Tuesday, April 16, 2019
The Merchant of Venice Essay Example for Free
The Merchant of Venice EssayOne of the most interchange issues in The Merchant of Venice is that of the antagonism between the Jews and the Christians. The unconscious, inborn dislike of cultures which jeopardise our path of spirit.Ever since large number swallow left their homelands to settle in other places there has been conflict between different cultures. So, in the play, Antonio, Bassanio, Gratiano and many more of the Christians feel resentment towards cashlender the extraterrestrial being. This is partly because of the trap that he has led Antonio into and partly because he is different. This seemingly un billhooked for dislike is shown particularly by loan shark who commentsI hate him for he is a Christian(act 1, purview 3, line 38.)and hence later on, in the trial nip itself, when asked to explain his actions he statesI exhibit no reason, nor I ordain non, more than a lodgd hate and a current loa involvement, I bear Antonio(act 4, scene 1, lines 59-61.)T his speech shows how even moneylender himself whoremongernot explain his deep-rooted hatred of Antonio (the Christian).The arctic of feuds between cultures, are the gravels which are made between people of the same beliefs and habits. This is shown at the beginning of the be progress to in the form of a conversation between the Duke and Antonio, both of whom are Christian. In this conversation the Duke reveals his feelings on the matter.I am sorry for thee thou art come to answer to a stony adversary, an cruelwretch uncapable of pity, void and empty from any dram of mercy.(act 4, scene 1, lines 3-6.)However, Antonio seems to have no hope, and accepts the justness without complaint. This break view of Antonio portrays his temperament throughout the whole scene, right up until the really end when he is released from the black-market bond. Shortly after this conversation ends Shylock enters.The Duke appeals to Shylock to have mercy upon Antonio, only if Shylock is persistent and sticks with his original decision and intention. Shylock informs the Duke close what will happen if he denies him the due and forfeit of his bond. The matter of denying the bond would be something that Antonio himself talked or so earlier in the playThe Duke cannot deny the course of law for the trade good that strangers have with us in Venice, if it be denied, will much impeach the justice of the state, since that the trade and earnings of the city consisteth of all nations.(act 3, scene 3, lines 26-31.)This means that if the course of law is not permitted, then foreigners will mind the integrity and fairness of Venetian justice, which would be fateful for Venice, as the citys wealth depends upon international trade. Venice will also lose its reputation as the centre of international trade if the Duke does not grant Shylock his bond. notwithstanding again, Antonio does not try to excuse himself from the bond, but reminds his tremblers that they are dealing with a Jew, and of how they will not be able to shift his Jewish Heart. Bassanio proposes to re be Shylock with twice the amount agreed in the bond but, yet again, Shylock is unmoved in his decision. The Duke right away realises that there is no way that he can legally save his friends life, but, he states that upon his power he may dismiss the court unless Bellario, a renowned lawyer whom he has called to the courtto ask him of his opinion, can attend the hearing. Bassanio sees this as a possibility that his friend may live, but Antonio is not optimistic and saysI am a tainted wether of the flock, meetest for stopping point the weakest kind-hearted of fruit drops earliest to the ground and so let me. You cannot be better employd, Bassanio, than to live still, and write exploit epitaph.(act 4, scene 1, lines 114-118.)He almost feels that he deserves to die, and asks Bassanio to carry on with his own life and write his memoirs for him. The lawyers clerk, who is Nerissa robed as a man, arri ves with a earn from Bellario. The Duke reads the letter and in the meantime Shylock sharpens his knife on the sole of his shoe. Bassanio is upset by this and asks him Why dost thou wet thy knife so earnestly?, and Shylock replies that he intends to take what is rightfully his. At this, Gratiano, who until now has been silent, launches a verbal attack on Shylock, objective him of having the soul of a man-killing wolf. However, as before, Shylock is unscathed by these insults, and reminds Gratiano that he is only here to persist in the law.After reading the letter the Duke informs the court that Bellario has been taken ill and therefore cannot attend the hearing, but that he has sent a young lawyer in his place, whom he has informed with the details of the case. This lawyer of which the letter speaks is called Balthazar, but when Balthazar enters it becomes apparent to the audience that the lawyer is in fact Portia in disguise. The characters in the play, however, do not know this .Portia attempts to persuade Shylock to have mercy but is unsuccessful. Finally, she agrees that it is lawful that Shylock shall have his bond. Shylock, who is gratify with this head, compares Portia to Daniel who, in the Apocrypha, was instructed by God to give a verdict against two elders who had tried to rape the celibate lady Susanna. Portia proceeds to gain Shylocks respect by reminding the court that Antonio must pay the bond with A pound of flesh, to be by him cut off nearest the merchants heart.Portia asks Shylock whether he has the scales ready to confer the pound of flesh, to which he replies I have them ready. Portia then feels that she may have found a way to save Antonios life, she asks ShylockHave by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge, to stop his wounds, lest he do move to death.(act 4, scene 1, lines 255-256.)Yet Shylock reminds her that it says nothing about a surgeon in the bond, so her financial statement is void. Portia accepts this, she then turns to An tonio to ask him if he has anything to say. Antonio speaks to Bassanio to try and console him, concluding with a wry joke about the matterIf the Jew do cut but deep enough, Ill pay it (the debt) instantly with all my heart.