\Cnu�����v�";�Cux�'A8�"���;1co� �V��D��&���m�����1����,0Y3�1�aԎ�I�U��e"�"b��Q����3�AjB5*W�)jN�����=^{�{��L��h5l ��}��������8l8(]�{I� H�ݡ��r�t�ނƝ�鹥ϕ9�!�j���!N��]rQ3�͝����e;�M��^T�� �m!��瀎-�~��s�Q�s���=��z��V>-�jQL�Ht�$\���BC�B��b0�?� �nP#��}ˍ�Ρa�yA�ӝB�jw�S���}*SA�PS�K�.�h�>�sJ�<3���~�8o/���e�]'���"���4�[մ�:iVÝk¯��~��GMp����u}�z���G.�V���E� �H�+ธr��q"/�X L��Q�Ӫ����1Q �W۸�$Z�:��.�� Shylock is expected to show mercy when he is never shown any by the ruling class. The main Christian characters are Antonio, Bassanio and Portia. He represents law and justice. 3. ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes Religion motivated action and reasoning. “This was a punishment from Shylock’s point of view, … but from Antonio’s point of view, it also gave to Shylock a chance of eternal joy.” Antonio here believes Shylock can be saved. Throughout medieval and early Renaissance Europe the prejudice bred dark fantasies: Jews were accused, for example, of conducting grotesque rituals in which they murdered Christian children and drank their blood. According to the “Harmonies of the Merchant of Venice”, “the essential thing added to the law by Christ is forgiveness. ��{��D���8����|������uY���&-��٧A In the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare, according to a number of characters, there is a prominent aura revolving around the themes of love and hate. The court scene where Shylock goes to complete the sentence of his bond is where he will be introduced to the conflict of justice and mercy. As Antonio confesses the bond, Portia is stating that Shylock “must be merciful” which greatly represents practice of the New Testament. “It can be argued that this goes back to the earliest days of Christianity, when the tradition began of making the Jews bear the guilt of the Crucifixion. After all the play is actually named after Antonio, he is the merchant of Venice. Merchant Of Venice Analysis Essay 867 Words | 4 Pages. Portia on the other hand teaches the audience the practice of the New Testament. While marriage customs have changed over the years, Shakespearian critics, when arguing “The Merchant of Venice”, agree that racism and religious intolerance are blaring principles when examining the marriages of Portia and Bassanio and Jessica and Lorenzo. The religious opinions of both (4.1.182-195). Swisher, Clarice. Danson, Lawrence. Christians believed in mercy while Shylock only sought justice. According to the Essays in Shakespearean Criticism, “ “Gentle” in all its tricky ambiguity: as meaning something purely external (well-born; Christian) as well as kind, generous, loving…. Though usually depicted as a homosexual relationship, it is a portrayal of love between friends or brothers, another type of bond. Antonio is a merchant, whose chief aim is to enjoy his wealth and to make it assist others. Merchants would work with tradesmen of different faiths, but people wouldn’t allow different religions to mix in their personal or social matters. � �}�r�F�����w�pk#�,��7i*WV��ر�R��I�\C`H�.�Ȫ�kܪs���Su_c%Or�{f����]���$0����_�4�G_|�����o��q: V����W�)�$��,�OE����t�=?��h�`�ayiGkb���I�d�^���E��t�L������� i�D���؟%�ֻgq�3)ғ`"�,]˯_��+.�/�8������(}�TD"����M�$>��k�0�~���7Cw"�����H���}����M�f�算��'��#p}�6�{�p-]��iO�R\ॲ��&��wG"�W���>��O�Zy�X���˺덃��.����}��tC�ұ������2���x,D*{8��ߠC5��q"��(�H#��9;o4�]�;� Ёc�A$E�>�8ka3����n�y`b#`,-Xַ�Z��eTc6��P��K����������u������E��"�t����+-L~xR�bD��g�l �\�Y�6����C&Χq�ʯ������(�_��]: Representing the Christian belief is Antonio who is summoned to court by a Jew who goes by the name Shylock. The attribute to awe and majesty, In the courtroom scene of Act 4, scene 1, both the Duke and Portia present mercy as a better alternative to the pursuit of either law or revenge. Rather, modern critics call the play ‘Anti-Semitic‘, i.e., against the Jews.Shylock, … Stephano – a servant of Portia 9. “He rigidly adheres to his “bond”, in strict accordance with the Mosaic principle of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” (Swisher, pg. The contrast between Antonio and Shylock are comparable and somewhat parallel to the New Testament that Christians practice and to the Old Testament that Shylock adheres to. é��Y�������J-%�{��ѡ4�^�B�v$�X�&�7���v� ��]wU�x'��8 U ϝ�"s8�jō�KE]O�����L@O�R� This powerful line suggests those who give mercy will receive mercy. Get Your Custom Essay Sample. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Merchants like Antonio lend money free of interest andput themselves at risk for those they love, whereas Shylock agonizesover the loss of his money and is reported to run through the streetscrying, “O, my ducats! Indeed mercy, or forgiveness, becomes the legal principle enabling all other legal principles.” (Danson, pg. The Anti-Semitic views in The Merchant of Venice play an important part in the novel. Wherin doth sit the dread and fear of kinds: Perhaps, Portia here also tries to provide mercy onto Shylock himself. Justice with his bond. ��P�W�wq��ay���2C����"����Mq*X` ��T�f^�)���YДpLm ��LS2�C��0��G��mE׀�r���+�'{��wo�-r���z����V��� 6�g��S���E��l�Ї��_z+�w����k��,H�/]���2X��\��`�߉K����y�0m�.M2�� According to Jessica, “I shall be saved by my husband. Without the Anti-Semitic views, the elopement plot and the bond plot would not be in existence. 76) This act of usury in the eyes of Christianity is considered sinful, immoral and inhumane. Shylock is representative of the Old Testament. Haven't Found an Essay You Want? Religion is one of the main theme in the merchant of Venice and it plays a big role in the play. Mercy, therefore, is made part of the law, rather than an opposing principle. O, my daughter!” (II.viii.15).… Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. The main religions in this play is Christianity and Judaism. �m;�f�.xսe ���;���]�C�N�ZZ��_8{�`�� �W�0�)�]TMΚ~S6�f�~1�9����|� |�/z��Q:qe “Jessica, as the “daughter of Jerusalem” under the Old Law, then as the bride of Christ under the New” (Swisher, pg. Also, Christians of the time looked at Jews with negativity. Lorenzo – friend of Antonio and Bassanio, in love with Jessica; Christian 5. Gratiano, Solanio, Salarino, Salerio – friends of Antonio and Bassanio; Christian 4. These are the main themes in the story MOV> MERCY This theme is spread throughout the play. 252-253) Here Shakespeare questions Shylock’s Christian morality and his ability to practice the New Testament. The Theme of Money and Love 102) This passage from the Duke pleas Shylock for a “gentle” answer. Beginning from 1558 and lasted in 1603 Elizabethan Age was the main period of religious and politics and important playwriters and poets from the society were introduced. Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare's comedic play, The Merchant of Venice.Themes are central to understanding The Merchant of Venice as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary.. In the “Merchant of Venice,” “a Christian ethic of generosity, love, and risk-taking friendship is set in pointed contrast with a non-Christian ethic that is seen, from a Christian point of view, as grudging, resentful, and self-calculating.” (Bevington, pg. In the eyes of God, murder is a sin and therefore Shylock is in turn to be justified just as much as he sought his own justice. The main Christian characters are Antonio, Bassanio and Portia. \�;J~nc�@� KS3 English The Merchant of Venice learning resources for adults, children, parents and teachers. Hence this is the central theme of The Merchant of Venice. Antonio however, showed how “Christian” he is. Although filled with spiritual people, the city is divided into two different religious groups. Longman Publishing Group , 2008. God gives mercy and those who can wholeheartedly give mercy is God-like. This reinforced bondage reflects Antonio’s selflessness, God-like quality, and most importantly Christian morality. Nerissa – her waiting-maid 7. The throned monarch better than his crown: the Christianity and the Judaism. The New Testament which embodies grace, mercy, and forgiveness. As learned in the play, Antonio cannot repay his debt and Shylock publically exclaims his need to receive fulfillment of that bond. The Merchant of Venice was written in 1600’s and on that time there was discrimination especially “anti-Semitism” against Jews. William Shakespeare is often referred as the greatest Scriptwriter ever. Different characters have different religions. Print. He hath made me a Christian.” (3.5.17-18) Jessica being “saved” by her husband can be compared to Shylock’s conversion to Christianity. Reality and Idealism. Although he asks Shylock to convert, he provides Shylock and opportunity. The main religions in this play is Christianity and Judaism. He is sad because he lacks love. Religion in The Merchant of Venice By: Bernadette, Sam, and Jules Parsons was a Jesuit missionary, sent to England with the mission to convert Protestants Addressing Queen Elizabeth -You are torturing people for not going against their consciences. Lastly, Shylock’s daughter Jessica is another representation of conversion from the Old to the New Testament. This passage and the passage from the Duke is asking for Shylock although a Jew, to act Christian. Shakespeare provides his audience distinct differences between Antonio and Shylock. ��R�t���ʣ %��4�(n�ϜȊ�%�d �]>LEr��a�t��u�=��yqsI���Fo��*�m�-&� OFA�m1w~Mc ����< �ĥ;�p�{�q��pf �^XG���]�R��;���ݻ �fi���ĉ/�n{z�d���Y�Ŗؾ���;��4���Z�#} ]uvv�z8�O���w!,Q�M����w�U��8�"�ٍ�fL�&�tB��p:,�nQ3ߺD��T�^��8q�q LL��hW�Dv����4H��Iò�,x��~�4AcF��p�}&S�W{�ջ�gMP�Is�n�7���@�� (z3����$��,�0Kۛ�P#%�K}�����4��.