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Appearance vs. Reality

  • Date Submitted: 01/28/2010 07:21 AM
  • Flesch-Kincaid Score: 54 
  • Words: 1189
  • Essay Grade: 4,00 /5 (1 Graders)
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The Merchant of Venice explores the theme of Appearance versus Reality. The theme is supported with many examples in the form of characters, events and objects.

During the discussion of the bond, Shylock says to Antonio “ I would be friends with you and have your love” and “this kindness will I show”. He pretends to be Antonio’s friend, but he has an ulterior motive, which is to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh from whatever part of his body he pleases. The underlying meaning is to kill him, and thus, although Shylock seems good-hearted, he is in truth, harbouring deceit.   Shylock is manipulative and crafty as he tries to put up a show to deceive Antonio. He sounds generous about offering the three thousand ducats without “usance for my moneys”, thus winning Antonio’s trust. This was done to divert Antonio’s attention from his actual intentions. However, Shylock proposes a flesh bond as a “merry sport”, in substitution for not charging interest. The bond, although an unusual forfeit, is a serious matter, because Antonio may be killed from accepting its terms and conditions. Shylock is a brilliant strategist, and even the perceptive businessman, Antonio, has fallen for it. Shylock is a vindictive and unforgiving man, whose hatred for Christians has driven him to want to kill Antonio. We know that Shylock has suffered emotionally and physically because of how Antonio has kicked, spat and rated him many a times. Thus he deserves some of our pity, as taking revenge on your enemy is only natural.

Launcelot is a Christian and should hate Jews, but instead he is a trustworthy friend and confidante to a Jewish girl, Jessica. He is not religiously prejudiced against Jessica because he sees a gentle and amiable spirit in her. Launcelot is trustworthy because Jessica entrusts a letter in his care for Lorenzo. Jessica...


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  1. appearance vs reality
    • Jun 16, 2011 - Evaluator: (girija)
    • i am happy with the content. i learnt a lot.