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Merchant Of Venice

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Throughout the years Jews have been treated extremely inadequately for a prolonged period of time. Jews were badly mistreated by many and also thought of as dirty people whom contained no respect. In 70AD a roman general Titus, took his second revolt with Jerusalem, killing 1 million people. The holocaust was probably the most known, outrageous act of cruelty towards Jews . During the second world war it was really hard attempting to survive if you were a Jew, as Hitler was in control and he had a major dislike towards them. He forced the Jewish men to work in horrible conditions, he even tried to kill many of them by fitting them in gas chambers and leaving them there to die. He hated them so much that throughout the period of time he was in control and had maximum power over them he killed between 5-11 million Jews.

Jews were made to know they were hated and were not treated with the same rights, as when it came to getting a job Jews only had a limited amount of jobs they were allowed to do. A money lender was the main job given to a Jew as it was a very disrespectful job, which didn’t help them as they were already hated and this just made it worse. However if a Jew was to covert from the Jewish race to the Christian one Elizabethans thought they would be cured. This is why at the end of �The Merchant of Venice’ Shylock is made to do that.

In Venice Shylock is a Jewish moneylender. He gets annoyed by the way he is mistreated by the Venetian Christians, mainly Antonio. He uses his job as an advantage to seek out his revenge on Antonio by demanding, as a payment, a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Although he is seen by all the other characters as an “inhuman wretch”, Shylock reveals his true nature and portrays himself to be quite human. He is also referred to as a “dog”, the “devil” or just the “Jew”. You do slightly sympathise with him at the point as he hasn’t had the easiest of lives, as he had to bring up his daughter вЂ?Jessica’ all on by himself without her mother being present. This could be a reason why he is seen as cruel and bad. Also he has to put up with being harshly treated by the Venetian Christians just for being a вЂ?Jew’. So the question вЂ?Do you sympathise with Shylock is already in thought as you cant help but want to try and help him.

Antonio treats Shylock with absolutely know respect at all and try and makes Shylock feel worthless. This is because Antonio is a Venetian merchant of significant wealth, and already has power over Shylock and likes to make sure Shylock knows that. Antonio does this by calling him “the Jew” or “Dog” and also spits on him. Unless Antonio wants something he treats Shylock really poorly and in this case Antonio asks Shylock for a loan and tries as hard as possible to not get on the wrong side of Shylock so chooses not to call him names but is still very rude towards him. He makes it clear that even though the money is for a friend вЂ?Bassanio’ it doesn’t change the fact that it is from “the Jew”. Saying things like “ I am as like to call thee so again, to spit on thee again, to spurn thee too”. Still reminding Shylock that he is a вЂ?Jew’ and he has a problem with it.

Bassanio however is a very good friend of Antonio. He is a Venetian Gentleman. He plans to marry, Portia so he will be able to pay large debts of to Antonio, as in marrying Portia he will receive a large sum of money which is important. As recently he needed the money on order to travel in style to Portia’s estate. He knows he has to try and get this money so he chooses to use �Shylock’ as he is a rich money lender but uses Antonio as the person to promise a guarantee to Shylock.

Bassanio also knows he has to be nice to Shylock to get this money although he hates вЂ?Jews’ and wants to spit on him and call him names but is more desperate to receive the loan than to make Shylock miserable. He even agrees with him to let him know he is desperate for the money by saying “This were kindness” . Bassanio is happy with the agreement but is not to sure about Antonio’s bargain with Shylock as he is risking his flesh and money, but Antonio lets him know that its okay, “why, fear not, man; I will not forfeit it: Within these two months, that’s a month before This bond expires, I do expect return Of thrice three times value of this bond”. This shows he is willing to risk himself for a dear friend. There are two conflicting views of Shylock at this point as Antonio and Bassanio do not treat him with respect which shows he is a victim but he trying to take revenge which portrays him as almost a villain. So the audiences views on him at this point are unsure and they just want to see whether he takes Antonio’s pound of flesh to decide for themselves.

Shylocks daughter Jessica doesn’t really get on with her father. He is very strict and has too many rules for her. He brings her up in a harsh way and treats her like a little girl. She can’t even bare living with him, saying “our house is hell”. This shows that she wants to rebel against her father and wants to get away from him as soon as possible. Knowing this takes the audiences sympathy of Shylock and onto Jessica showing that Shylock isn’t fair to her. But then the sympathy comes back into play as the



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