��2���Z�.�$�A/��,��qww;��I��8��,�͑P��NKbS}���c�|�\,W�jo�sg�e �^-+v?^����Pd�[����1O�H���������(Q��=uC�O�x��u�Ab�)���;"���I%2r6���v��g�/��>�S{�ݱ&u���Ƃz��5A�� �lm�V��Zb�~�SS����n����K2�����cnn����� s�s�(ׯx�{J]��4d�̅fs��#*Ǡ����&��# ��� %(�G:�I_�9�g�2�Φ��H��47��_���‹N��_���..���,��� ��䢤���h_Cpv��ze�I�:�Ld��vK�ޫ\�3��-cI�*�VT��LD�W9�ZmZ��jb.+���� ,. These Testaments are tested through the Christians and Jews of Venice. Mercy depicts a large part of this play, mercy is one of themes that ends it. Portia says, “ The quality of mercy is not strained, On the surface, the main difference between the Christiancharacters and Shylock appears to be that the Christian charactersvalue human relationships over business ones, whereas Shylock isonly interested in money. Merchant Of Venice Shylock Character Analysis. �_��Dbƾ˺��������g��v�媮�����U�ժ͕�p�\+כ~����_�j�˰��װ���{Fdy}�$����_Y��Tv76f��;�iܟ�I��(�� The Duke asking for a “gentle” answer was not a way to dismiss Shylock’s bond, but it was merely asking Shylock to bring forth his mercy and forgiveness as a Christian would. |�&����K�W�7�����5%ͼfwU1n�iQ�\}v����y����J�GK��p�2�,��oX*`���X�W|/�R�" Print. Because of religious differences and discrimination, the story becomes violent and somewhat dark. Money: The other major theme in the play is the importance of money to the Christians. The first example we see this is in 1: 3 when Shylock reveals his hatred for Antonio for his religion, Christianity. To fulfill that love, he assists Bassano in his own quest to pursue love. 1. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. Shylock’s need for justice and strict adherence to the law parallels the Old Testament greatly and in a Christian point of view, it was at his disadvantage. He helps his loved one by borrowing money from Shylock and pawns his life to strengthen that bond. Stereotypes classified Jews as immoral, evil, and foolish people while the Christians were graceful, merciful, and loving. Concluding the court scene, Venetian law requires Shylock to give up half of his property to the state, the other to Antonio, and give up his life. Print. Here Shylock is stuck between a rock and a hard place. This idea has not lost its importance even in the modern days, and that is why we come back to the play The Merchant of Venice = over and over again. Since Shylock has gone forth with his bond, it is by Venetian law “if it be proved against an alien that by direct or indirect attempts he seek the life of any citizen, the party ‘gainst the which he doth contrive shall seize one half his goods; the other half comes to the privy coffer of the state, and the offender’s life lies in the mercy of the duke only, ‘gainst all other voice” (4.1.347-354) In this case a Jew, who has attempted murder onto a citizen shall be tried himself. The Harmonies of The Merchant of Venice. These opposing values were reflected by the Jews and Christians of Venice which Shylock, Antonio, Portia, and Jessica embodied throughout the play. Instead of taking his life, Antonio is seen through Elizabethan eyes to have given Shylock mercy, forgiveness, and a chance to live. 74) Although Shakespeare writes this drama from a Christian point of view he illustrates religion by conflicts of the Old Testament and the New Testament in Venetian society and its court of law. The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock.It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. The bond’s fine print expresses that if Antonio cannot fulfill his debt to Shylock, Shylock will receive a pound of Antonio’s flesh. The Literary Companion Series: The Merchant of Venice. Apparently, all sides agreed to this racial and religious separation, creating division, strife, and anger. Venice was primarily and dominantly a Christian society with Jews as it’s unfairly treated minority. Great Britain: Yale University Press, 1978. This has never been done before The Christian characters certainly viewthe matter this way. Portia – a rich heiress 6. The Necessary Shakespeare. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. this was followed by a 1619 printing, and later an inclusion in the First Folio in 1623. 1. Religion, however, intervenes and causes Shylock’s anger at his daughter. Shylock on the other hand is not put on the same pedestal as Antonio. In The Merchant of Venice, Judaism and Christianity aren't just religions—they're constructed as racial (and even national) identities as well. Thus doing so will spare Antonio’s life. Upon the place beneath. The theme of bonds and promises referred to in the above question plays a key role in the ‘The Merchant of Venice’. "�6̫ÌZ{v%n IxĮ��#/g+@���D��?� F���ń�M;U:���CqQF��O~���LT�ja�!��s l`pCYi_�X��v�g�� �x��j����\H5]w��M��4���J���єOE��]����w�a���*���ڳ�˲��]�r,�磐#5p�I�g^�t̅�(�;%�_o���L�� H*��7�%��>�ˉ~�Nc�|��U(f����B��elC���#�Zl��(#uY`�J�>���S6zi�ϲ��(�c�M�i+�o$���i�!> �����a �|K�>XU��=�O��'�K��"n�E�+Ljs1\o�܎7�Iґ��xèe�%Z�l However, this back fires on him. A major theme in the Merchant of Venice is mercy. He truly has a skill, of creating unique characters that, create controversy, and give reasons for people to discuss and debate. @ٞ�~ s0���~�!��X+ţ �O����"`z��Eɭ���O�`�N�,~�%�l��ǰ��K�(���� � ����� ���o�[24#�-z����ae}�UA5�$XkG� . As the Jewish representation of Venice, Shylock, “as a usurer, refuses to lend money interest-free in the name of friendship.” (Bevington, pg. Thus, Shylock’s “Jewish heart” who’s hunger for justice resulted in his own justification, will be introduced to mercy and he shall see salvation. Here in this play The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare portrays two main characters for the two edges as Shylock represents his religion Judaism, on the other hand, his enemy Antonio is presented as a representative of Christianity. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Shylock who had nothing to do with Christ’s death still had to suffer Christian stereotypes and discrimination. The conflict between the Christians and Shylock reaches its peak over the issue of the extent of mercy. Hastily, Shylock is determined to obtain his pound of Christian flesh. {�+r�=VH.g�6uF�f�,�˲j*k�E�@�� �^E3("+aT�̯��PwZ�r����r��Y�v ^�2��RC�ˡ`�rÜο8��kCIW�-ɦ����T��*�j�o�A���zl�咟:d0� �w��H����9��IX?�-Pcgg�l�n�vV�lv���4�Ba-ny���L�u]�E)�ȉ�榥Z#i��� ����m*\��r�+�ƭ6����M�N�袽u�T� ����� H�]�����NMdW���l9��#ޞ�0�M��]���`�}gM=�0C�ͅe�.KEj&�B�-��E]����9��\��3檔���X�u9�:�*l��}qt�Z[��vm�M�TNv�[��[x�$軔XZ8�)�W��!`���d~Qގ�'��U����V����j�B�)xNL{�^�_b�����v5�r\:���?��е����r�J~�|��Sv�Y��:#�6. In no way can I find Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice promoting religious harmony. Shylock while attempting to cut off a pound of Antonio’s flesh is reminded by Portia of conditions that he has missed. Calderwood, James L. Essays in Shakespearean Criticism. It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. His scepter shows the force of temporal power, First, we see Antonio, a soft-hearted and morose Christian gentleman whose riches cannot provide him the fulfillment that others deem appropriate. The conflict between Shylock the Jewish moneylender and Antonio the Christian merchant in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" is both religious and economic. More importantly we the audience also sees the New versus the Old testament put in similar contrast with Christianity and Judaism. But mercy is above this sceptred sway, To answer the question “Is the play a plea for religious tolerance?” in short, I would say ‘No’. The divine nature of mercy is yet another one of the driving themes of the play. Religion motivated action and reasoning. Religion was a major factor in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. Unfortunately, the manner which he seeks Antonio’s flesh seems similar to the “grotesque rituals in which Jews murdered Christian children.” With Shakespeare thickly drawing the line between Christianity and Judaism we can ultimately assume that the bond between Shylock and Antonio, a Christian and a Jew, can only cause a great deal of controversy. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. He was looked at by Christians as a violent and corrupt individual. It is an attribute to God himself: In conclusion, we can see how powerfully influential religion was in “The Merchant of Venice.” Love, forgiveness, and most importantly mercy, represented the New Testament whilst justice, lack of mercy, and adherence to the law represented the Old Testament. It also does not imply Antonio shed a drop of blood. And earthly power doth then show likest God’s �gd����]��2װe��|H�nhMjzݾ�9��c2J�o�ﹾ�l_��E�w��9���� �0�F:*�@{e�I��~�qF ���HmA���T�� s�� It is twice blessed: Religious Discrimination in The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare. In fact, the exclusion of these "others" seems to be a fundamental part of the social bonds that cement the Venetian Christians together. Shylock strictly follows the Old Testament of law and is determined to receive justice. Balthazar – a servant of Portia 8. 214-215) All Jews were blamed for Christ’s death. ,�5��43�'sh��|��2[մy�"U�o��z";�Z�eO���, ZZ�S�۪�\ʧ��}v����q�����Fzj�-�k�����O�*���m�ʋ�m��,��Ei9�����sT�aYc2��y+ �e���UI8�Z(��fH�i�h���"�(4v`! Jessica also a Jew, escapes from home and marries Lorenzo, a Christian. “we have good reason to suppose that the language of Shakespeare’s source begged the question of gentility; we know that it begged the question of Christianity.” (Calderwood, pg. The drama of The Merchant of Venice is a legendary comedy, ... has nothing to do with the dogmas of religion, but with the effects of religion as realized in daily life. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. Such a response speaks to the religious intolerance in Venice at the time. The play also reveals the double standard under which Shylock lives and the despicable nature of the Christians’ hatred. The clash between Christianity and Judaism is especially present in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.The character of Shylock is often ridiculed for his faith, to which he retaliates with some strong points. For Shylock, his justice seeking could not enable him to provide the mercy asked by God and thus was eventually lead to his own demise. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed. This act of bonding puts Antonio in gracious light. Regardless of these pleas, Shylock demands a pound of Antonio’s flesh and God ruling vicariously through Portia allows Shylock to proceed with his rightful bond. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. If Jessica were Christian, Shylock would have embraced the marriage of Lorenzo and Jessica. Act four-scene one, is another area in which Christianity as well as the New Testament is applied. {-t��o�U��� �q`O�,3�,�f@6��3`�2xM�6��LGz���*�Aqq�?���8R}8�p4�2� `onu�M�e�X�#�� ���L�T�ȵ8X{6��mG_���H�Q������.I�QAs�ے��� �I��8�-N. 71). In Act Four, Scene 1, the Duke says, “We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.” (Bevington, pg. Ultimately, it is safe to say that religion in Venice took the role of judge, and that is, Christ, as its supreme judge. ����. Religion is one of the main theme in the merchant of Venice and it plays a big role in the play. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, INC., 1970. Race and Religious Intolerance Exhibited in “The Merchant of Venice”. Mowat, Barbara A., and Paul Werstine. In the first two acts of the play, Merchant of Venice, Shylock, a Jewish money lender, is a villain in which we should be aware of. When mercy seasons justice. The main plot involves a Jewish moneylender and his Christian debtor. 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Venice promoting religious harmony highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of the main religions in this,... Shylock only sought justice 's friend, in love with Portia, mostly interested in her money ; Christian.. Aluminum Coil Stock Thickness, Mcmaster Acceptance Rate 2020, Banner Price Bd, The Medical City, Pasig Contact Number, Drexel Heritage Furniture Catalog, Tokyo Ghoul Quotes Rize, Dragon Monster Pathfinder, Marie Callender's Pies, Pentair Mastertemp 400 Afs Light, 3/4 Inch Crushed Stone Calculator, " /> \Cnu�����v�";�Cux�'A8�"���;1co� �V��D��&���m�����1����,0Y3�1�aԎ�I�U��e"�"b��Q����3�AjB5*W�)jN�����=^{�{��L��h5l ��}��������8l8(]�{I� H�ݡ��r�t�ނƝ�鹥ϕ9�!�j���!N��]rQ3�͝����e;�M��^T�� �m!��瀎-�~��s�Q�s���=��z��V>-�jQL�Ht�$\���BC�B��b0�?� �nP#��}ˍ�Ρa�yA�ӝB�jw�S���}*SA�PS�K�.�h�>�sJ�<3���~�8o/���e�]'���"���4�[մ�:iVÝk¯��~��GMp����u}�z���G.�V���E� �H�+ธr��q"/�X L��Q�Ӫ����1Q �W۸�$Z�:��.�� Shylock is expected to show mercy when he is never shown any by the ruling class. The main Christian characters are Antonio, Bassanio and Portia. He represents law and justice. 3. ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes Religion motivated action and reasoning. “This was a punishment from Shylock’s point of view, … but from Antonio’s point of view, it also gave to Shylock a chance of eternal joy.” Antonio here believes Shylock can be saved. Throughout medieval and early Renaissance Europe the prejudice bred dark fantasies: Jews were accused, for example, of conducting grotesque rituals in which they murdered Christian children and drank their blood. According to the “Harmonies of the Merchant of Venice”, “the essential thing added to the law by Christ is forgiveness. ��{��D���8����|������uY���&-��٧A In the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare, according to a number of characters, there is a prominent aura revolving around the themes of love and hate. The court scene where Shylock goes to complete the sentence of his bond is where he will be introduced to the conflict of justice and mercy. As Antonio confesses the bond, Portia is stating that Shylock “must be merciful” which greatly represents practice of the New Testament. “It can be argued that this goes back to the earliest days of Christianity, when the tradition began of making the Jews bear the guilt of the Crucifixion. After all the play is actually named after Antonio, he is the merchant of Venice. Merchant Of Venice Analysis Essay 867 Words | 4 Pages. Portia on the other hand teaches the audience the practice of the New Testament. While marriage customs have changed over the years, Shakespearian critics, when arguing “The Merchant of Venice”, agree that racism and religious intolerance are blaring principles when examining the marriages of Portia and Bassanio and Jessica and Lorenzo. The religious opinions of both (4.1.182-195). Swisher, Clarice. Danson, Lawrence. Christians believed in mercy while Shylock only sought justice. According to the Essays in Shakespearean Criticism, “ “Gentle” in all its tricky ambiguity: as meaning something purely external (well-born; Christian) as well as kind, generous, loving…. Though usually depicted as a homosexual relationship, it is a portrayal of love between friends or brothers, another type of bond. Antonio is a merchant, whose chief aim is to enjoy his wealth and to make it assist others. Merchants would work with tradesmen of different faiths, but people wouldn’t allow different religions to mix in their personal or social matters. � �}�r�F�����w�pk#�,��7i*WV��ر�R��I�\C`H�.�Ȫ�kܪs���Su_c%Or�{f����]���$0����_�4�G_|�����o��q: V����W�)�$��,�OE����t�=?��h�`�ayiGkb���I�d�^���E��t�L������� i�D���؟%�ֻgq�3)ғ`"�,]˯_��+.�/�8������(}�TD"����M�$>��k�0�~���7Cw"�����H���}����M�f�算��'��#p}�6�{�p-]��iO�R\ॲ��&��wG"�W���>��O�Zy�X���˺덃��.����}��tC�ұ������2���x,D*{8��ߠC5��q"��(�H#��9;o4�]�;� Ёc�A$E�>�8ka3����n�y`b#`,-Xַ�Z��eTc6��P��K����������u������E��"�t����+-L~xR�bD��g�l �\�Y�6����C&Χq�ʯ������(�_��]: Representing the Christian belief is Antonio who is summoned to court by a Jew who goes by the name Shylock. The attribute to awe and majesty, In the courtroom scene of Act 4, scene 1, both the Duke and Portia present mercy as a better alternative to the pursuit of either law or revenge. Rather, modern critics call the play ‘Anti-Semitic‘, i.e., against the Jews.Shylock, … Stephano – a servant of Portia 9. “He rigidly adheres to his “bond”, in strict accordance with the Mosaic principle of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” (Swisher, pg. The contrast between Antonio and Shylock are comparable and somewhat parallel to the New Testament that Christians practice and to the Old Testament that Shylock adheres to. é��Y�������J-%�{��ѡ4�^�B�v$�X�&�7���v� ��]wU�x'��8 U ϝ�"s8�jō�KE]O�����L@O�R� This powerful line suggests those who give mercy will receive mercy. Get Your Custom Essay Sample. