Act 1 Scene 3 Merchant Of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice was written in 1596. It is a problem play because this play is a tragedy and comedy. The Elizabethan audience would of thought it was a comedy but the modern audience would of thought it was more of a tragedy. Shylock, who is a Jew, is portrayed as a villain: ‘ I will not walk with you, drink with you, nor pray with you.’ (Act 1 scene 3) And a victim: ‘You call me miss believer, cut throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gaberdine. (Act 1 scene 3) We can see him being a villain and a victim in Act 1 scene 3. Bassiano says to Shylock that he can come and eat with him and Antonio but he refuses. He says: ‘ I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you. Walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat With you, drink with you, nor pray with you.’ (Act 1 Scene 3) This shows Shylock in an unsympathetic way because it portrays him as being rude and narrow-minded. Antonio then comes in and Shylock has an aside. This aside shows us how much he hates the Christians and portrays him in a sinister light but it also portrays him as a lonely and isolated person. In the middle of Act 1 Scene 3 Antonio describes Shylock ‘ like a villain with a smiling cheek, a goodly apple rotten at the heart.’(Act 1 scene 3) This shows how much Shylock was hated by the Christians. Shylock also reminds Antonio what he has done to him in the past, he says: ‘ You call me miss believer, cut throat dog, And spit upon my Jewish gaberdine… Foot me as you spurn a stranger cur Over your threshold.’ (Act 1 scene 3) This shows anti- Semitism as we can see what Antonio, who is a Christian does to Jews like Shylock. Near the end of Act 1 Scene 3 Shylock says: ‘…. Supply your present wants, take no doit Of usance for my moneys.’ (Act 1 scene 3) Here we see Shylock in a sympathetic light as he is giving money to Antonio for nothing, no interest

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