Antonio borrows the money for his friend Bassanio, who needs it to court the wealthy Portia. The only way he can keep half his estate is by converting to Christianity. Shylock plays the stereotypical greedy Jew, who is spat upon by his Christian enemies, and constantly insulted by them. His daughter runs away with a Christian and abandons her Jewish heritage. After being outsmarted by the gentiles, Shylock is forced to convert to Christianity— at which point, he simply disappears from the play, never to be heard of again. The fact that The Merchant of Venice was a favorite of Nazi Germany certainly lends credence to the charge of anti-Semitism.
All Acts and Scenes are listed on the The Merchant of Venice text page, or linked to from the bottom of this page. I am sorry for thee: thou art come to answer A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch uncapable of pity, void and empty From any dram of mercy. Make room, and let him stand before our face. We all expect a gentle answer, Jew. What if my house be troubled with a rat And I be pleased to give ten thousand ducats To have it baned?
Stage directions are instructions and direction to the actors, and not spoken lines. Your email address will not be published. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Accessed 22 April
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