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March 30, 2016 | Author: | Posted in literature and language, shakespeare

Shakespeare ‘s Revenge

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Revenge is a common theme throughout the writing of Shakespeare ‘s plays This will compare and contrast the two vengeful characters of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and Prospero from The Tempest

The Merchant of Venice offers up one of Shakespeare ‘s most memorable characters in the guise of Shylock , a Jewish moneylender . The character is depicted with vile simplicity in the interpretation of Jewish culture and means . While Shylock persistently pursues the pound of flesh he has been promised as [banner_entry_middle]

guarantee against the loan , he consistently mentions the horrors and hardships he has faced at the hands of Christians . In speaking to Bassanio , he states : You call me misbeliever , cut-throat dog , and spit upon my Jewish gabardine (I .iii .111-112 . Yet , Shylock is the one people turn to in times of need , not as a man , but as a bank The separation from humanity has boiled in his stomach for long enough When the opportunity to debase Antonio arrives , Shylock jumps at the chance

When Bassanio turns to his friend , Antonio to borrow money in to court the lovely heiress , Portio , Antonio must send Bassanio to the Jewish moneylender , Shylock . Shylock agrees to the deal , insisting that the Christian people turn to him constantly , yet do not see him any other time . When the monies come due , Shylock is forced to take Antonio to court . Despite the strange nature of the payment , Shylock is insistent that he will receive his due

I am a Jew . Hath not a Jew eyes ? Hath not a Jew hands , organs dimensions , senses , affections , passions fed with the same food , hurt with the same weapons , subject to the same diseases , healed by the same means , warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is ? 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 ? If we are like you in the rest , we will resemble you in that 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 (III .i .49-61

The reader , although typically distasteful of the character ‘s actions finds the moneylender looking for validation as much as payment . He searched for retribution for years of non-existence . His revenge is personally motivated , yet almost seemingly justified . Jessica Shylock ‘s daughter , exacerbates the situation by selling her mother ‘s ring behind her father ‘s back . On top of this , she has eloped with a Christian , Lorenzo . Shylock has lost everything he has ever had , money aside , and result is a hollow man with nothing left but revenge

When asked by the court to show mercy , Shylock replies : So can I… [banner_entry_footer]


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