When the Duke ruled that Shylock would have all that taken away from him, it revealed the idea that mercy, when given to a Christian, is different than the mercy that is offered to a Jew. We learn through the play how hardship can harden an individual’s soul. The character we see this in is Shylock. We feel mixed emotions for him, from sympathy for the cruel treatment he endures to disgust at his blood lust. In the play Shylock strikes a deal with Antonio, that if he is not repaid his three thousand ducats in three months he will be entitled to a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
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. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.” (46)
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”.
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.
James had told his students that Jews are “communists”, “imposters” and more and he taught them that Jews were “money lovers”, “power hungry”. He taught his classes that the Jewish people are the reason for depressions, chaos, war and revolution. James described Jews as people of profound evil and that they had created the Holocaust to gain sympathy. He made these statements to mainly attack Jewish people and He would also test his students on his theories and understanding, students who agreed to his theories would get better marks then students who disagreed towards his theories. This was unfair to the kids who did not believe in his theories.
Another time mistreatment is shown is when Shylock says to Antonio “You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gaberdine” (1.3.110-111). Antonio calls Shylock rude names and even spits on Shylock’s Jewish gaberdine, which is a very disrespecting and rude act. Shylock has done nothing to harm Antonio, but because Shylock is a Jew and Antonio is Christian, Antonio continues to treat Shylock this way. When Antonio says “I am as like to call thee so again, to spit on thee again, to spurn thee too” (1.3.-128-129), he impolitely refers to Shylock as ‘thee’ instead of ‘you’ which is proving his racism towards Shylock. Although Shylock is standing right near Antonio, Antonio continues to talk about Shylock as though he isn’t there and as if he’s worthless.
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
According to Roman Jews, masters backhanded slaves, husbands, wives, children and parents. The blow was meant for anyone who was out of line to come back to reality. When Jesus said to his people, “If anyone strikes you”, it meant that degraded people are the once who were told this. However, he asked them not to
One major work was the justification, in which both the Jewish and Gentile Christians have got it for free. This work of justification was the theme of Romans Chapter 5. And on the way of explaining the work of justification, Paul told them it was a gift and hence no one can boast about it. Then in chapter 5 which is the focus of this paper, he started to address the problem by explaining how one man (Adam) has trespassed the word of God in Genesis 3: 6 and brought sin to himself and the world he represents. It is through this sin that death has come.