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The Merchant of Venice- Shylock's Monologue

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Asari Archie

on 29 May 2015

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Transcript of The Merchant of Venice- Shylock's Monologue

Although a promise is a promise (and Antonio shouldn't of agreed to such a bizarre form of collateral) Shylock wasn't enraged about the flesh. He was just going through a very rough patch in his life and needed a distraction.
Context Cont.
The audience for Shylock's Plea is the court.
He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? 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 wrong us, shall we not revenge?
If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Analysis cont.
The person Shylock's speech all his frustrations were really directed at was his only daughter, Jessica, who ran away and eloped with a christian man named Lorenzo, rejecting her jewish heritage and becoming a christian herself. This hurt Shylock because of the flamboyant disregard for him as a person and his religion.
Analysis Cont.
This is why Shylock says at the beginning of his speech "If it will feed nothing else," because he is just directing his anger at another source- letting it feed.
The Merchant of Venice- Shylock's Monologue

The speaker of the monologue is Shylock, a wealthy and greedy jewish man who lives in Venice.
The occasion is when Shylock's nemesis, Antonio, cannot pay back the money Shylock lent him, Shylock takes him to court to claim his incentive- a pound of Antonio's flesh.
The purpose is to prove that even if someone is objectable as a person, justice still stands
The subject is the humanity of Jews.
The tone is angry, hurt, resentful, and argumentative.
Shylock also talks about his humanity a great deal- because he felt dehumanized by his daughter.
Full transcript