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A modern audience would respond to Shakespeares The Merchant of Venice differently to the early 1600s audience because the play is meant to be comedy The first audience would laugh and a modern audience wouldnt because the language is difficult to understand as many words have changed Main differences would be would be the vocabulary and terms used in the 17th century Launcelot says turn up your right hand at the next turning but at the next turning of all on your left marry at the very next turning turn of no hand but turn down indirectly to the Jews house There is just a slight difficulty in understanding the play for the modern audience but this would not pose a problem in understanding a delightful play such as The Merchant of Venice The main themes of The Merchant of Venice are racism revenge and love Racism is towards Jews ie Shylock mainly because he has money and is of a different religion As many people of different religions in that period were called unbelievers Signs of racism are seen when Antonio spits on Shylocks gabardine and calls him cut throat dog Shylock couldnt do anything because Christians had different rights to Jews at that time When Bassanio wanted to borrow 3000 ducats from Antonio to woo Portia but Antonios money is overseas so Antonio went to Shylock the money lender Shylock asked why he should lend him money after everything he had done Antonio says he will still call him names and spit on his gaberdine Shylock agrees to lend 3000 ducats to him but if the money isnt back after 3 months Shylock will take a pound of flesh from Antonios body - nearest to the heart This shows that Antonio is sure that he can return the 3000 ducats after 3 months and Shylock is hoping that Antonio cant pay him back so he can take the pound
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