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Merchant Of Venice

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:D

 

Firstly, has anyone read this book??????

 

Let me know who has, and then I'll post up the question for my coursework..

I kinda need some help :D

 

:D

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:D

 

Firstly, has anyone read this book??????

 

Let me know who has, and then I'll post up the question for my coursework..

I kinda need some help  :D

 

:D

 

heyyyyyyyyyy its your lucky day, i have read this book yup ummm hmmm, so what is ya question???

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Assalaamu 'alaikum,

 

I've not read it, but I found study guides were handy for English Literature. There's one for that book "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.sparknotes(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/shakespeare/merchant/"]here[/url].

 

Wassalaam.

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:D

haha for a 2nd though it was sisters room so exited,

well i think i read it cos i remeber reading out loud the "if you prick me will i not bleed" bit out to the class

and recently i watched the film too, well my english lessons were 3 years ago so donno how much i can help, just post the questions anyway :D

Edited by slave

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:D

 

Great muslim mujahid! :biggrin:

 

:D borbus!

 

LOL slave :tongue:

 

The question is:

 

 

Focussing on a key scebe, discuss shakespear's depiction of Shylock.

Act 4 scene 1

 

 

- courtroom scene - Duke/judge - Portia/Nerissa have unusual roles for 'women' (at that time)

 

- Shylock seeks justice /Duke and Portia ask him to be merciful

Discuss mercy/justice

Is Shylock treated mericully?

 

- Drama of the court scene - remember its a play script.

Two opposing sides - potential for violence produces tension and suspense

Comic aspects - was Shakespear's audience perhaps meant to find the treatment of Shylock amusing? Porita Nerissa,lawyer and clerk.

 

- Language used - insults flying - animal imagery/both sides

Shylock especially less than human/devil/alien.

 

- Attitudes to Jews in England in Shakespeare's time/Venice Stereotyping of Shylock - attitudes today.

 

 

 

:D

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aslaam alykum,

 

ok well...............

 

you could talk about portias 'quality of mercy speech' and how shylock was actually in the right, coz antonio did sign the bond, you could say how in some parts of the play ou feel sorry for shylock 'prick me do i not bleed.......' and 'twice on the rialto you have rated me.....' but then you dont, like the scene with tubal, and when he says that his daughter has run away with his money, and he cares more about the money.

 

talk about how at shakespears time converting someone to a christian by force, was considered saving them from hell. so they would have been 'merciflul' at that time. talk bout how the laws for an 'alien' are diffent then for a venitian ciitizen, shylock gets done for atempted murder of a venietian citizen. talk about how portia offers the money, but then at the end says shylock can only have the flesh.

 

will post more stuff tomorow, i am proper tierd, just finished my IT coursework, in last 3 hours, and my brain isnt working right, so will post more stuff tomorw.

 

hopes this helps.

 

wa alykum aslaam

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Assalaamu 'alaikum,

 

I found two short essays about Shylock:

 

1. "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.123helpme(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/assets/3802.html"]The Villainous Shylock[/url]

2. "you can't post links until you reach 50 posts_www.123helpme(contact admin if its a beneficial link)/view.asp?id=14696"]The Dehumanization of Shylock[/url]

 

Might be worth a read, even though they don't specifically focus on act 4, scene 1.

 

Wassalaam.

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aslaam alykum,

 

ok some helpful quotes to describe thoughts on shylock by other charecters....

 

DUKE

I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer

A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch

uncapable of pity, void and empty

From any dram of mercy.

 

act 4 scene 1

 

BASSANIO

This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,

To excuse the current of thy cruelty.

 

act 4 scene 1

 

DUKE

How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?- basically sayin how do you expect mercy from god, if you dont show mercy to your fellow human

 

act 4 scene 1

 

GRATIANO

Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew,

Thou makest thy knife keen; but no metal can,

No, not the hangman's axe, bear half the keenness

Of thy sharp envy. Can no prayers pierce thee? - sayin that he will pay with his soul play on words

 

GRATIANO

O, be thou damn'd, inexecrable dog!

And for thy life let justice be accused.

Thou almost makest me waver in my faith

To hold opinion with Pythagoras,

That souls of animals infuse themselves

Into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit

Govern'd a wolf, who, hang'd for human slaughter,

Even from the gallows did his fell soul fleet,

And, whilst thou lay'st in thy unhallow'd dam,

Infused itself in thee; for thy desires

Are wolvish, bloody, starved and ravenous. - sayin that shylock makes him qyestion god, and want to side with pythagras, who the christians didnt like

 

all thrugh that scene we see that shylock is treated differently, coz he is jewish, everyone calls him by the tittle jew, even though they know his name.

