Get Full Essay Get access to this section to get all help you need with your essay and educational issues. The fact that Shylock does loan money and charges interest is another reason for Antonio not to like him. We know that Shylock drops this false front when alone, and that Antonio drops it when with Bassiano and Gratiano. When Antonio is with Bassiano, we see different motives for investment.
Themes are the fundamental and often universal ideas explored in a literary work.
Self-Interest Versus Love On the surface, the main difference between the Christian characters and Shylock appears to be that the Christian characters value human relationships over business ones, whereas Shylock is only interested in money.
The Christian characters certainly view the matter this way. With these words, he apparently values his money at least as much as his daughter, suggesting that his greed outweighs his love.
However, upon closer inspection, this supposed difference between Christian and Jew breaks down. Some human relationships do indeed matter to Shylock more than money.
Moreover, his insistence that he have a pound of flesh rather than any amount of money shows that his resentment is much stronger than his greed. Though Portia and Bassanio come to love one another, Bassanio seeks her hand in the first place because he is monstrously in debt and needs her money.
Bassanio even asks Antonio to look at the money he lends Bassanio as an investment, though Antonio insists that he lends him the money solely out of love. In other words, Bassanio is anxious to view his relationship with Antonio as a matter of business rather than of love.
Finally, Shylock eloquently argues that Jews are human beings just as Christians are, but Christians such as Antonio hate Jews simply because they are Jews. Thus, while the Christian characters may talk more about mercy, love, and charity, they are not always consistent in how they display these qualities.
The Divine Quality of Mercy The conflict between Shylock and the Christian characters comes to a head over the issue of mercy. Human beings should be merciful because God is merciful: According to the writings of St. Paul in the New Testament, the Old Testament depicts God as requiring strict adherence to rules and exacting harsh punishments for those who stray.
The New Testament, in contrast, emphasizes adherence to the spirit rather than the letter of the law, portraying a God who forgives rather than punishes and offers salvation to those followers who forgive others.
Thus, when Portia warns Shylock against pursuing the law without regard for mercy, she is promoting what Elizabethan Christians would have seen as a pro-Christian, anti-Jewish agenda.
The strictures of Renaissance drama demanded that Shylock be a villain, and, as such, patently unable to show even a drop of compassion for his enemy.
A sixteenth-century audience would not expect Shylock to exercise mercy—therefore, it is up to the Christians to do so. Instead, she backs Shylock into a corner, where she strips him of his bond, his estate, and his dignity, forcing him to kneel and beg for mercy.
But we may also question whether it is merciful to return to Shylock half of his goods, only to take away his religion and his profession. Mercy, as delivered in The Merchant of Venice, never manages to be as sweet, selfless, or full of grace as Portia presents it. Hatred as a Cyclical Phenomenon Throughout the play, Shylock claims that he is simply applying the lessons taught to him by his Christian neighbors; this claim becomes an integral part of both his character and his argument in court.
As the play continues, and Shylock unveils more of his reasoning, the same idea rears its head over and over—he is simply applying what years of abuse have taught him. Antonio does not, as he has in the past, kick or spit on Shylock. Antonio, as well as the duke, effectively ends the conflict by starving it of the injustices it needs to continue.Enjoying "Hamlet" by William Shakespeare Ed Friedlander, M.D.
[email protected] This website collects no information. If you e-mail me, neither your e-mail address nor any other information will ever be passed on to any third party, unless required by law. A summary of Act II, scenes i–iv in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.
Learn exactly what happened in this chapter, scene, or section of The Merchant of Venice and what it means. Perfect for acing essays, tests, and quizzes, as well as for writing lesson plans.
Merchant of Venice Shylock and Antonio Relationship Essay Sample. Shylock and Antonio resent and dislike one another. Firstly, Shylock hates Antonio because he is a Christian; secondly, because Antonio is a Christian and therefore not allowed to charge interest, Antonio undercuts Shylock’s business by lending money without charging interest.
Salome Jens Salome Jens has appeared in lead roles on Broadway in Far Country, Night Life, The Disenchanted, Patriot For Me, A Lie of the Mind. Get an answer for 'Discuss the relationship between Shylock and Antonio and explain how this relationship affects the plot' and find homework help for other The Merchant of Venice .
Author’s note: This essay is partially based on my lecture “Money-Lending: Its History and Philosophy,” delivered at Second Renaissance Conferences, Anaheim, California, July