Merchant of Venice

Create a 5 page essay paper that discusses Merchant of Venice. Thus, it can be argued that Shakespeare was not being anti-Semitic when he placed a Jew as a usurer in his play, rather that he was using historical fact as a basis for writing his play. To have written anything else would have been entirely out of historical context.Shakespeare, the greatest dramatist of all time,was not concerned with the issue of anti-Semitism, rather he used the fact that Shylock was a Jew as a tool, through which he was able to explore the issues he wished to discuss in this play – the play, read in this way, is not itself anti-Semitic, rather, it is a play about anti-Semitism, about the similarities and differences one encounters when dealing with people of different religions. Throughout all of Shakespeare’s writing, he uses characters as tools with which to build his story, and entertain his viewers/readers – The Merchant of Venice is no exception to this rule, and so according to this reading of Shakespeare’s motives, this interpretation of the play can be argued to be valid.

Shakespeare’s creation of a character as multi-faceted as Shylock is a testament to his skills as a writer –at times we sympathize with Shylock, at times we simply cannot understand his methods or motives. this is because Shakespeare wanted to create a ‘larger than life’ villainous character, who would entertain us through his actions. He is an eternally fascinating character, he keeps us, the viewer/reader, captivated. The fact that Shylock is a Jew is incidental to the drama. Shakespeare wanted to design a character through which he could develop the action of his play, and it is testament to Shakespeare’s skills as a dramatist that he created such a memorable character, that leaves the reader asking so many questions.At times we dislike Shylock, at times we sympathize with the things he is going through. at all times, he arrests us with his depth and his evident selfishness. he is captivating as a…….

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