Why Is Shylock So Difficult To Earn Respect

Better Essays
29/03/2015
Nancy Ashour

Revision of the Deep Structure of the rough draft of “Shylock’s Actions in an Effort to Earn Respect”
Introductory Paragraph
Thesis: “One cannot deny the fact that Shylock and the whole Jewish community are exposed to severe persecution, and so consequently, I believe that Shylock was only what the Christians around him made him to be, however, if he were to find himself in a less hostile environment, he would not have been that cold-blooded, as he would not have had to try as hard to earn respect.”
Important Idea: Shylock’s behavior was a result of the way he was previously treated by the Christians. He was ruthless because he was trying way too hard to earn respect. However, is it completely the Christians’ fault?
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For example, the way most Egyptians think nowadays is a result of Egypt’s culture which they were exposed to while growing up.

Differences in Religious Beliefs:
This causes many feuds and arguments.
All religions should be respected.
It is not right for one person to mistreat another because of differences in religious beliefs.
In the Merchant of Venice, the anti-Semitism there causes many social problems and affects all of the citizens.
One should respect others no matter what they believe in.
It is no one’s right to enforce their way of thought or their beliefs on others. Everyone should have the right to believe in what they want. Therefore, it was not right for the Christians to put Shylock in a bad situation, where he has to convert from his original faith.

Manipulating the Needs of Others:
Lots of people tend to take advantage of others when they are in need.
This can backfire. We can see this in Shylock’s situation, where he ends up leaving with less than he went in with.
One should be careful of who he asks for help.
“A friend in need is a friend indeed.”
Those who are trying to bring you down will use your needs against
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One can argue that Shylock’s cruelty is something he was born with (somewhat an inherited trait), however, it is clear that the persecution that he was exposed to had the greatest impact on his psychological growth and can be used to account for his reckless actions. Our surroundings affect the way we think, behave, and develop as individuals. Unfortunately, Shylock grew up in an anti-Semitic culture, where Jews were alienated and made to feel inferior. In order to gain respect and prove to the Christians his capabilities, Shylock was willing to go to great extents (involving the cutting up of someone else’s flesh). Moreover, he craved revenge for all the times he was mistreated. We can see this in in Act III, scene 1, where he says the famous “Hath not a Jew Eyes” speech, expressing his belief that he, and all other Jews, are equal to Christians and that it was his right to get revenge, just as it was a Christian’s right to get revenge if the same had happened to him/her. Therefore, if he was in a less hostile environment, he would not have been that brutal, as he would not have felt the need to try as hard to show his worth. This then goes to support the idea that Shylock’s behavior was

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