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The Merchant of Venice Bonds - English Coursework Free essay! Download now

Home > GCSE > English literature > The Merchant of Venice Bonds - English Coursework

The Merchant of Venice Bonds - English Coursework

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Downloads to date: N/A | Words: 1100 | Submitted: 09-Mar-2008
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In my essay I intend to explain how bonds are important in the running of the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and how they act as a theme, forming the backbone of the story.

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In my essay I intend to explain how bonds are important in the running of the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and how they act as a theme, forming the backbone of the story.
The bond between Antonio and Shylock, the most significant and obvious of all the bonds within the play, forms a basis in the play to which most other bonds are connected, whether directly or indirectly. Both Antonio and Shylock despise each other to begin with and, through the play, grow to hate one another with a passion, falling short of killing each other. This started just because of religion. It has been suggested that Jews were scorned and ridiculed during the Elizabethan era, as has always been. Shylock is a Jew. Antonio is a respected Christian within society, so has to join in with the prejudice of the Jews. Early on, Shylock simply says “I hate him for he is Christian”, representative of the animosity between the two factions. Another example of this Christian/Jewish antagonism is when Shylock says “Fair sir, you spat on me Wednesday last . . . another day you called me dog” to which Antonio replies “I am as likely to call thee so again . . . to spurn thee again”. in this exchange Shylocks language appears polite as he says ‘fair sir’, however his tone is an ironic one where he humbles himself before Antonio, poking fun at Antonio using sarcasm. Recognising the religious divide between the to, Shylock says “if I catch him once upon the hip I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him”, this is a mixture of religious and personal resentment that Shylock shows Antonio, meaning that, given the chance, Shylock will avenge every wrong Christians have done to his race and every wrong Antonio has done Shylock by taking it out on Antonio.
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