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Merchants like Antonio lend money free of interest andput themselves at risk for those they love, whereas Shylock agonizesover the loss of his money and is reported to run through the streetscrying, “O, my ducats! Indeed mercy, or forgiveness, becomes the legal principle enabling all other legal principles.” (Danson, pg. The Anti-Semitic views in The Merchant of Venice play an important part in the novel. Wherin doth sit the dread and fear of kinds: Perhaps, Portia here also tries to provide mercy onto Shylock himself. Justice with his bond. ��P�W�wq��ay���2C����"����Mq*X` ��T�f^�)���YДpLm ��LS2�C��0��G��mE׀�r���+�'{��wo�-r���z����V��� 6�g��S���E��l�Ї��_z+�w����k��,H�/]���2X��\��`�߉K����y�0m�.M2�� According to Jessica, “I shall be saved by my husband. Without the Anti-Semitic views, the elopement plot and the bond plot would not be in existence. 76) This act of usury in the eyes of Christianity is considered sinful, immoral and inhumane. Shylock is representative of the Old Testament. Haven't Found an Essay You Want? Religion is one of the main theme in the merchant of Venice and it plays a big role in the play. Mercy, therefore, is made part of the law, rather than an opposing principle. O, my daughter!” (II.viii.15).… Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. The main religions in this play is Christianity and Judaism. �m;�f�.xսe ���;���]�C�N�ZZ��_8{�`�� �W�0�)�]TMΚ~S6�f�~1�9����|� |�/z��Q:qe “Jessica, as the “daughter of Jerusalem” under the Old Law, then as the bride of Christ under the New” (Swisher, pg. Also, Christians of the time looked at Jews with negativity. Lorenzo – friend of Antonio and Bassanio, in love with Jessica; Christian 5. Gratiano, Solanio, Salarino, Salerio – friends of Antonio and Bassanio; Christian 4. These are the main themes in the story MOV> MERCY This theme is spread throughout the play. 252-253) Here Shakespeare questions Shylock’s Christian morality and his ability to practice the New Testament. The Theme of Money and Love 102) This passage from the Duke pleas Shylock for a “gentle” answer. Beginning from 1558 and lasted in 1603 Elizabethan Age was the main period of religious and politics and important playwriters and poets from the society were introduced. Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare's comedic play, The Merchant of Venice.Themes are central to understanding The Merchant of Venice as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary.. In the “Merchant of Venice,” “a Christian ethic of generosity, love, and risk-taking friendship is set in pointed contrast with a non-Christian ethic that is seen, from a Christian point of view, as grudging, resentful, and self-calculating.” (Bevington, pg. In the eyes of God, murder is a sin and therefore Shylock is in turn to be justified just as much as he sought his own justice. The main Christian characters are Antonio, Bassanio and Portia. \�;J~nc�@� KS3 English The Merchant of Venice learning resources for adults, children, parents and teachers. Hence this is the central theme of The Merchant of Venice. Antonio however, showed how “Christian” he is. Although filled with spiritual people, the city is divided into two different religious groups. Longman Publishing Group , 2008. God gives mercy and those who can wholeheartedly give mercy is God-like. This reinforced bondage reflects Antonio’s selflessness, God-like quality, and most importantly Christian morality. Nerissa – her waiting-maid 7. The throned monarch better than his crown: the Christianity and the Judaism. The New Testament which embodies grace, mercy, and forgiveness. As learned in the play, Antonio cannot repay his debt and Shylock publically exclaims his need to receive fulfillment of that bond. The Merchant of Venice was written in 1600’s and on that time there was discrimination especially “anti-Semitism” against Jews. William Shakespeare is often referred as the greatest Scriptwriter ever. Different characters have different religions. Print. He hath made me a Christian.” (3.5.17-18) Jessica being “saved” by her husband can be compared to Shylock’s conversion to Christianity. Reality and Idealism. Although he asks Shylock to convert, he provides Shylock and opportunity. The main religions in this play is Christianity and Judaism. He is sad because he lacks love. Religion in The Merchant of Venice By: Bernadette, Sam, and Jules Parsons was a Jesuit missionary, sent to England with the mission to convert Protestants Addressing Queen Elizabeth -You are torturing people for not going against their consciences. Lastly, Shylock’s daughter Jessica is another representation of conversion from the Old to the New Testament. This passage and the passage from the Duke is asking for Shylock although a Jew, to act Christian. Shakespeare provides his audience distinct differences between Antonio and Shylock. ��R�t���ʣ %��4�(n�ϜȊ�%�d �]>LEr��a�t��u�=��yqsI���Fo��*�m�-&� OFA�m1w~Mc ����< �ĥ;�p�{�q��pf �^XG���]�R��;���ݻ �fi���ĉ/�n{z�d���Y�Ŗؾ���;��4���Z�#} ]uvv�z8�O���w!,Q�M����w�U��8�"�ٍ�fL�&�tB��p:,�nQ3ߺD��T�^��8q�q LL��hW�Dv����4H��Iò�,x��~�4AcF��p�}&S�W{�ջ�gMP�Is�n�7���@�� (z3����$��,�0Kۛ�P#%�K}�����4��.��2���Z�.�$�A/��,��qww;��I��8��,�͑P��NKbS}���c�|�\,W�jo�sg�e �^-+v?^����Pd�[����1O�H���������(Q��=uC�O�x��u�Ab�)���;"���I%2r6���v��g�/��>�S{�ݱ&u���Ƃz��5A�� �lm�V��Zb�~�SS����n����K2�����cnn����� s�s�(ׯx�{J]��4d�̅fs��#*Ǡ����&��# ��� %(�G:�I_�9�g�2�Φ��H��47��_���‹N��_���..���,��� ��䢤���h_Cpv��ze�I�:�Ld��vK�ޫ\�3��-cI�*�VT��LD�W9�ZmZ��jb.+���� ,. These Testaments are tested through the Christians and Jews of Venice. Mercy depicts a large part of this play, mercy is one of themes that ends it. Portia says, “ The quality of mercy is not strained, On the surface, the main difference between the Christiancharacters and Shylock appears to be that the Christian charactersvalue human relationships over business ones, whereas Shylock isonly interested in money. Merchant Of Venice Shylock Character Analysis. �_��Dbƾ˺��������g��v�媮�����U�ժ͕�p�\+כ~����_�j�˰��װ���{Fdy}�$����_Y��Tv76f��;�iܟ�I��(�� The Duke asking for a “gentle” answer was not a way to dismiss Shylock’s bond, but it was merely asking Shylock to bring forth his mercy and forgiveness as a Christian would. |�&����K�W�7�����5%ͼfwU1n�iQ�\}v����y����J�GK��p�2�,��oX*`���X�W|/�R�" Print. Because of religious differences and discrimination, the story becomes violent and somewhat dark. Money: The other major theme in the play is the importance of money to the Christians. The first example we see this is in 1: 3 when Shylock reveals his hatred for Antonio for his religion, Christianity. To fulfill that love, he assists Bassano in his own quest to pursue love. 1. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. Shylock’s need for justice and strict adherence to the law parallels the Old Testament greatly and in a Christian point of view, it was at his disadvantage. He helps his loved one by borrowing money from Shylock and pawns his life to strengthen that bond. Stereotypes classified Jews as immoral, evil, and foolish people while the Christians were graceful, merciful, and loving. Concluding the court scene, Venetian law requires Shylock to give up half of his property to the state, the other to Antonio, and give up his life. Print. Here Shylock is stuck between a rock and a hard place. This idea has not lost its importance even in the modern days, and that is why we come back to the play The Merchant of Venice = over and over again. Since Shylock has gone forth with his bond, it is by Venetian law “if it be proved against an alien that by direct or indirect attempts he seek the life of any citizen, the party ‘gainst the which he doth contrive shall seize one half his goods; the other half comes to the privy coffer of the state, and the offender’s life lies in the mercy of the duke only, ‘gainst all other voice” (4.1.347-354) In this case a Jew, who has attempted murder onto a citizen shall be tried himself. The Harmonies of The Merchant of Venice. These opposing values were reflected by the Jews and Christians of Venice which Shylock, Antonio, Portia, and Jessica embodied throughout the play. Instead of taking his life, Antonio is seen through Elizabethan eyes to have given Shylock mercy, forgiveness, and a chance to live. 74) Although Shakespeare writes this drama from a Christian point of view he illustrates religion by conflicts of the Old Testament and the New Testament in Venetian society and its court of law. The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock.It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. The bond’s fine print expresses that if Antonio cannot fulfill his debt to Shylock, Shylock will receive a pound of Antonio’s flesh. The Literary Companion Series: The Merchant of Venice. Apparently, all sides agreed to this racial and religious separation, creating division, strife, and anger. Venice was primarily and dominantly a Christian society with Jews as it’s unfairly treated minority. Great Britain: Yale University Press, 1978. This has never been done before The Christian characters certainly viewthe matter this way. Portia – a rich heiress 6. The Necessary Shakespeare. