Prejudice in "Merchant of Venice"

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Merchant of Venice essay * “Prejudice is the key theme of Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice.’ “ Is this statement true? Throughout Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice” play, we see how prejudice is portrayed in different ways and through different characters. Although it is seen a lot, it is not the key theme, but one of many main themes surfacing in the duration of the acts. Some of those other main themes that we see include love and friendship, romance, mercy, betrayal and revenge. Therefore, the statement “Prejudice is the key theme of Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ “is indeed true, but to an extent. We see prejudice presented in various ways throughout ‘Merchant of Venice’. The way the Christians treat the Jews is prejudice – the Christians don’t care for the Jews, curse at them, call them dogs and spit at them, purely because of their different beliefs. We hear Shylock’s spiel about how they are the same, they just have different beliefs, saying “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?”. Shylock is saying this to Antonio after he said how it was the Christians who have taught the Jews to exact revenge. “If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge!” Shylock says this whole speech about being equal because Antonio has just stated that although they are agreeing upon a money bond, things shall still be the same between them. One of the main themes that often resurfaces is the whole point of revenge. We see how Shylock, a Jewish man, exacts revenge on those of Christian belief, such as Antonio. When Bassanio makes a bond of money under Antonio’s name, Shylock remembers every time that Antonio (or any other Christian men) have passed him in
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