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The Merchant of Venice: A Justice not Justified

Uploaded by ChibiUniverse on Feb 24, 2002

The Merchant of Venice was a comedy written by William Shakespeare. Antonio, a merchant of Venice was a venerable businessman. He was a wealthy man and offered his friends the loan of money, without interest. Antonio became bound to Shylock when he agreed for his good friend Bassanio to use him as security to borrow money from Shylock. Shylock was a Jewish usurer who lives in Venice. He believed in charging interest and hated Antonio who did not. Portia was a wealthy heiress who is confined by her father's will of the caskets. She was the one whom Bassanio married after he chose the correct lead casket that contained her portrait. Shylock insisted on collecting a pound of Antonio’s flesh when Antonio was unable to repay the money he owed to Shylock through Bassanio. At the end of the play Shylock faced an extremely difficult time and he was not treated at all fairly.

The relationship between Antonio and Shylock had a lot to do why Shylock was so insistent on taking Antonio’s flesh. Shylock was a Jewish merchant who lived in a world where the Jewish religion was regarded as evil. The people of Venice including Antonio, had ridiculed him, they called him a dog, and spat on him, all this simply because he was a Jew. That gave Shylock a very good reason for hating Christians. He was considered an alien in Venice and yet had to abide by Venetian Law. He hated Antonio all the more because Antonio lent money out free of interest and it contrasted with Shylock’s way of lending money at high interest. Antonio was a well-respected merchant in Venice. Antonio became bound to Shylock when he acted as Bassanio’s surety to borrow a sum of three thousand ducats from Shylock. This set up a perfect opportunity for Shylock to get revenge on Antonio.

Antonio became bound to Shylock because his friend Bassanio needed to borrow money. Bassanio informed Antonio that he have spent his money too extravagantly and had accumulated quite a lot of debts. Bassanio had come up with a plan to pay off his obligations by marrying Portia. To do so he needed to borrow enough money in order act like a real nobleman and woo Portia properly. Unfortunately, all of Antonio's money was tied up with his business ventures. Antonio, however, offered to act as surety for Bassanio. After some consideration, Shylock...

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Uploaded by:   ChibiUniverse

Date:   02/24/2002

Category:   Shakespeare

Length:   6 pages (1,449 words)

Views:   2138

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