Thursday, April 11, 2013

The Role of Prejudice in "The Merchant of Venice"

THE ROLE OF PREJUDICE IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE

This paper discusses the heart-to-heart of prejudice in the William Shakespeare

play, The Merchant of Venice.

I. Introduction

William Shakespeares satirical comedy, The Merchant of Venice,

believed to let been written in 1596 was an examination of hatred and

greed. The premise deals with the discrepant relationship between

Shylock, a Jewish money-lender and Antonio, the Christian merchant, who

is as bounteous as Shylock is greedy, particularly with his friend,

Bassanio. The two have ce custodyted a history of personal insults, and

Shylocks loathing of Antonio intensifies when Antonio refuses to

collect interest on loans. Bassanio wishes to strike 3,000 ducats from

Antonio so that he may journey to Belmont and ask the charming and

wealthy Portia to marry him. Antonio borrows the money from Shylock,

and knowing he will in brief have several ships in port, agrees to part with

a pound of trope if the loan is not repaid within trio months.

Shylocks abhorrence of Antonio is hike up fueled by his daughter

Jessicas elopement with Lorenzo, another friend of Antonios.

Meanwhile, at Belmont, Portia is creation courted by Bassanio, and

wedding plans continue when, in accordance with her fathers will,

Bassanio is asked to choose from three close ins -- one gold, one silver

and one lead. Bassanio correctly selects the lead casket that contains

Portias picture. The couples joy is short-lived, however, when

Bassanio receives a letter from Antonio, informing him of the loss of

his ships and of Shylocks aim to carry out the terms of the

loan. Bassanio and Portia marry, as do his friend, Gratiano and

Portias maid, Nerissa.

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The men return to Venice, but are unable to assist Antonio in

court. In desperation, Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and arrives

in Venice with her clerk (Nerissa) to...

Great case presented in exposing the irony of prejudice shown on all sides in this play. almost Jews in Europe at this time were not allowed to construct regular jobs such as teachers, craftsmen, and shopkeepers, bucause of their religion. One of the jobs they were allowed to perform was that of contribute money, charging intrest to make a living. That the Jews did well and prospered, they were dispised even more. But the baseball club of the day left them few options to make a honest living.

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