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The Merchant Of Venice

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In what ways can this speech be seen as central to both the action and the impact of the Merchant of Venice?

"To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge." Shylock said these words as Salerio questioned Shylock's decision about wanting Antonio's flesh. The quote above shows Shylock's feelings towards Christians. He faced mockery and despair and now he wants something in return. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare shows the relationship of Jews and Christians. In the speech by Shylock from Act three, Scene one can be seen as central to both the action and the impact of the Merchant of Venice by showing the theme of "revenge versus hatred", showing us the relationship of Shylock and Antonio and emphasizing the significance of the pound of flesh.

"But lend it rather to thine enemy, who if he break, thou mayst with better face exact the penalty", quoted from Act 1, Scene 3 by Antonio. Shylock acknowledges the bad blood between himself and Antonio but it is Antonio who encourages Shylock to impose the "pound of flesh". This emphasizes the theme of revenge versus hatred as Antonio shows off with the acceptance of the moneylender's terms.

Shylock and Antonio have a very stern relationship. Shylock endured much of Antonio's abuse, overt a long period of time. This can be seen by the sheer volume of disgraces he has bore. A good example is in Act 3 Scene 1, "He hath disgraced me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies and what's his reason?..." Shylock shows that he had such a noble spirit, that he even offered Antonio, who had abused him terribly, a loan, free of interest. Shylock was willing to loan money to one who totally ruined him in public, on terms that were



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