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The Merchant of Venice


The "merchant of Venice" is a multifarious play with many grades of interpretation. Telling the article of a Jewish merchant dwelling in the predominately Christian capital of Venice, it can be glimpsed as a play about persecution, fairness and of social cruelty. The "merchant of Venice" is representatively propelled by the same set contentions of racial and devout prejudice that lived in Shakespearean society.


William Shakespeare's satirical comical performance, The Merchant of Venice, accepted to have been written in 1596 was an written test of hatred and greed. The premise agreements with the antagonistic connection between Shylock, a Jewish money-lender and Antonio, the Christian merchant, who is as bountiful as Shylock is greedy, especially with his ally, Bassanio. The two have cemented a history of personal abuses, and Shylock's hating of Antonio intensifies when Antonio denies to collect interest on loans.

Prejudice is a superior topic in The Merchant of Venice, most especially taking the form of anti-semitism. Shylock is stereotypically described as 'costumed in a recognizably Jewish way in a long gown of gabardine, likely very dark, with a red whiskers and/or wing like that of Judas, and a hooked putty nose or container nose' (Charney,p. 41). Shylock is a defensive character because humanity is constantly reminding him he is different in belief, examines, and motivation. He finds solace in the regulation because he, himself, is an outcast of society. Shylock is an outsider who is not privy to the rights accorded to the people of Venice. The Venetians consider Shylock as a capitalist motivated solely by greed, while they glimpsed themselves as Christian paragons of piety. When Shylock considers taking Antonio's bond using his ships as collateral, his bitterness is evident when he quips, 'But ships are but board, sailors but men. There are land rats and water rats, water thieves and land thieves. The Venetians justify their practice of slavery by saying simply, 'The slaves are ours' (IV.i.98-100). During the trial sequence, Shylock persuasively contends, 'You have among you numerous a bought slave, which (like your asses and your canines and mules). You us in abject and in slavish parts, because you bought them, shall I say to you, let them be free, marry them to your heirs... you will response, `The slaves are ours,' -- so do I answer you: The bash of flesh (which I demand of him) is affectionately acquired, 'tis mine and I will have it' (IV.i.90-100). Shakespeare's portrayal of the Venetians is paradoxical. They are, too, a capitalist people and readily accept his money, however, shun him personally. Like American society, 16th century Venice sought to solidify their commercial reputation through integration, but at the same time, practiced social exclusion.

Though they extended their hands to his Shylock's money, they turned their backs on him socially. When Venetian merchants required usurer capital to finance their business projects, Jews flocked to Venice in large numbers. By the early 1500s, the influx of Jews posed a serious threat to the ...
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