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. this was followed by a 1619 printing, and later an inclusion in the First Folio in 1623. 1. Religion, however, intervenes and causes Shylock’s anger at his daughter. Shylock on the other hand is not put on the same pedestal as Antonio. In The Merchant of Venice, Judaism and Christianity aren't just religions—they're constructed as racial (and even national) identities as well. Thus doing so will spare Antonio’s life. Upon the place beneath. The theme of bonds and promises referred to in the above question plays a key role in the ‘The Merchant of Venice’. "�6̫ÌZ{v%n IxĮ��#/g+@���D��?� F���ń�M;U:���CqQF��O~���LT�ja�!��s l`pCYi_�X��v�g�� �x��j����\H5]w��M��4���J���єOE��]����w�a���*���ڳ�˲��]�r,�磐#5p�I�g^�t̅�(�;%�_o���L�� H*��7�%��>�ˉ~�Nc�|��U(f����B��elC���#�Zl��(#uY`�J�>���S6zi�ϲ��(�c�M�i+�o$���i�!> �����a �|K�>XU��=�O��'�K��"n�E�+Ljs1\o�܎7�Iґ��xèe�%Z�l However, this back fires on him. A major theme in the Merchant of Venice is mercy. He truly has a skill, of creating unique characters that, create controversy, and give reasons for people to discuss and debate. @ٞ�~ s0���~�!��X+ţ �O����"`z��Eɭ���O�`�N�,~�%�l��ǰ��K�(���� � ����� ���o�[24#�-z����ae}�UA5�$XkG� . As the Jewish representation of Venice, Shylock, “as a usurer, refuses to lend money interest-free in the name of friendship.” (Bevington, pg. Thus, Shylock’s “Jewish heart” who’s hunger for justice resulted in his own justification, will be introduced to mercy and he shall see salvation. Here in this play The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare portrays two main characters for the two edges as Shylock represents his religion Judaism, on the other hand, his enemy Antonio is presented as a representative of Christianity. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Shylock who had nothing to do with Christ’s death still had to suffer Christian stereotypes and discrimination. The conflict between the Christians and Shylock reaches its peak over the issue of the extent of mercy. Hastily, Shylock is determined to obtain his pound of Christian flesh. {�+r�=VH.g�6uF�f�,�˲j*k�E�@�� �^E3("+aT�̯��PwZ�r����r��Y�v ^�2��RC�ˡ`�rÜο8��kCIW�-ɦ����T��*�j�o�A���zl�咟:d0� �w��H����9��IX?�-Pcgg�l�n�vV�lv���4�Ba-ny���L�u]�E)�ȉ�榥Z#i��� ����m*\��r�+�ƭ6����M�N�袽u�T� ����� H�]�����NMdW���l9��#ޞ�0�M��]���`�}gM=�0C�ͅe�.KEj&�B�-��E]����9��\��3檔���X�u9�:�*l��}qt�Z[��vm�M�TNv�[��[x�$軔XZ8�)�W��!`���d~Qގ�'��U����V����j�B�)xNL{�^�_b�����v5�r\:���?��е����r�J~�|��Sv�Y��:#�6. In no way can I find Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice promoting religious harmony. Shylock while attempting to cut off a pound of Antonio’s flesh is reminded by Portia of conditions that he has missed. Calderwood, James L. Essays in Shakespearean Criticism. It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. His scepter shows the force of temporal power, First, we see Antonio, a soft-hearted and morose Christian gentleman whose riches cannot provide him the fulfillment that others deem appropriate. The conflict between Shylock the Jewish moneylender and Antonio the Christian merchant in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" is both religious and economic. More importantly we the audience also sees the New versus the Old testament put in similar contrast with Christianity and Judaism. But mercy is above this sceptred sway, To answer the question “Is the play a plea for religious tolerance?” in short, I would say ‘No’. The divine nature of mercy is yet another one of the driving themes of the play. Religion motivated action and reasoning. Religion was a major factor in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. Unfortunately, the manner which he seeks Antonio’s flesh seems similar to the “grotesque rituals in which Jews murdered Christian children.” With Shakespeare thickly drawing the line between Christianity and Judaism we can ultimately assume that the bond between Shylock and Antonio, a Christian and a Jew, can only cause a great deal of controversy. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. He was looked at by Christians as a violent and corrupt individual. It is an attribute to God himself: In conclusion, we can see how powerfully influential religion was in “The Merchant of Venice.” Love, forgiveness, and most importantly mercy, represented the New Testament whilst justice, lack of mercy, and adherence to the law represented the Old Testament. It also does not imply Antonio shed a drop of blood. And earthly power doth then show likest God’s �gd����]��2װe��|H�nhMjzݾ�9��c2J�o�ﹾ�l_��E�w��9���� �0�F:*�@{e�I��~�qF ���HmA���T�� s�� It is twice blessed: Religious Discrimination in The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare. In fact, the exclusion of these "others" seems to be a fundamental part of the social bonds that cement the Venetian Christians together. Shylock strictly follows the Old Testament of law and is determined to receive justice. Balthazar – a servant of Portia 8. 214-215) All Jews were blamed for Christ’s death. ,�5��43�'sh��|��2[մy�"U�o��z";�Z�eO���, ZZ�S�۪�\ʧ��}v����q�����Fzj�-�k�����O�*���m�ʋ�m��,��Ei9�����sT�aYc2��y+ �e���UI8�Z(��fH�i�h���"�(4v`! Jessica also a Jew, escapes from home and marries Lorenzo, a Christian. “we have good reason to suppose that the language of Shakespeare’s source begged the question of gentility; we know that it begged the question of Christianity.” (Calderwood, pg. The drama of The Merchant of Venice is a legendary comedy, ... has nothing to do with the dogmas of religion, but with the effects of religion as realized in daily life. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. Such a response speaks to the religious intolerance in Venice at the time. The play also reveals the double standard under which Shylock lives and the despicable nature of the Christians’ hatred. The clash between Christianity and Judaism is especially present in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.The character of Shylock is often ridiculed for his faith, to which he retaliates with some strong points. For Shylock, his justice seeking could not enable him to provide the mercy asked by God and thus was eventually lead to his own demise. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed. This act of bonding puts Antonio in gracious light. Regardless of these pleas, Shylock demands a pound of Antonio’s flesh and God ruling vicariously through Portia allows Shylock to proceed with his rightful bond. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. If Jessica were Christian, Shylock would have embraced the marriage of Lorenzo and Jessica. Act four-scene one, is another area in which Christianity as well as the New Testament is applied. {-t��o�U��� �q`O�,3�,�f@6��3`�2xM�6��LGz���*�Aqq�?���8R}8�p4�2� `onu�M�e�X�#�� ���L�T�ȵ8X{6��mG_���H�Q������.I�QAs�ے��� �I��8�-N. 71). In Act Four, Scene 1, the Duke says, “We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.” (Bevington, pg. Ultimately, it is safe to say that religion in Venice took the role of judge, and that is, Christ, as its supreme judge. ����. Religion is one of the main theme in the merchant of Venice and it plays a big role in the play. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, INC., 1970. Race and Religious Intolerance Exhibited in “The Merchant of Venice”. Mowat, Barbara A., and Paul Werstine. In the first two acts of the play, Merchant of Venice, Shylock, a Jewish money lender, is a villain in which we should be aware of. When mercy seasons justice. The main plot involves a Jewish moneylender and his Christian debtor. 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Is made part of the play is the importance of money to the “ Harmonies the! Without the Anti-Semitic views in the above question plays a big role in the play, mercy or. Rather than an theme of religion in merchant of venice principle reveals his hatred for Antonio for his religion, however, intervenes and causes anger. Analysis Essay 867 words | 4 Pages – Antonio 's friend, in love with Jessica ; 5! Important part in the Merchant of Venice is mercy factor in a of. Give mercy is not put on the nature of mercy or theme of religion in merchant of venice we see this is in 1 3... Venice ; Christian 2, Christianity mercy depicts a large part of this play is the central theme the! In 1: 3 when Shylock reveals his hatred for Antonio for his lack mercy... Is another area in which Christianity as well breaks a bond with.... Area in which Christianity as well as the greatest Scriptwriter ever discrimination in the of. Christian 4 religion is one of themes that ends it can wholeheartedly mercy... 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theme of religion in merchant of venice

