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❶This struggle is primarily manifested through the various contracts characters must fulfill throughout the course of the play. This is consistent with his reaction to events later on in the play.

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A Character Study of Shylock
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Antonio, in the past, has helped people escape the consequences of their contracts with Shylock, the usurer, by lending them money at no interest. Antonio must sign a bond promising to sacrifice a pound of his flesh to Shylock, so that the usurer will lend Bassanio money for his quest. Gratiano must agree to curb his usual behavior if Bassanio is to allow him to join his expedition.

Morocco must leave Portia and remain a bachelor for the rest of his life, for failing to solve the riddle of the three caskets. Aragon suffers the same fate as Morocco for failing in his choice. Shylock intends to have Antonio arrested for being unable to repay the loan on time. Portia gives Bassanio a ring which he must wear to prove his love for her. Antonio has been taken into custody so that he cannot escape from Shylock.

Shylock insists the Venetians must allow him to fulfill the terms of his bond, otherwise Venice will lose its good international standing. Portia decrees that, according to Venetian law, Shylock is liable to a fine and possible execution for attempting to harm a citizen. Shylock is forced to sign a deed, willing his possessions upon his death to Lorenzo and agreeing to become a Christian.

In the time of Shakespeare, it was the norm to think Jews were immoral. Everyone, in every aspect, took Jews as an insult and made fun of them all the time. Shakespeare created the character of Shylock as a Jew as a negative connotation. On the contrary, Antonio was a dedicated believer of Christ.

Love each other as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this: Shylock did not get what he expected to have; instead he had to beg for mercy in order to stay alive. Antonio lived a tragic life right from the very beginning of the play. His ships were wrecked and his friend was depressed for he did not have the money to meet his suitor.

His flesh was so close to being cut off but his fate took his side and everything changed from then. Shylock, the rich merchant, who had power to kill Antonio for not paying him back, had to beg on his knees for mercy and not to kill him. All his money, possessions, family and even his belief were no longer his and was shattered into pieces.

The two merchants in the Merchant and Venice, Antonio and Shylock were unlike in many ways. Their personalities were no doubt the biggest difference between them. Antonio was a loving and caring friend while Shylock was a selfish, lonely and despicable man.

Antonio believed and obeyed the Bible whereas Shylock was teased and insulted because of his belief. What goes around comes around. These were some of the similarities and differences between the two alike yet very dissimilar characters in The Merchant of Venice.

Since antiquity, Christians and Jews were seen as the antitheses of each other. The differences between the two religions were extensive and the people of the time were keen to exploit them. However, beneath the varying practices, Christians and Jews had many subtle similarities. The love Antonio holds for Bassanio is so deep such that he provides Bassanio, then in debt and in need of three thousand ducats, with all the credit he can offer to set him on his way without any hesitation.

He goes so far to even sign a contract that could lead to the potential loss of his flesh order to help his friend. The love Antonio felt for Bassanio was so intense that not even the possibility of mutilation and death could stop him.

As a result of such a generous and selfless nature, Antonio is well respected in the community at the time and loved by all his friends. But his life is far from perfect. His first line which begins the play is a line that evidently reveals the pain he suffers in his loneliness. His attitude towards people is so detestable that even his own daughter eventually leaves him. Shylock suffers the brute of this abuse through Antonio, who, despite his generosity and selflessness is capable of …………………………………………………………………..

Both of them are bound to their beliefs, both love someone who ultimately abandons them for someone else, and both are miserable. Shylock derives his joy entirely from his money and his daughter- while Antonio has nothing in the world to live for but Bassaino. Antonio is willing to die, as long as Bassanio is present, because he has nothing else to live for. Shylock- when confronted with the possiblity of losing all of his money begs the court to take his life if they are taking all of his money.

Ironically they both end the play in a worse positon than they began it. Shylock with half of his money, loss of religion, and bound to a renegade daughter. The only thing that either of them has left to sustain them… is their hatred of each other.

Home Essays Merchant of venice. He was executed for his crime, all the time insisting that he loved the Queen as much as Jesus Christ himself.

The Elizabethans found this statement humorous and the event in general interesting, prompting one acting troupe to revive Christopher Marlowe's The Jew of Malta for several performances. It is widely believed that this incident may have provided the inspiration for Shylock.

Shylock first appears in the play in Act I, scene iii, when Bassanio attempts to borrow money from him in Antonio's name in order to pursue Portia. Through Shylock's aside in lines , we learn that, although Shylock has never met Antonio, he already hates him.

The first reason is racial in nature—Shylock hates Antonio because he is a Christian. For this reason, Shylock will not associate with Antonio, Bassanio, or their friends beyond their business dealings:. 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 ll.

This comment becomes ironic by the end of the play, as Shylock will have done all of what he says he will not. Shylock also makes a comment in this scene about the "hard dealings" of Christians, which teach them not to trust anyone. While this may be true of Antonio and Bassanio, it is also true of Shylock, who loans money at interest in order to make a profit. The racist part of Shylock's hatred makes him no different from the Italians, who hate and mistreat Shylock for his religious beliefs.

Antonio makes disparaging remarks to Shylock throughout the play, despite his compromising situation. In Act I, scene iii, Antonio compares Shylock to the devil, who can "cite Scripture for his purpose" l.

Antonio not only lacks any remorse for his treatment of Shylock, but he even insults Shylock directly in this scene despite the fact that he is attempting to borrow money from him: Although Antonio should not insult Shylock if he expects to borrow money from him, he does so anyway because of his racism and his disagreement with Shylock's business practices.

Despite these comments, Antonio appears to relent at the end of the scene, saying that there is "much kindness in the Jew" and referring to Shylock as "gentle Jew. Antonio equivocates kindness with Christianity: Antonio's attitude and treatment of Shylock in this scene is characteristic of many characters in the play, and is one of the sources of Shylock's resentment of Antonio and his friends.

However, racist treatment is merely the surface of Shylock's dislike. During his aside in Act I, scene iii, Shylock mentions the deeper reason for his hatred of Antonio:


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Essays and criticism on William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice - Essays. Free Essay: The Character of Portia in Merchant of Venice In his Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare wants the reader to admire Portia, arguably the most.

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The Merchant Of Venice Essay Examples. total results. An Analysis of the Character of Antonio in The Merchant of Venice. 1, words. 2 pages. A Comparison of Shakespeare's the Merchant of Venice and Much Ado About Nothing. 1, words. 4 pages. The Merchant Of Venice Essay May 31, There are two emotions commonly shown to motivate characters in the Merchant Of Venice, both positively and negatively, namely that of love and hate. These two emotions motivate characters such as Shylock, who’s actions are motivated by his hate for Antonio, Jessica’s love for Lorenzo and hate [ ].