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The Treatment of Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

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The Treatment of Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Introduction.

The play I have been studying is called "The Merchant Of Venice". This
play was written in the early 1590's, and was first performed in 1596.
William Shakespeare wrote "The Merchant Of Venice".

There are many possible influences that inspired William Shakespeare
to write "The Merchant of Venice". There are four strands to the
story, which are;

The caskets; the winning of Portia hand in marriage.

The elopement; Jessica and Lorenzo

The rings; a love test

The bond; Shylock and the pound of flesh

The four strands in the play are not any of Shakespeare's own
inventions or ideas. The bond between shylock and Antonio was based on
an Italian story "Il Pecorone" (the idiot). The Italian story could
have influenced Shakespeare in the writing of his play. What also
influenced Shakespeare in his writing is the hugely successful play
called "Jew of Malta" which was written by Christopher Marlow, in
which a stereotypical wicked Jew performed all kinds of outrage. I
also think that DR Lopez (Jewish doctor) who had been executed for
theoretically trying to poison Queen Elizabeth.

There has always been hatred of Jews since the Romans took over their
country, which was Israel. At first the Romans allowed then their
religious freedom but later tried to crush the Jewish faith and
culture. This persecution led many Jews to seek new lives in other
countries. This process is also known as the Diaspora, which was the
Scattering of the Jews.

Jews have always been known as intelligent and hardworking
businessmen. These qualities in Jewish pe...


... middle of paper ...


...nt ideas from a lot of
different people, which is a good thing. In the 1590's the people
never thought they were being racist it was a normal thing to not
treat the Jewish community in a correct manner. The following quote
give me a reason why I think William Shakespeare was not racist:

"...I am a Jew. Hath not Jew eyes? Hath not Jew hands, organs,
dimensions, senses, affections passions? Fed with the same food, hurt
with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the
same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a
Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If u tickle us, do we
not laugh? If you poison us do we not die?..."

Act 3 scene 1 lines 46-52

In my opinion William Shakespeare wanted Christians to realise that
Jews were also human and should be treated like one too.


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