Merchant of Venice Essay

1386 WordsOct 9, 20136 Pages
The play I have studied is the Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare Antonio has entered into a bond with Shylock. In return for 3000 ducats which he wants for his friend Bassiano, he agrees to repay the money within three months or allow Shylock to cut a pound of flesh from anywhere on his body. His plan fails and Shylock claims his forfeit. Antonio is arrested and brought to trial in the Court so that Shylock may claim the forfeit of his bond. The courtroom scene is one of the most important scenes because everyone is on stage and it is the climax scene of the play. Courtroom scenes always have a dramatic, tense atmosphere in novels, films, and plays for example in 'To Kill a Mockingbird'. Act IV Scene I is a stage for Shakespeare to present his ideas to the audience, it also shows us that women were not recognised in court through Nerissa and Portia dressing up as men to save Antonio. This scene also shows a change in attitude over time because in Shakespeare's time a Jew having to change to a Christian was the worst thing you could do. This was turning against your religion. As the scene opens, the Duke begins to talk with references to Shylock. The Duke Uses phrases such like `thou art come to answer a stony adversary, an inhuman wretch' to describe Shylock and his actions. Shakespeare uses this language to show how alienated Shylock is from the rest of the people in the courtroom and it also sets the scene that the trial is straight away biased because of the prejudice towards him. When Shylock enters the court, the Duke continues to address Shylock this way and he says `From stubborn Turks and Tartars, never trained to offices of tender courtesy'. He also refers to Shylock as `Jew' instead of using his name, as if he is not good enough to have a name. The language the Duke uses shows Venice's hatred towards Jews and it also makes Shylock look all

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