 

there is anotha quote something like "the villany you teach me i will......" but cant find it right now

 

there is one thing you have to remember IN SHAKSPEARS TIME CONVERTING CHRISTIANITY EVEN BY FORCE WAS CONSIDERED SAVING THERE LIFE..... for exapmle jessica converted by lorenzo,

 

say how shylock is made to be like an outsider, by the clothes he wears, and the way he talks, he repeats himself.

 

IMPORTANT whaen quoting lines, copy them exactly how they are laid out, coz most of it is poetry, so you must quote in lines.

 

hope that helps, will post up some more stuff later

 

wa alykum aslaam

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:D

 

:D so much borbus and muslim mujahid!

 

May Allah reward you lot's ! :D

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:D

 

In that case, proove to me that you're a reaaaaaaaaaaaally kind bro and my coursework for me!! :tongue:

 

haha kidding :laugh:

 

:D anyway!

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All I remember is doing this piece of coursework:

 

 

In this piece of coursework I aim to investigate whether The Merchant of Venice is a racist play or contains intentionally racist elements. I will draw upon quotations from the text, historical background relating to the point and generally accepted views of the time to illustrate the analysis of this point and then conclude based on this analysis.

 

The Merchant of Venice is a play written in the 16th century and draws upon elements of Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta such as the pound of flesh, during this time racism was illustrated in the use of stereotypes, (like Shylock, the rich Jewish moneylender) as people’s views were based on historical evidence handed down over three hundred years as this was the last time that Jews had inhabited England having been expelled during the reign of Edward I, this view was further reinforced as ordinary people’s only source of knowledge of the world around them at the time was theatre.

 

It was generally accepted that people like Jews could be depicted as ‘Devils’ unworthy to go to heaven at death. At this time of religious upheaval within Europe during the Reformation people of different religious persuasions were often seen as agitators to the social order and therefore it would not have been seen as anything out of the ordinary to show a Jew in what we would now construe as in a racist context as were the Catholics, during that period. The view that the 21st Century reader would have on matters would be different due to the diversity within society. People singled out for hatred and abuse would be seen now as victims worthy of greater understanding hence the commonly held view of valuing diversity as opposed to the 16th Century view of superstition, and stereotypical views of Jews when Christian (Protestant) views would be upheld as righteous over all others. The interconnection between religions would not be seen as worthy of comment.

 

Jews were historically able to lend money and charged interest (usury) which Christians were not allowed to do. This was deemed to be against the State, Family and Religion and was indeed a major reason why Jews were depicted as unfeeling devils. It therefore created the foundations on which racism could be built within the 11th and 12th centuries. We should consider, however, that Christian Europe would not have seen themselves as racist. Marlowe’s Jew of Malta depicts all religious zealots as fun characters living out prejudices worthy of caricature further emphasising society’s view of all religions at the time. As the 16th Century audience liked to have fun characters Jews could easily be portrayed as stereotypes to be poked fun at but this also extended to Muslims and Christians in Marlowe’s play The Jew of Malta.

 

The Merchant of Venice is a comedy and therefore Shakespeare’s audience would have expected him to have put the comic element into his Jewish character – Shylock. However, apart from Shylock, Portia’s suitors are from many different countries, and therefore the Prince of Morocco would have been a fitting victim of comedy. This is evident as when Portia tells Nerissa her maid, that “If he have the condition of a saint, and the complexion of a devil (dark skinned people were viewed as suspicious during Elizabethan times as fair skin was highly considered), I had rather he should shrive me than wive me�. However, despite the covert prejudice in her discussions with Nerissa, Portia tells Morrocco that he stands “as fair as any comer I have looked on yet� maintains the good grace of politeness towards her suitors like Morocco. This therefore shows that women were not expected to show outward signs of ridicule towards differences in people. This is in contrast to the men like Gratiano who displays overt racist hatred towards Shylock as when he says “A halter gratis, nothing else for God’s sake� answering for Antonio when Portia asks what mercy she should bestow on Shylock.

