Wikimedia Commons It seems that every generation has its Shylock—a despised financier blamed for the economic problems of his day. Today it is the mortgage bankers who, over the past few years, lent billions of dollars to home buyers—hundreds of thousands of whom are now delinquent or in default on their loans. The villains, we are told, are not the borrowers—who took out loans they could not afford to pay back—but the moneylenders—who either deceived the borrowers or should have known better than to make the loans in the first place.
Shylock is hesitant about lending Bassanio the money.
He knows for a fact that Antonio is a rich man, but he also knows that all of Antonio's money is invested in his merchant fleet. At the present time, Antonio's ships are bound for distant places, and therefore vulnerable to many perils at sea.
Yet he says finally, "I think I may take his bond. When Antonio suddenly appears, Shylock in an aside expresses contempt for him, saying that he hates Antonio because he is a Christian, but more important, he hates Antonio because Antonio lends money to people without charging interest; moreover, Antonio publicly condemns Shylock for charging excessive interest in his moneylending business.
Finally, though, Shylock agrees to lend Bassanio the three thousand ducats. Antonio then says that he — as a rule — never lends nor borrows money by taking or giving interest. Yet because of his friend Bassanio's pressing need, Antonio is willing to break this rule. The term of the loan will be for three months, and Antonio will give his bond as security.
While Bassanio and Antonio are waiting to learn the rate of interest which Shylock will charge for the loan, Shylock digresses. He tells them about the biblical story of how Jacob increased his herd of sheep.
He calculates the interest which he will charge and announces: And now Antonio and Bassanio come asking him for money. Yet they pride themselves that Antonio is a virtuous man because he lends money to friends, with no interest involved.
Is this loan, Shylock inquires, a loan to be arranged among "friends"? On the contrary; this is not to be regarded as a loan between friends, Antonio asserts. In fact, Antonio says, Shylock may regard it as a loan to an enemy if he wishes.
Then, surprisingly, Shylock says that he wants Antonio's friendship, and to prove it, he will advance the loan without charging a penny of interest. But in order to make this transaction "a merry sport," Shylock wants a penalty clause providing that if Antonio fails to repay the loan within the specified time, Shylock will have the right to cut a "pound of flesh" from any part of Antonio's body.
Bassanio objects to his friend's placing himself in such danger for his sake, but Antonio assures him that long before the loan is due that some of his ships will return from abroad and that he will be able to repay the loan three times over.
Shylock insists, at this point, that the penalty is merely a jest. He could gain nothing by exacting the forfeit of a pound of human flesh, which is not even as valuable as mutton or beef.
The contract is agreed to, and despite Bassanio's misgivings, Antonio consents to Shylock's terms. Analysis This scene has two important functions. First, it completes the exposition of the two major plot lines of the play: Antonio agrees to Shylock's bond — three thousand ducats for a pound of flesh; and second, and more important dramatically, this scene introduces Shylock himself.PART I: An ancient Mariner meeteth three gallants bidden to a wedding feast, and detaineth one.
IT is an ancient Mariner: And he stoppeth one of three. 'By thy long beard and glittering eye. Featured Essays and Book Excerpts on Shakespeare's Plays The Merchant of Venice Setting, Atmosphere and the Unsympathetic Venetians in The Merchant of Venice Themes in The Merchant of Venice A Merry Devil: Launcelot Gobbo in The Merchant of Venice Three Interpretations of Shylock.
Feminism has been a prominent and controversial topic in writings for the past two centuries. With novels such as Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, or even William Shakespeare’s Macbeth the fascination over this subject by authors is evident. The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare’s most beautiful plays and, conversely, his ugliest.
Juxtaposed within the same conceptual frame are heavenly and musical harmonies, romantic love, materialism, and racism. This Norton Critical Edition has been carefully edited to make The Merchant of Venice, its surrounding history, and the history of its critical reception and rewritings.
Script of Act I Merchant of Venice The play by William Shakespeare. Introduction This section contains the script of Act I of Merchant of Venice the play by William leslutinsduphoenix.com enduring works of William Shakespeare feature many famous and well loved characters.
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