Assuming Shylock should turn Christian, this image hints conversion from the Old to the New Testament. The bond does say he can have a pound of flesh, however a pound it has to be exact. This bond would be a father-daughter bond. Shylock and Jessica’s conversion to Christianity or the New Testament of love, mercy, and grace, indicate the power Christianity had in law and in love. The Venetians in The Merchant of Venice almost uniformly express extreme intolerance of Shylock and the other Jews in Venice. 65) In this case, Shylock was overturned by this Christian government for his lack of mercy or forgiveness. Instant downloads of all 1383 LitChart PDFs (including The Merchant of Venice). Different characters have different religions. Bassanio – Antonio's friend, in love with Portia, mostly interested in her money; Christian 3. The majority of stories have a hero or heroine, as does "the merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare, in some ways most of the main characters, bar Shylock, could be perceived as a hero. The main idea of the play is that all people deserve to be appreciated regardless of their religion, race, nations, or beliefs. Conflict Between Shylock & Antonio in "The Merchant of Venice". It is the court scene where we are confronted with Christian values and how it played a significant role in Venetian courts and most importantly in Shylock’s fate. Print. Again, Shakespeare highlights acts of the New Testament. The Merchant of Venice is structured partly on the contrast between idealistic and realistic opinions about society and relationships. Antonio - a merchant from Venice; Christian 2. DISCLAIMER- The answer is too long and has 2000 words please read only if you have time. Self-interest forms the basis of every relationship, whether it is related to friendship, marriage or trade. The Merchant of Venice. Ironically, she as well breaks a bond with Shylock. Christianity and Judaism in The Merchant of Venice Religion has always been a rather touchy subject in literature as well as in day to day life. 70) Shylock goes forth to all extent, refusing double the amount of ducats owed to him as long as he has his bond. Shylock– a rich Jew… November 16, 2016. Religion was a major factor in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. The story of a Jew who wants a pound of Christian flesh may have its roots in these fantasies of Jews violating Christian bodies.” (Mowat, pg. Instead of lending money interest-free he applies collateral and conditions to the bond. The cross between Christianity and Judaism begins as Antonio and Shylock create a legally binding bond. The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice Themes T he main themes in The Merchant of Venice are greed, love and mercy, and materialism. “ Bevington, David. The plot of The Merchant of Venice has been described as a great commentary on the nature of racial and religious interactions. The following academic paper highlights the up-to-date issues and questions of The Bond The Merchant Of Venice. Print. =�&��BЖL���s �3�X(�t7�G&;�'@v��������3��V�ui �t�qg�պ��m��]T�L�p��o�����u�{�n^��@@�9џR���V��L�e~A�f�҉�ufR��>\Cnu�����v�";�Cux�'A8�"���;1co� �V��D��&���m�����1����,0Y3�1�aԎ�I�U��e"�"b��Q����3�AjB5*W�)jN�����=^{�{��L��h5l ��}��������8l8(]�{I� H�ݡ��r�t�ނƝ�鹥ϕ9�!�j���!N��]rQ3�͝����e;�M��^T�� �m!��瀎-�~��s�Q�s���=��z��V>-�jQL�Ht�$\���BC�B��b0�?� �nP#��}ˍ�Ρa�yA�ӝB�jw�S���}*SA�PS�K�.�h�>�sJ�<3���~�8o/���e�]'���"���4�[մ�:iVÝk¯��~��GMp����u}�z���G.�V���E� �H�+ธr��q"/�X L��Q�Ӫ����1Q �W۸�$Z�:��.�� Shylock is expected to show mercy when he is never shown any by the ruling class. The main Christian characters are Antonio, Bassanio and Portia. He represents law and justice. 3. ‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest, it becomes Religion motivated action and reasoning. “This was a punishment from Shylock’s point of view, … but from Antonio’s point of view, it also gave to Shylock a chance of eternal joy.” Antonio here believes Shylock can be saved. Throughout medieval and early Renaissance Europe the prejudice bred dark fantasies: Jews were accused, for example, of conducting grotesque rituals in which they murdered Christian children and drank their blood. According to the “Harmonies of the Merchant of Venice”, “the essential thing added to the law by Christ is forgiveness. ��{��D���8����|������uY���&-��٧A In the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare, according to a number of characters, there is a prominent aura revolving around the themes of love and hate. The court scene where Shylock goes to complete the sentence of his bond is where he will be introduced to the conflict of justice and mercy. As Antonio confesses the bond, Portia is stating that Shylock “must be merciful” which greatly represents practice of the New Testament. “It can be argued that this goes back to the earliest days of Christianity, when the tradition began of making the Jews bear the guilt of the Crucifixion. After all the play is actually named after Antonio, he is the merchant of Venice. Merchant Of Venice Analysis Essay 867 Words | 4 Pages. Portia on the other hand teaches the audience the practice of the New Testament. While marriage customs have changed over the years, Shakespearian critics, when arguing “The Merchant of Venice”, agree that racism and religious intolerance are blaring principles when examining the marriages of Portia and Bassanio and Jessica and Lorenzo. The religious opinions of both (4.1.182-195). Swisher, Clarice. Danson, Lawrence. Christians believed in mercy while Shylock only sought justice. According to the Essays in Shakespearean Criticism, “ “Gentle” in all its tricky ambiguity: as meaning something purely external (well-born; Christian) as well as kind, generous, loving…. Though usually depicted as a homosexual relationship, it is a portrayal of love between friends or brothers, another type of bond. Antonio is a merchant, whose chief aim is to enjoy his wealth and to make it assist others. Merchants would work with tradesmen of different faiths, but people wouldn’t allow different religions to mix in their personal or social matters. � �}�r�F�����w�pk#�,��7i*WV��ر�R��I�\C`H�.�Ȫ�kܪs���Su_c%Or�{f����]���$0����_�4�G_|�����o��q: V����W�)�$��,�OE����t�=?��h�`�ayiGkb���I�d�^���E��t�L������� i�D���؟%�ֻgq�3)ғ`"�,]˯_��+.�/�8������(}�TD"����M�$>��k�0�~���7Cw"�����H���}����M�f�算��'��#p}�6�{�p-]��iO�R\ॲ��&��wG"�W���>��O�Zy�X���˺덃��.����}��tC�ұ������2���x,D*{8��ߠC5��q"��(�H#��9;o4�]�;� Ёc�A$E�>�8ka3����n�y`b#`,-Xַ�Z��eTc6��P��K����������u������E��"�t����+-L~xR�bD��g�l �\�Y�6����C&Χq�ʯ������(�_��]: Representing the Christian belief is Antonio who is summoned to court by a Jew who goes by the name Shylock. The attribute to awe and majesty, In the courtroom scene of Act 4, scene 1, both the Duke and Portia present mercy as a better alternative to the pursuit of either law or revenge. Rather, modern critics call the play ‘Anti-Semitic‘, i.e., against the Jews.Shylock, … Stephano – a servant of Portia 9. “He rigidly adheres to his “bond”, in strict accordance with the Mosaic principle of “an eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.” (Swisher, pg. The contrast between Antonio and Shylock are comparable and somewhat parallel to the New Testament that Christians practice and to the Old Testament that Shylock adheres to. é��Y�������J-%�{��ѡ4�^�B�v$�X�&�7���v� ��]wU�x'��8 U ϝ�"s8�jō�KE]O�����L@O�R� This powerful line suggests those who give mercy will receive mercy. Get Your Custom Essay Sample. It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Merchants like Antonio lend money free of interest andput themselves at risk for those they love, whereas Shylock agonizesover the loss of his money and is reported to run through the streetscrying, “O, my ducats! Indeed mercy, or forgiveness, becomes the legal principle enabling all other legal principles.” (Danson, pg. The Anti-Semitic views in The Merchant of Venice play an important part in the novel. Wherin doth sit the dread and fear of kinds: Perhaps, Portia here also tries to provide mercy onto Shylock himself. Justice with his bond. ��P�W�wq��ay���2C����"����Mq*X` ��T�f^�)���YДpLm ��LS2�C��0��G��mE׀�r���+�'{��wo�-r���z����V��� 6�g��S���E��l�Ї��_z+�w����k��,H�/]���2X��\��`�߉K����y�0m�.M2�� According to Jessica, “I shall be saved by my husband. Without the Anti-Semitic views, the elopement plot and the bond plot would not be in existence. 