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Published: 17-12-2019

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Analysis of Shylock’s Personality as Depicted by William Shakespeare in His Play, The Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice is a play written by William Shakespeare in the 1600s. The Merchant of Venice is a play that focuses on enjoy and revenge in a globe of religious intolerance between the Christian and Jewish population of Venice. The Merchant of Venice consists of some of Shakespeare’s most memorable and complex characters. The main characters in this play are: Antonio, a merchant of Venice. Bassanio, a young gentleman of Venice who is pals with Antonio, Portia, the wealthy heiress of Belmont who is looking for a husband, and Shylock, who is the Jewish moneylender in Venice. It is set in Venice and Portia’s home in Belmont, the play moves from a fraught mix of cosmopolitan bustle and casual anti-semitism to a fairytale land of riddles, music and poetry. Shakespeare utilizes a wide variety of literary devices to emphasize the crucial theme, Justice and Mercy. This IOC will cover one particular of the most renowned speeches from the play, Shylock’s monologue. In this speech, Shylock, a Jewish merchant, is speaking to two Christian men referred to as Salerio and Solanio. They are teasing him since his beloved daughter Jessica has run away from residence with a Christian man. Solerio and Solanio are buddies of Antonio who has borrowed cash from Shylock. Shylock has made Antonio sign a contract, which states that if he can not repay the loan he will instead repay Shylock with a pound of his personal flesh.

Shylock’s monologue confuses the audience as he may be represented as no matter whether he is a great Jew or a money and flesh hunger merchant. To Shylock, 1 pound of Antonio’s flesh is not only a way of revenge to Antonio but also a bait to revenge to Venice’s Christian society. That is why Shylock stated “To bait fish withal.” The revenge is to destroy Christian’s racism on Jewish. As this monologue is from a very first person point of view, it will be more convincing to the audience as why Antonio and Shylock despise every other, as they have religious and nationality differences. Even though Shylock is saying his monologue we get the idea that the Christians have treated him without respect previously, as he is the only Jew in the play, but treated the worst by Antonio.

In the course of the speech, Shylock makes it clear that his hatred is born of what he sees as Antonio’s bullying behaviour. Shylock goes on to point out that Christians and Jews are unified by their frequent humanity, regardless of their distinct religions. Shylock’s concern is with body, not with the soul Christians and Jews both have flesh, eyes, and so forth., and each will die if poisoned, but the distinction qualities among them are the religion, where this is a Jew, and that is a Christian. Nonetheless, Shylock’s greed and lust for funds are paralleled by his cruelty that he seeks for obtaining mercy from Christians, but at the same time he seeks for revenge.

Shylock efficiently makes use of ethos, pathos, and logos in the speech with parallelism structures and rhetorical inquiries. The Greek philosopher Aristotle divided the implies of persuasion, appeals, into 3 categories–Ethos, Pathos, Logos. Ethos is an appeal to the authority or honesty of the presenter, pathos is an appeal to the audience’s emotion, and logos is logical appeal or the simulation of it, and the term logic is derived from it.

Shylock speaks in prose, and uses numerous literary devices for example beginning from Line 43 to Line 55 rhetorical inquiries are utilized. The words disgraced, laughed, mocked, scorned, thwarted, cooled and heated makes it look like Shylock is directly attacking and addressing the audience as it tends to make it seem like he is playing on emotions, which will evoke pathos, as a result impacting the audience to really feel sympathetic towards Shylock.

The Christians of the play universally assumed that they’re a nobler species than Jews, but Shylock insisted that they’re no far more pure than Jews and Jews no significantly less human than Christians in the lines that has been began with rhetorical concerns “Hath not a Jew eyes?”. In the lines “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the identical meals, hurt with the identical weapons, subject to the exact same illnesses, healed by the exact same signifies, warmed and cooled by the very same winter and summer time as a Christian is?”, Shylock makes use of pathos to humanly appeal to Christians, but to prejudiced Christians, his appeal was just an excuse to hide Jew’s qualities. Christian has no small pathos to Shylock, so he changed his approach from pathos to logos on the line “If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you incorrect us, shall we not revenge?” He focused on logos to show causes and effects of the actions. Then, following the line, Shylock changed his technique to strengthen his speech to justify his actions, which mentally affects the audience.

He has justified his action in the line “If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.” and reveals Christians’ duplicity on moral standards on the lines “If a Jew incorrect a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian incorrect a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian instance?” In these three lines, Shylock focuses on ethos, by justifying his action and revealing Christians’ duplicity on moral requirements to attain his objective attempting to destroy Christian’s racism on Jewish.
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