(act 4, scene 1, lines 278-279.)Bassanio then comments that he would give up his wife if it would save Antonio, and then Gratiano says that he wishes that his wife were in heaven so that she could stop the proceedings by some divine interception. These comments fracture the tension that has strengthened in the court because, unknown to Bassanio and Gratiano, their wives are there in the court with them. Portia emphasises the irony in this progress by sayingYour wife would give you little thanks for that, if she were by to hear you make the gap.(act 4, scene, 1 lines 286-287.)Portia gives permission for Shylock to take his bond, but just as he is preparing to do so she finds a weak link in the bondTarry a little there is something else. This bond doth give thee here nojot of blood.(act 4, scene 1, lines 303-304.)Meaning that Shylock is entitled to his pound of flesh but not to any of Antonios blood. She then explains that if Shylock does shed one drop of Christian blood then he will have his lands and goods confiscated by the state of Venice. At this decree Gratiano is overjoyed as he can see a way out for his friend. He mocks Shylock by repeating the very praises that Shylock himself had delivered to Portia. The likening of Portia to Daniel is now more fitting because like Portia, Daniel was not anticipated in the court, and the judgement that he gave freed Susanna and condemned her accusers. Shylock is shocked by Portias words, but he is not defeated, he offers to accept ternion the original amount, which was offered to him earlierI take this offer then pay the bond thrice, and let the Christian go.(act 4, scene 1, lines 316-317.)Bassanio is about to hand over the silver when Portia intervenes again. She states that Shylock shall have only his justice, so she instructs him to assemble to cut the pound of flesh, but she warns him, if he should cut any more or less than a pound, even in the estimation of a hair then he shall lose all that he owns. Gratiano jeers at Shylock even further, and yet again Shylock asks for the money, but Portia reminds us that Shylock had refused the money earlier, so now, he shall have merely justice, and his bond. At this, Shylock attempts to expire the court, yet Portia calls him back stating the law hath yet another hold on you.This hold is yet another law of Venice, which states that any alien or foreigner who attempts to take the life of a Venetian shall have all of their possessions confiscated, one half(a) of which shall go to the endangered Venetian, Antonio, and the other half shall go to the privy coffer of the state. This law also states that the life of the alien shall be in the hands of the Duke, and Portia advises Shylock to get down onto his knees and beg mercy of the Duke.The Duke spares Shylocks life, and Antonio, who is now entitled to half of Shylocks wealth, is asked what mercy he can render him? Antonio, despite Gratianos petition, shows his generosity. He offers to take the money on loan, keeping it in confidence for Lorenzo, a Christian who recently ran away with Shylocks daughter, Jessica. However, Antonio puts two conditions on his offer, firstly, that Shylock must become a Christian and, secondly, that he must make a will leaving all that he owns to Jessica and Lorenzo. In doing this, Antonio has struck theultimate blow, forcing Shylock to become what he hates and to see his wealth to someone who has already robbed him of a lot of money and stolen his daughter. Shylock sees that he has been cornered, and asks permission to leave the court. He agrees to conform with Antonios conditions sayingSend the deed after me, and I will sign it.(act 4, scene 1, lines 394-395.)In agreeing to these conditions Shylock has lost his chance for revenge upon the Christians and has had their revenge cast upon himself. Gratiano now makes his feelings apparent, and he declares to ShylockIn Christening shalt thou have two god-fathers Had I been judge, thou shouldst have had ten more, to aim thee to the gallows, not to the font.(act 4, scene 1, lines 396-398.)This shows that Gratiano feels that Shylock should have been hanged for, in Christianity, when a child is baptised, two god-fathers are plant to see that the child is properly educated in the Christian faith. However, at the time, god-fathers, was also a nick-name for the members of a jury, a body of twelve men, who would have been needed to pass sentence on Shylock. Gratiano suggests that there should have been ten more god-fathers in order to make up a jury, who he feels would have condemned Shylock to death.This statement by Gratiano has a double meaning, firstly, that he feels Shylock should have been punished by death and, secondly, that he will be baptised into the Christi an faith.The Duke, yet again showing his liking of Antonio, invites Portia to have dinner at his home with him, but Portia declines his offer because she must away this night to Padua.The only thing left to do now is for Bassanio, Antonio and Gratiano to pay the lawyer for his services. Bassanio offers the three thousand ducats which would have been used to pay Shylock, yet Portia refuses payment declaringHe is well paid that is well satisfied, and I, delivering you, am satisfied, and therein do account myself well paid.(act 4, scene 1, lines 413-415.)Suddenly though, the lawyer catches sight of the ring on Bassanios finger, the very ring which Portia gave him at their wedding. She asks for the ring as payment. Bassanio remembers that Portia had told him never to detach himself from the ring for any reason, and, recollecting this, he refuses. Antonio pleads with Bassanio for him to give the ring, and Bassanio, who almost brought about the death of his friend, does not refuse his com panions wish. He then sends Gratiano after the lawyer in order to offer Portia the ring.