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In Shakespeares play The Merchant of Venice Shylock a wealthy Jew is one of the main characters During the play his merciless and uncompassionate nature is revealed He seeks the life of another man because all he wants is revenge I do not feel sorry for Shylock at all because of his selfishness and disregard for other people One of the main themes of the play is anti-Semitism Most of the main characters show some hostility towards Shylock because of his religion including Antonio the merchant of Venice his Christian enemy However this is balanced to an extent as Shylock frequently and openly admits that he hates Antonio For he is a Christian Act 1 Scene 3 Line 39 He will not rest until Antonio is dead and in my opinion this is indefensible Shylock is presented with an ideal opportunity to kill Antonio when Bassanio goes to his friend Antonio for a loan of money He needs the money so that he can go to Belmont and try for the hand of Lady Portia a wealthy and beautiful lady Antonio has no money at present to lend to Bassanio so he suggests that Bassanio borrows from Shylock The three men meet and agree to a bond which states that Bassanio will have a loan of 3000 ducats for three months but if Antonio fails to repay Shylock Shylock will claim a pound of his flesh Meanwhile in Belmont Portia is complaining to Nerrisa - her maid - about the terms of her fathers will Any man who wishes to marry her must choose from caskets of gold silver and lead as a test to make sure his intentions are honourable Two men choose the gold and silver ones and are turned away Bassanio and his friend Gratiano arrive Bassanio chooses correctly proving that there is more to his interest in Portia than his own financial gain Gratiano falls in love with Nerrisa and the
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