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Revenge in The Merchant of Venice

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Elyse Matias

on 15 April 2013

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Transcript of Revenge in The Merchant of Venice

Shylock is the main perpetrator of revenge in The Merchant of Venice.
Wanted to get back at Antonio for the wrong he has done onto him.
Many things contributed to the anger that was the foundation of his revenge. Revenge ultimately destroys
its perpetrator Before reading The Merchant of Venice we covered a couple themes. One of the listed themes was "Revenge ultimately destroys its perpetrator."Towards the end of the play you see how this theme comes into play. In the end.. Shylock was unable to take the pound of flesh off of Antonio. Instead he had promised that he would convert to Christianity and give half of his belongings to Venice and the rest to his daughter.
Shylock did not have much luck. For him seeking revenge back fired on him. Instead, Shylock was the one who suffered. Shylock's revenge plan. REVENGE What is Revenge ? The action of inflicting hurt or harm on someone for a wrong suffered at their hands. To inflict hurt or harm for an injury or wrong done to oneself What made Shylock want to seek revenge? Isolated because he is a jew. Jews are not citizens in Venice. They are seen as aliens and are treated unfairly. " It is enacted in the laws of Venice,
If it be prov'd against an alien."
(4.1.346-347). Antonio stole his business. Jessica contributed to his anger. "He lends out money gratis, and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice."
(1.3.40-41) Gratis- free (of interest) Antonio does not charge interest when he lends money but Shylock does. People prefer to go to Antonio because of it. "My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!
Fled with a Christian! O my Christian Ducats!
A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats,
Of double ducats, stol'n from me by my daughter!"
(2.8.14-19) Jessica has stolen from her father and fled with a Christian. Shylock is devoted to his ducats more than his daughter. Shylock has a profound hatred upon Christians. So Jessica running away with one makes him furious. What did Shylock want? Shylock asked that if Antonio did not pay back 3,000 ducats, Shylock would take a pound of flesh from where ever he desires. Shylock wanted to be heard and wanted justice. He will no stop till his bond is fulfilled. "Express'd in the condition, let the forfeit
Be nominated for an equal pound
Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your body pleaseth me."
(1.3.144-147) "I'll have my bond, and therefore speak no more.
I'll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool,
To shake the head, relent, and sigh, and yield
To Christian intercessor. Follow not;
I'll have no speaking; I'll have my bond."
(3.3.13-17) "For, as thou urgest justice, be assur'd
Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir'st."
(4.1.314-315) Shylock was demanding for justice. Portia states that he will have his justice, but alot more than he'll anticipate. "Therefore prepare thee to cut off the flesh.
Shed thou no blood; nor cut thou less, nor more,
But just a pound of flesh"
(4.1.322-324) It is said that Shylock cannot take any more or less than a pound. If Shylock takes more or less than a pound he loses all his belongings. It is impossible to cut flesh without shedding blood. 1) Did Shylock have a good or valid reason for seeking revenge and trying to endanger the life of Antonio ? 2) What did Shylock truly want? His loan repaid or his thirst for revenge quenched? 1a) No, Shylock did not have a valid reason for seeking revenge. He did it out of hatred and revenge. " So can I give no reason, nor i will not,
More than a lodg'd hate and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio, that i follow thus
A losing suit against him."
(4.1.59-62) 2a) Shylock wanted revenge, nothing more and nothing less. He would stop at nothing to see his bond fulfilled and justice being served. "If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them. I would have my bond."
(4.1.85-87)
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