 

Shylock is first depicted by Launcelot as “The very devil incarnation� when he fights his conscience with regards to whether he should stay with the “fiend� or leave. Our views on Shylock, therefore are already coloured by other characters’ attitudes towards him. Launcelot’s conscience is represented as Christian courage fighting the Jewish “fiend�. A stoical Christian who must not run away but face his adversity in continuing to work for Shylock. Although Launcelot is a comic character he is also a satirical character as he encapsulates the serious issues in the play (i.e. Christian values versus Jewish traditions). Launcelot’s father, Gobbo, is used to heighten the prejudice we feel towards Shylock as he is poor and almost blind but brings a present for Shylock, despite the fact that we know that Launcelot is being “starved� in Shylock’s service. Christian generosity is used to highlight the tension the Elizabethan audience would feel towards a Jewish moneylender.

 

Antonio and Bassanio’s friendship is used to enhance the view that Christian’s help each other and that love for one another is always paramount even when money is involved, “he only loves the world for him�. In a modern day context it could be construed that Antonio and Bassanio have a great love for each other which transcends what a normal male relationship should be. To highlight this view of love and mercy Antonio tells Bassanio “Try what my credit can in Venice do that shall be racked even to the uttermost�. Antonio is willing to sacrifice his last penny to help Bassanio. It is their spiritual bond that runs through the play and this can be compared to the flesh bond that Shylock wants to uphold. When Shylock demands his pound of flesh, Bassanio asks Shylock “Do all men kill the things they do not love�. This is an attempt to make Shylock look into his conscience and in failing to do this shows that no mercy exists within him. Elizabethan audiences would see this as a manifestation of good versus evil.

 

Shakespeare introduces Shylock in his capacity of a hard headed moneylender. He enters the play as a businessman and almost immediately on granting 3,000 ducats to Antonio we learn of his hatred for Antonio and his desire for revenge for the wrongs that he feels Antonio has inflicted on him “If I can catch him once upon the hip, I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him�. Revenge is a feature that runs right through the play although Shakespeare did not want his villain to be beyond understanding and sympathy and although he is depicted early on as a manifestation of evil Shakespeare uses dramatic techniques to show a more human side to Shylock, as when Shylock famously tells Salerio of Antonio’s treatment towards him “He hath disgraced me, … laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains… and what’s his reason? I am a Jew�. Further sympathy can be felt towards Shylock when he knows that his daughter has robbed him even of his ring given to him by possibly Jessica’s mother “I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys�. Shakespeare uses metaphorical speech to allow us to see some human warmth within Shylock.

 

When we see how Antonio has treated Shylock there becomes a reason for his lack of humanity towards Antonio and Christians. Shylock’s speech is profuse with Old Testament references and Jewish language. Shylock refers to the Jews as “my tribe� and “our sacred nation�. The Elizabethan audience would have seen this as a reason to shout down and hurl abuse at this confrontational style of language. It would be against the softer, gentler language of the Christians and would therefore have excited thoughts and feelings against Shylock. Here Shakespeare does not only show the Christians as having different thoughts and values he also shows us that Shylock proudly emphasises his differences between them. However, there is an underlying theme of hypocrisy in the play because both Shylock and Antonio are out to make money and Venice at that time was a society which revolved around the making of money whether as a moneylender like Shylock or a merchant like Antonio.

 

To emphasise the gulf between the two religions Shylock also makes his own mocking comments about Christianity in a very direct way. He says of Antonio “I hate him for he is a Christian�. He tells Antonio “I’ll have my bond. I will not hear thee speak�. This shows his businesslike approach and his need for revenge as when he also says “I stand for judgement – answer shall I have it?� This language shows us that Shylock is enjoying, in a calculated way his hold over Antonio and has a dramatic and emotional impact which would have incited the audience against Shylock. Revenge would be frowned upon by the Elizabethan audience as being against the laws of Christian morality. He sees the Law as justice and justice that should not be tempered with mercy. This is the primitive Jew akin to the Pharisee adhering to the laws of Moses. Shakespeare and his audiences would see this as against the Christian laws of love and forgiveness. He does not falter in the face of the hardship that Antonio has encountered. The audience may well have seen this as Jesus alone when facing the Jewish mob before being condemned.

 

By creating this enormous gulf between the two characters, Shylock’s speech for equality and humanity has great dramatic effect in the play and at last the audience are allowed to feel sympathy, despite his villainy. Shylock makes reference to Antonio’s treatment of him in a beseeching speech “…laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains…�. This is the dramatic technique that Shakespeare uses to tip the audiences sympathy towards Shylock. There is now a reason for Shylock’s vindictive behaviour towards Antonio. Shylock also appeals to the Elizabethan Christians view of fairness “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands…..�. It is a simple speech, in prose, with great power but contrasts sharply in the play with verse which is used for love as in the casket scene and when Bassanio asks Antonio to help him which Shakespeare uses for dramatic effect. Having created a gulf between the two religions Shakespeare appeals to the audience to reconsider its views on Shylock and also maybe society’s treatment of Jews in general although it seems likely that he did want people to see that he was an unsavoury character.

