The Merchant Of Venice Essay

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Shylock on the other hand is not put on the same pedestal as Antonio.

As the Jewish representation of Venice, Shylock, “as a usurer, refuses to lend money interest-free in the name of friendship.” (Bevington, pg.

Though usually depicted as a homosexual relationship, it is a portrayal of love between friends or brothers, another type of bond.

This act of bonding puts Antonio in gracious light.

Shylock strictly follows the Old Testament of law and is determined to receive justice.

Portia on the other hand teaches the audience the practice of the New Testament.74) Although Shakespeare writes this drama from a Christian point of view he illustrates religion by conflicts of the Old Testament and the New Testament in Venetian society and its court of law.These Testaments are tested through the Christians and Jews of Venice.Representing the Christian belief is Antonio who is summoned to court by a Jew who goes by the name Shylock.The cross between Christianity and Judaism begins as Antonio and Shylock create a legally binding bond.Throughout medieval and early Renaissance Europe the prejudice bred dark fantasies: Jews were accused, for example, of conducting grotesque rituals in which they murdered Christian children and drank their blood.The story of a Jew who wants a pound of Christian flesh may have its roots in these fantasies of Jews violating Christian bodies.” (Mowat, pg. Shylock who had nothing to do with Christ’s death still had to suffer Christian stereotypes and discrimination.Venice was primarily and dominantly a Christian society with Jews as it’s unfairly treated minority.Stereotypes classified Jews as immoral, evil, and foolish people while the Christians were graceful, merciful, and loving.The New Testament which embodies grace, mercy, and forgiveness In Act Four, Scene 1, the Duke says, “We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.” (Bevington, pg.102) This passage from the Duke pleas Shylock for a “gentle” answer.


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