76) This act of usury in the eyes of Christianity is considered sinful, immoral and inhumane. Shylock is representative of the Old Testament. Haven't Found an Essay You Want? Religion is one of the main theme in the merchant of Venice and it plays a big role in the play. Mercy, therefore, is made part of the law, rather than an opposing principle. O, my daughter!” (II.viii.15).… Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. The main religions in this play is Christianity and Judaism. �m;�f�.xսe ���;���]�C�N�ZZ��_8{�`�� �W�0�)�]TMΚ~S6�f�~1�9����|� |�/z��Q:qe “Jessica, as the “daughter of Jerusalem” under the Old Law, then as the bride of Christ under the New” (Swisher, pg. Also, Christians of the time looked at Jews with negativity. Lorenzo – friend of Antonio and Bassanio, in love with Jessica; Christian 5. Gratiano, Solanio, Salarino, Salerio – friends of Antonio and Bassanio; Christian 4. These are the main themes in the story MOV> MERCY This theme is spread throughout the play. 252-253) Here Shakespeare questions Shylock’s Christian morality and his ability to practice the New Testament. The Theme of Money and Love 102) This passage from the Duke pleas Shylock for a “gentle” answer. Beginning from 1558 and lasted in 1603 Elizabethan Age was the main period of religious and politics and important playwriters and poets from the society were introduced. Explore the different themes within William Shakespeare's comedic play, The Merchant of Venice.Themes are central to understanding The Merchant of Venice as a play and identifying Shakespeare's social and political commentary.. In the “Merchant of Venice,” “a Christian ethic of generosity, love, and risk-taking friendship is set in pointed contrast with a non-Christian ethic that is seen, from a Christian point of view, as grudging, resentful, and self-calculating.” (Bevington, pg. In the eyes of God, murder is a sin and therefore Shylock is in turn to be justified just as much as he sought his own justice. The main Christian characters are Antonio, Bassanio and Portia. \�;J~nc�@� KS3 English The Merchant of Venice learning resources for adults, children, parents and teachers. Hence this is the central theme of The Merchant of Venice. Antonio however, showed how “Christian” he is. Although filled with spiritual people, the city is divided into two different religious groups. Longman Publishing Group , 2008. God gives mercy and those who can wholeheartedly give mercy is God-like. This reinforced bondage reflects Antonio’s selflessness, God-like quality, and most importantly Christian morality. Nerissa – her waiting-maid 7. The throned monarch better than his crown: the Christianity and the Judaism. The New Testament which embodies grace, mercy, and forgiveness. As learned in the play, Antonio cannot repay his debt and Shylock publically exclaims his need to receive fulfillment of that bond. The Merchant of Venice was written in 1600’s and on that time there was discrimination especially “anti-Semitism” against Jews. William Shakespeare is often referred as the greatest Scriptwriter ever. Different characters have different religions. Print. He hath made me a Christian.” (3.5.17-18) Jessica being “saved” by her husband can be compared to Shylock’s conversion to Christianity. Reality and Idealism. Although he asks Shylock to convert, he provides Shylock and opportunity. The main religions in this play is Christianity and Judaism. He is sad because he lacks love. Religion in The Merchant of Venice By: Bernadette, Sam, and Jules Parsons was a Jesuit missionary, sent to England with the mission to convert Protestants Addressing Queen Elizabeth -You are torturing people for not going against their consciences. Lastly, Shylock’s daughter Jessica is another representation of conversion from the Old to the New Testament. This passage and the passage from the Duke is asking for Shylock although a Jew, to act Christian. Shakespeare provides his audience distinct differences between Antonio and Shylock. ��R�t���ʣ %��4�(n�ϜȊ�%�d �]>LEr��a�t��u�=��yqsI���Fo��*�m�-&� OFA�m1w~Mc ����< �ĥ;�p�{�q��pf �^XG���]�R��;���ݻ �fi���ĉ/�n{z�d���Y�Ŗؾ���;��4���Z�#} ]uvv�z8�O���w!,Q�M����w�U��8�"�ٍ�fL�&�tB��p:,�nQ3ߺD��T�^��8q�q LL��hW�Dv����4H��Iò�,x��~�4AcF��p�}&S�W{�ջ�gMP�Is�n�7���@�� (z3����$��,�0Kۛ�P#%�K}�����4��.��2���Z�.�$�A/��,��qww;��I��8��,�͑P��NKbS}���c�|�\,W�jo�sg�e �^-+v?^����Pd�[����1O�H���������(Q��=uC�O�x��u�Ab�)���;"���I%2r6���v��g�/��>�S{�ݱ&u���Ƃz��5A�� �lm�V��Zb�~�SS����n����K2�����cnn����� s�s�(ׯx�{J]��4d�̅fs��#*Ǡ����&��# ��� %(�G:�I_�9�g�2�Φ��H��47��_���‹N��_���..���,��� ��䢤���h_Cpv��ze�I�:�Ld��vK�ޫ\�3��-cI�*�VT��LD�W9�ZmZ��jb.+���� ,. These Testaments are tested through the Christians and Jews of Venice. Mercy depicts a large part of this play, mercy is one of themes that ends it. Portia says, “ The quality of mercy is not strained, On the surface, the main difference between the Christiancharacters and Shylock appears to be that the Christian charactersvalue human relationships over business ones, whereas Shylock isonly interested in money. Merchant Of Venice Shylock Character Analysis. �_��Dbƾ˺��������g��v�媮�����U�ժ͕�p�\+כ~����_�j�˰��װ���{Fdy}�$����_Y��Tv76f��;�iܟ�I��(�� The Duke asking for a “gentle” answer was not a way to dismiss Shylock’s bond, but it was merely asking Shylock to bring forth his mercy and forgiveness as a Christian would. |�&����K�W�7�����5%ͼfwU1n�iQ�\}v����y����J�GK��p�2�,��oX*`���X�W|/�R�" Print. Because of religious differences and discrimination, the story becomes violent and somewhat dark. Money: The other major theme in the play is the importance of money to the Christians. The first example we see this is in 1: 3 when Shylock reveals his hatred for Antonio for his religion, Christianity. To fulfill that love, he assists Bassano in his own quest to pursue love. 1. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. Shylock’s need for justice and strict adherence to the law parallels the Old Testament greatly and in a Christian point of view, it was at his disadvantage. He helps his loved one by borrowing money from Shylock and pawns his life to strengthen that bond. Stereotypes classified Jews as immoral, evil, and foolish people while the Christians were graceful, merciful, and loving. Concluding the court scene, Venetian law requires Shylock to give up half of his property to the state, the other to Antonio, and give up his life. Print. Here Shylock is stuck between a rock and a hard place. This idea has not lost its importance even in the modern days, and that is why we come back to the play The Merchant of Venice = over and over again. Since Shylock has gone forth with his bond, it is by Venetian law “if it be proved against an alien that by direct or indirect attempts he seek the life of any citizen, the party ‘gainst the which he doth contrive shall seize one half his goods; the other half comes to the privy coffer of the state, and the offender’s life lies in the mercy of the duke only, ‘gainst all other voice” (4.1.347-354) In this case a Jew, who has attempted murder onto a citizen shall be tried himself. The Harmonies of The Merchant of Venice. These opposing values were reflected by the Jews and Christians of Venice which Shylock, Antonio, Portia, and Jessica embodied throughout the play. Instead of taking his life, Antonio is seen through Elizabethan eyes to have given Shylock mercy, forgiveness, and a chance to live. 74) Although Shakespeare writes this drama from a Christian point of view he illustrates religion by conflicts of the Old Testament and the New Testament in Venetian society and its court of law. The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play written by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice named Antonio defaults on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender, Shylock.It is believed to have been written between 1596 and 1599. The bond’s fine print expresses that if Antonio cannot fulfill his debt to Shylock, Shylock will receive a pound of Antonio’s flesh. The Literary Companion Series: The Merchant of Venice. Apparently, all sides agreed to this racial and religious separation, creating division, strife, and anger. Venice was primarily and dominantly a Christian society with Jews as it’s unfairly treated minority. Great Britain: Yale University Press, 1978. This has never been done before The Christian characters certainly viewthe matter this way. Portia – a rich heiress 6. The Necessary Shakespeare. