which she stole from Shylock when she eloped for a monkey. Shylock, Act 1 Scene 3 The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? In a sense, it is Shakespeare's own brilliance which led him to create Shylock as almost too human. Let no such man be trusted. Bassanio is attempting to defend himself against Portia's alleged anger over his giving Balthazar, the doctor of law who saved Antonio's life, the ring which was his wife's first gift. Notice the religious underpinnings of this speech. Or his attitude toward them? In religion, What damned error, but some sober brow Will bless it and approve it with a text, Hiding the grossness with fair ornament? It is from this medieval literary tradition that Shakespeare borrows the figure of Shylock, just as Marlowe did for his Jew of Malta.
The next line of lyric asks where love beginsin the heart or the brain. The fact that he is a Jew is, in a sense, accidental. During the course of the play there is a concentration of thoughts and emotions towards the character Shylock, a Jewish usurer, this is the very character that we shall be concentrating the question in the title on. If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. The Jewish community in Venice was treated very poorly at the time that the play was written. Shakespeare gives us unmistakably human moments, but he often steers us against Shylock as well, painting him as a miserly, cruel, and prosaic figure. If you can remember the scenario, simple logic will be enough should help a lot.
Must Jessica convert to Christianity in order to be accepted by Lorenzo and his friends? 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. Portia has just told Nerissa that the music emanating from her house sounds sweeter than it sounds during the day and Nerissa has said the improvement is due to the contrasting silence of the night. The Church believed that interest should never be charged when one Christian loaned money to another Christian. Shylock then warns Antonio to watch out for his fangsthe enforcement of his forfeiture, which calls for a pound of Antonio's flesh. A victim is someone that 'we' in general should, or may, feel sorry for and attempt to sympathise or empathise with. There are a few points in the story where he can be viewed as victimised, as most Jews were at that time, but Shakespeare… 3186 Words 13 Pages The Character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice Victim or villain.
Should I not say 'Hath a dog money? There is no vice so simple but assumes Some mark of virtue on his outward parts. Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. Shakespeare brings out these human qualities by causing us to feel sympathy for him. There was such a figure available from the literature of the time, one man who could fulfill both functions: this man would be a usurer, or moneylender, with a beautiful daughter that he held onto as tightly as he did his ducats. Shylock is generous enough to offer the loan without a drop of interest. If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. Shakespeare tries to portray Shylock in a number of ways however I believe his main focus in the play, is on his villainous side.
He was not concerned with either anti- nor pro-Semitism, except in the way it shaped individual characters in his plays to produce the necessary drama that he was attempting to create. Act 3, Scene 1 Signior Antonio, many a time and oft In the Rialto you have rated me About my moneys and my usances: Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. Singer, Act 3 Scene 2 I never knew so young a body with so old a head. But the character of Shylock has also been the subject of much critical debate: How are we meant to evaluate the attitude of the Venetians in the play toward him? Salerio explains Antonio's troubles by saying that he's worrying about the safety of his fleet of merchant ships. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? The villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. If you tickle us, do we not laugh? Bassanio is trying to talk Antonio into lending him more money; in his allegory about the lost arrow his first loan , he finds the first arrow by shooting the second in the same direction in order to find the first, which most often worked.