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Word Count: 543
Antonio and Shylock are two of the main characters in the Merchant of Venice One of the main plots is to do with the conflict between these two The main thing that causes these two to argue is their religion Antonio is a Christian and Shylock is a Jew In Shakespearean times there was a huge conflict between these two religions The Jews were less common making them the minority group and were usually the victims Antonio didnt like Shylock because he was a Jew and he let Shylock know his feelings However two wrongs dont make a right In other words just because Antonio hated Shylock and spat in his face theres no reason why Shylock couldnt just show Antonio love or just stay away from him Shylock chose to get revenge so he probably would be viewed as a villain Prejudice doesnt get anyone anywhere This is probably the strongest message of the play Antonios prejudice against Shylock almost got him killed and Shylocks prejudice against Antonio converted him to Christianity and robbed him of all his possessions Perhaps the play is neither pro-Jewish nor pro-Christian since neither the Jew or the Christian are perfect they both have faults After reading The Merchant of Venice and seeing how unjustly poor Shylock was treated by his Christian contemporaries I cant help but wonder if Shakespeare was actually trying to show the world how hypocritical members of any religion could be be it Jewish Christian or anything else For although these two disliked each other based mainly on differences of religious doctrine they had more in common than bleeding when pricked laughing when tickled or dying when poisoned They are both extremely greedy Actually the whole play is based on greed and money Shylock in particular keeps babbling on and on about those precious ducats of his as if they could actually be more important than his own flesh and blood
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