He says that he thinks and “the world” as well thinks (by that he makes Shylock think everyone has a better opinion of him), he is just pretends to be cruel and at “the last hour of act”, he will back down and show mercy. In the end of his cue he adds” We all expect a gentle answer Jew”, which just adds pressure. From moral point of view, that is a good thing to do a he is trying to save someone from death, however Duke is a judge and he must stay unbiased, which he doesn’t, again, and that doesn’t show him from a good moral side. But to Christians (who were the main audience of Shakespeare plays) Shakespeare draws a picture of Duke as a good person, with high morals that tries to save Antonio from imminent death. And Shylock is portrayed as a cruel person, who not just wants to kill
During the 1600’s Jews were extremely disliked and according to Peter Gintro were ‘usurious, cunning, malevolent and potentially murderous’. A stereotype of the Jewish community originated from medieval and again is ironically attributes we see surrounding Shylock. One way Shakespeare reinforces and challenges contemporary attitudes to cultural outsiders is through Othello’s character. Othello is a Moor and Shakespeare presents him in a way which would suggest that he is humble around the other characters and aware of the fact that his cultural differences cripple him in
He does not refute George’s insult though he calls him nasty names such as “a crazy son-of-a-bitch.” (Steinbeck 11) Lennie even offers to give up his ketchup for George — a childish and simple offer, yet it is a true sacrifice during the Great Depression. No doubt, his action touched George. Consequently, mutual sacrifice prompts a healthy friendship. Nonetheless, sacrifice in friendship is not always equally made. In reality, due to Lennie’s incapability to properly react to the potential threats in society, George has to make more sacrifice in order to protect him from harm.
Firstly, shylock is seen to be a racist person in this play who is being racist towards Christian people like Antonio. “I have him for he is a Christian” this is showing that he has something again Christian people. This is very appalling to the audience as he is very rude to Christian people. Shylocks speech “be nominated for an equal pound of your fair flesh,” I will have the heart of him if he forfeit” this shows that he wants a pound of flesh near Antonio’s heart.to be cut off and taken.” this proves to us that shylock is a villain as he is heartless and doesn’t think of others. This quote suggests that if Antonio the Christian won’t bring the money on time to shylock, then he will take a pound of flesh of Antonio’s body, showing cruelty.
In the Merchant of Venice (MOV)’ Luxon believes Shylock epitomises this stereotype because of his race/ religion. However, Smith believes that Shylock’s evil is innate and his religion is merely a façade. While this has some truth, I have concluded that the Venetian Society conditions Shylock’s nature/humanity to be villainous, not his ‘Jewishness’ as he is a victim of discrimination. Sixteenth Century Christians stereotyped Jews as vile, vengeful, spiteful, and merciless creatures, often referred to as a devil, much like Antonio typecasts Shylock as “The devil...An evil soul producing holy witness”. Shylocks humanity is stripped away leaving the audience to view him as inhuman and Wilson agrees stating “Jew is allowed no defendant in the court to plead for him as a…defenceless alien”.
The character Jewish money lender, Shylock, has been seen as both an anti-Semitic character, but throughout The Merchant of Venice Shylock’s speeches and emotions given, say otherwise. For instance, during an aside near the beginning of the play Shylock gives his reasons for hating Antonio and Shylock’s need for revenge played acted out through the rest of the play. His quote here is referring to the misdeeds of Antonio that Shylock reveals during said aside, “lends out money gratis, and brings down the rate of ursance here with us in Venice….He hates our sacred nation, and he rails…on me, my bargains, and my well-worn thrift” (Shakespeare 20). Another pivotal scene that shows the true side of Shylock, is where Salerio and Solanio are talking about the previous night, when they heard the wailing of “Stol’n by my daughter!-Justice! Find the girl!” (40), emanating from Shylock due to his loss of his daughter who ran away after stealing nearly all of Shylock’s fortune.
Shakespeare uses the character of Shylock to give us negative impression of the Jews. This gives us an idea of how much people used to dislike the Jews at the time of his writing. Act 1 Scene 3 is set in Venice and not Belmont, already from that piece of information, the audience can expect the scene to be something around the lines of trading, money and debt as Venice is a trading port. This scene in particular shows a strong contrast between the 2 religions. Firstly, right from the beginning of the scene, where Shylock, a Jew makes his first entrance in the whole play, Shakespeare presents him as the money-lender, the one that the Christians ask favour of and seems to have a superior status.
But despite his upbringing, anti-Semitism had always bothered him. During his lifetime, a person’s ancestry defined his status in life. Anyone born from a Jewish mother was considered Jewish, regardless of his or her beliefs. Hess recognized that Germans hated the Jewish race. He thought about the anti-Semitism in Germany at that time and "returned" to Judaism.
In Shakespeare’s comedy called, The Merchant of Venice, two character of different religions clash. One of them is a man called Shylock, a Jewish money lender, and the other is called Antonio who is a Christian merchant. (In this essay I will also be referring to the recent film, starring Al Pacino as Shylock and Jeremy Irons as Antonio) There is a lot of hostility between the Christians and the Jews of Venice, and this of course fuels the hatred between Shylock and Antonio. So the reason for why, Antonio and Shylock have ended up in court as Antonio has failed to pay Shylock back the money he had owed him, as they had a bond which stated that if Antonio failed to pay Antonio back by the Jewish date, Shylock would be obliged to a pound of Antonio’s flesh closest to his heart. So why did Antonio need Shylocks money?
The Organiser states to himself, “I just can’t stand it when you all start crying.” This use of soliloquy in the dialogue shows the organiser as being quite selfish despite Eva’s horrendous situation. The Organiser uses his authority in an antagonistic way when giving Eva instructions, “Sit! (Eva looks at the chair and returns to it) Stay!” This imperative use of monosyllabic dialogue may represent how superior the Organiser feels in comparison to Eva. There could be a number of reasons for the Organiser’s antagonism. In the 1930’s there were a number of British people who were prejudiced against the Jewish people.