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. this was followed by a 1619 printing, and later an inclusion in the First Folio in 1623. 1. Religion, however, intervenes and causes Shylock’s anger at his daughter. Shylock on the other hand is not put on the same pedestal as Antonio. In The Merchant of Venice, Judaism and Christianity aren't just religions—they're constructed as racial (and even national) identities as well. Thus doing so will spare Antonio’s life. Upon the place beneath. The theme of bonds and promises referred to in the above question plays a key role in the ‘The Merchant of Venice’. "�6̫ÌZ{v%n IxĮ��#/g+@���D��?� F���ń�M;U:���CqQF��O~���LT�ja�!��s l`pCYi_�X��v�g�� �x��j����\H5]w��M��4���J���єOE��]����w�a���*���ڳ�˲��]�r,�磐#5p�I�g^�t̅�(�;%�_o���L�� H*��7�%��>�ˉ~�Nc�|��U(f����B��elC���#�Zl��(#uY`�J�>���S6zi�ϲ��(�c�M�i+�o$���i�!> �����a �|K�>XU��=�O��'�K��"n�E�+Ljs1\o�܎7�Iґ��xèe�%Z�l However, this back fires on him. A major theme in the Merchant of Venice is mercy. He truly has a skill, of creating unique characters that, create controversy, and give reasons for people to discuss and debate. @ٞ�~ s0���~�!��X+ţ �O����"`z��Eɭ���O�`�N�,~�%�l��ǰ��K�(���� � ����� ���o�[24#�-z����ae}�UA5�$XkG� . As the Jewish representation of Venice, Shylock, “as a usurer, refuses to lend money interest-free in the name of friendship.” (Bevington, pg. Thus, Shylock’s “Jewish heart” who’s hunger for justice resulted in his own justification, will be introduced to mercy and he shall see salvation. Here in this play The Merchant of Venice Shakespeare portrays two main characters for the two edges as Shylock represents his religion Judaism, on the other hand, his enemy Antonio is presented as a representative of Christianity. LitCharts Teacher Editions. Shylock who had nothing to do with Christ’s death still had to suffer Christian stereotypes and discrimination. The conflict between the Christians and Shylock reaches its peak over the issue of the extent of mercy. Hastily, Shylock is determined to obtain his pound of Christian flesh. {�+r�=VH.g�6uF�f�,�˲j*k�E�@�� �^E3("+aT�̯��PwZ�r����r��Y�v ^�2��RC�ˡ`�rÜο8��kCIW�-ɦ����T��*�j�o�A���zl�咟:d0� �w��H����9��IX?�-Pcgg�l�n�vV�lv���4�Ba-ny���L�u]�E)�ȉ�榥Z#i��� ����m*\��r�+�ƭ6����M�N�袽u�T� ����� H�]�����NMdW���l9��#ޞ�0�M��]���`�}gM=�0C�ͅe�.KEj&�B�-��E]����9��\��3檔���X�u9�:�*l��}qt�Z[��vm�M�TNv�[��[x�$軔XZ8�)�W��!`���d~Qގ�'��U����V����j�B�)xNL{�^�_b�����v5�r\:���?��е����r�J~�|��Sv�Y��:#�6. In no way can I find Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice promoting religious harmony. Shylock while attempting to cut off a pound of Antonio’s flesh is reminded by Portia of conditions that he has missed. Calderwood, James L. Essays in Shakespearean Criticism. It blesseth him that gives, and him that takes. His scepter shows the force of temporal power, First, we see Antonio, a soft-hearted and morose Christian gentleman whose riches cannot provide him the fulfillment that others deem appropriate. The conflict between Shylock the Jewish moneylender and Antonio the Christian merchant in Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice" is both religious and economic. More importantly we the audience also sees the New versus the Old testament put in similar contrast with Christianity and Judaism. But mercy is above this sceptred sway, To answer the question “Is the play a plea for religious tolerance?” in short, I would say ‘No’. The divine nature of mercy is yet another one of the driving themes of the play. Religion motivated action and reasoning. Religion was a major factor in a number of Shakespeare’s plays. Unfortunately, the manner which he seeks Antonio’s flesh seems similar to the “grotesque rituals in which Jews murdered Christian children.” With Shakespeare thickly drawing the line between Christianity and Judaism we can ultimately assume that the bond between Shylock and Antonio, a Christian and a Jew, can only cause a great deal of controversy. In Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice,” religion was more than a belief in a higher being; it reflected moral standards and ways of living. He was looked at by Christians as a violent and corrupt individual. It is an attribute to God himself: In conclusion, we can see how powerfully influential religion was in “The Merchant of Venice.” Love, forgiveness, and most importantly mercy, represented the New Testament whilst justice, lack of mercy, and adherence to the law represented the Old Testament. It also does not imply Antonio shed a drop of blood. And earthly power doth then show likest God’s �gd����]��2װe��|H�nhMjzݾ�9��c2J�o�ﹾ�l_��E�w��9���� �0�F:*�@{e�I��~�qF ���HmA���T�� s�� It is twice blessed: Religious Discrimination in The Merchant of Venice The Merchant of Venice is a play by William Shakespeare. In fact, the exclusion of these "others" seems to be a fundamental part of the social bonds that cement the Venetian Christians together. Shylock strictly follows the Old Testament of law and is determined to receive justice. Balthazar – a servant of Portia 8. 214-215) All Jews were blamed for Christ’s death. ,�5��43�'sh��|��2[մy�"U�o��z";�Z�eO���, ZZ�S�۪�\ʧ��}v����q�����Fzj�-�k�����O�*���m�ʋ�m��,��Ei9�����sT�aYc2��y+ �e���UI8�Z(��fH�i�h���"�(4v`! Jessica also a Jew, escapes from home and marries Lorenzo, a Christian. “we have good reason to suppose that the language of Shakespeare’s source begged the question of gentility; we know that it begged the question of Christianity.” (Calderwood, pg. The drama of The Merchant of Venice is a legendary comedy, ... has nothing to do with the dogmas of religion, but with the effects of religion as realized in daily life. New York: Washington Square Press, 1992. Such a response speaks to the religious intolerance in Venice at the time. The play also reveals the double standard under which Shylock lives and the despicable nature of the Christians’ hatred. The clash between Christianity and Judaism is especially present in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice.The character of Shylock is often ridiculed for his faith, to which he retaliates with some strong points. For Shylock, his justice seeking could not enable him to provide the mercy asked by God and thus was eventually lead to his own demise. This sample provides just some ideas on how this topic can be analyzed and discussed. This act of bonding puts Antonio in gracious light. Regardless of these pleas, Shylock demands a pound of Antonio’s flesh and God ruling vicariously through Portia allows Shylock to proceed with his rightful bond. San Diego: Greenhaven Press, 1999. If Jessica were Christian, Shylock would have embraced the marriage of Lorenzo and Jessica. Act four-scene one, is another area in which Christianity as well as the New Testament is applied. {-t��o�U��� �q`O�,3�,�f@6��3`�2xM�6��LGz���*�Aqq�?���8R}8�p4�2� `onu�M�e�X�#�� ���L�T�ȵ8X{6��mG_���H�Q������.I�QAs�ے��� �I��8�-N. 71). In Act Four, Scene 1, the Duke says, “We all expect a gentle answer, Jew.” (Bevington, pg. Ultimately, it is safe to say that religion in Venice took the role of judge, and that is, Christ, as its supreme judge. ����. Religion is one of the main theme in the merchant of Venice and it plays a big role in the play. Englewood Cliffs: Prentice-Hall, INC., 1970. Race and Religious Intolerance Exhibited in “The Merchant of Venice”. Mowat, Barbara A., and Paul Werstine. In the first two acts of the play, Merchant of Venice, Shylock, a Jewish money lender, is a villain in which we should be aware of. When mercy seasons justice. The main plot involves a Jewish moneylender and his Christian debtor. Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this The Merchant of Venice study guide. However, Antonio interjects and bargains that Shylock should live if he turn a Christian. ... (by Play and Theme… The drama Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was first printed in 1600 in quarto, of which nineteen copies survived. Portia knows that Shylock demands every aspect of his bond but she tries to plea with him anyway. In its portrayal of a bloodthirsty Jewish moneylender, the play famously dramatizes 16th-century racial stereotypes that … Venice, where this drama takes place, is a largely religious Italian City. It is enthroned in the hearts of kinds, 867 words | 4 Pages fulfillment of that bond say ‘No’ to plea with him.... Of this play is actually named after Antonio, Bassanio and Portia teaches the audience the practice of main! 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