 

The language Shylock uses with references to Jessica and Antonio is course and vindictive he tells Bassanio “Yes, to smell pork, to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into.� Shylock’s language pointedly expresses his hate for Christians. The smell of pigs and the eating of them conjures up the hatred of other religions and people. Shylock also uses lists to convey his frustration and hatred as when he scorns Antonio as a “bankrupt, a prodigal and a beggar�. This dramatic technique vividly highlights his hatred and would build up the dramatic tension for the audience’s prejudice towards him

 

However, this view is tempered by Shakespeare’s character of Jessica, Shylock’s daughter. When Launcelot takes his leave of Jessica when leaving her service he calls her “most beautiful pagan, most sweet Jew�. As it is common knowledge that Jessica is in love with Lorenzo she is not viewed in the same way as her father. The fact that Jessica is to convert to Christianity, the Elizabethan audience would see her as having been saved and would ultimately go to heaven something that in their view Shylock would not achieve by the fact that he is a Jew. Prejudice towards Shylock is further compounded when Jessica tells Launcelot “Our house is hell�. We know that not only is he a ruthless moneylender who is not to be trusted but to boot he has been a bad father. Jessica’s predicament shows her need to love and be loved; something that a Christian, Lorenzo, is able to do. The theme of hatred versus love and marriage is central to Jessica’s character within the play.

 

Shylock believes that if he is not granted justice in the courts, then the laws of Venice are worthless. The Duke asks Shylock “How shalt thou hope for mercy, rendering none?� Shylock views the laws of Venice as those of Moses, uncompromising to be carried out to the letter in demanding this he says “What judgement shall I dread, doing no wrong?� Even at the end he cannot see that there should be mercy in man’s actions. The audience would have viewed him as a condemned man in God’s eyes. However, the modern world would not have seen Shylock as in anyway particularly wrong as it is now viewed as appropriate and right if someone wants justice through the law.

 

Shylock leaves the play defeated. Shakespeare does not mention him in the final scene. Although he gave us justification to see that Shylock was unjustly treated he also shows that when you isolate yourself through lack of love you disintegrate not to be remembered in any especial way. Shylock did not conform to the rules laid down in Venetian Society or in those days what was viewed as morally correct in a Christian society. He did not love even his own daughter therefore whatever his persecution at the hands of the Venetians he did not love and therefore faded away.

 

It is this final subtle message at the end of the play that Shakespeare uses for the audience to question Shylock’s final fate, and draw their own conclusions about what happened to him, this message is extremely poignant when relating it to the question of whether the play is racist or not. It seems that through Shakespeare’s use of the audience it relates to a higher question of morality based around what happened to Shylock, the question is not now how Antonio can be saved and how Bassanio will complete the fairytale like ending, but whether Shylock’s fate as handed down by the Christians is justified or not, and whether it contradicts or compounds the overriding theme of Christian benevolence throughout the play. It is clear that the Elizabethan audience would not have seen Shakespeare’s treatment of Shylock as racist or prejudicial as they would only have historical views of the Jews as none lived in England at this time. It could also be said that the racism exists as much within Shylock for Christians as Christians towards Jews. However, Shakespeare appears to appeal to a Christian’s sense of humanity towards others who are different whilst at the same time sticking to the Elizabethan and historical view that Jews were in need of guidance through their lack of love and acceptance of Jesus’s teachings of love and mercy.

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salaams

 

whoa...guess u wont be needing my help here! i was pretty good at english but i barely scraped an A in this coursework (Merchant of Venice)! i think the only time i was awake was when we had to act it otherwise i was dead asleep or outside the classroom doing summat of my choice!

 

but anyways u've got bro GC's example!

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:D

 

Greek-Cypriot - :D lol.. :D

 

well, doesn't matter Zain.. handed it in, got my mark back!

 

:D everyone! :D

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:D

 

lol :D A* :D :D

Edited by Arwa

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Assalaamu 'alaikum,

 

Mashaa'Allah. Well done!

 

Wassalaam.

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Guest amani

:D

good mark ....Alhumdulillah :D

 

 

 

 

(swot :D )

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:D

 

hahah

 

:D a good mark.. :D

 

but I'm not swot... just got lot's of help from the net :D

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