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Merchant Of Venice Essay

531 words - 3 pages

Racism is defined; as the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures usually involving the idea that one's own race is superior and has the right to rule and dominate others.Racism is an ongoing problem, we encounter Racism and religious intolerance in our society today.Australia is a multicultural society; many people who live here have different cultures, religion or colored skin, so racism is going to be expected with the majority of different kind of people Australia occupies.This kind of behavior was also evident in Shakespeare time. The way Shakespeare represents some characters leaves us to question ...view middle of the document...

Shylock was frustrated when his most worthy possession, Jessica, was taken away from his Christian enemies. Therefore, racism is evident on both races.Shakespeare turns this character Shylock from the sympathetic character, which he was represented as in the beginning, to a cruel and grasping Jew. Shakespeare also refers to Shylock as being mean, evil, and selfish and having low human rights and manner throughout the play. Racism and Religious intolerance is being shown towards Shylock by the characters Antonio, Gratiano and Bassiano. This hate begins when Antonio is unable to repay the loan he owe's Shylock. So now, Shylock is demanding for his bond (a pound of flesh) and has taken Antonio to court to obtain it. Gratiano calls Shylock an "execrable dog", and is displayed as the bad guy because of this.But the story contains more themes than just racism, another theme is love. But the love I'm going to be talking about is the one between Jessica and Lorenzo. This relate's to racism and religious intolerance because Jessica was a Jew and Lorenzo was a Christian, and even though they were deeply in love with each other Shylock opposed his daughter to see Lorenzo. But even though it was against the family beliefs, they ran away from home so they could be together. This proves that two different races and religions can get on well with each other. Tolerance and intolerance of religion and race are both shown in the play.The audience is expected to believe the enemy is the Jew and racism is shown towards them. However, at the same time love is blossoming between two people from different races.

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