Based on "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare. This is my first time writing fanfics so please let me know what you think. Thanks!
- Arabella Golding x
Summary of the play:
The play begins with the character of Bassanio needing three thousand ducats in order to court a young heiress named Portia in Belmont. He goes to his close friend Antonio who lends him the money from a Jewish money lender named Shylock, who has a hatred for Antonio and his anti- semitic views, as all of his fortune is invested in a fleet of ships. Both Antonio and Shylock agree to the terms of the bond and forfeiture- if the bond is unable to be payed on time Shylock will take a fatal pound of flesh from Antonio from wherever pleases him. Bassanio wins the hand of Portia and soon finds out that Antonio has had to forfeit the bond due to the loss of his fleet at sea. He then rushes back to Venice to try to save his friend and is secretly followed by Portia disguised as a male doctor of law. They win Antonio's case and Shylock loses everything and is forced to convert to Christianity.
Shakespearien audiences have loved to hate the character of Shylock but
I believe not everything is as black and white as it seems...Shylock's Perspective
I am a Jew. Forced to be a Christian though in my soul I am still a Jew. What cardinal sins did I commit to deserve such punishment when revenge is nothing more than human nature? The merchant walks free. Unscathed. Our bond left unhonoured yet the merchant walks free. Antonio's life's blood still courses through his veins to serve a heart black with malice and distaste that rightly belongs to me. I did no wrong neither by Venetian law nor Christian principle. If a Jew wrongs a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrongs a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why revenge. Yet I am cast the villainous evil from a child's fairytale, forever adored to be hated by the evil lurking in everyday man. The villainy you teach me, I will execute; and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. Thou call'dst me a dog before thou had a cause. But, since I am a dog, beware my fangs!
Stolen from by my own kin, dear Jessica grabbed as much as she could carry and more then fled under the cover of darkness, too cowardly to face her father and merit the consequence. I live alone and unloved with that betrayal still hanging stale n my mind. I shall never forget that God awful day when she was heard of in Genoa and I was delivered the truth. My lone reminder of my beautiful wife. Gone. The very symbol of my unfaltering live for her, with no beginning nor end, gone in a selfish and childish turn of events. The wedding ring of her sweet deceased mother pawned off in exchange for a monkey. No doubt another attempt to humiliate and curse the family name further. I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear. Would she were dead at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! She will be damned for it. The sweet injustice of so called mercy leaves me bound to nothing. Taunted and trapped like a monstrous animal caught in a tent. Death would have been a more merciful and dignified end.
How like a fawning republican he looked. My means of living threatened by his bone idle services and loans. To him I am the sinful one and will serve my damnation in the fiery bowels of hell for little more than my Jewishness. Yet if Master Antonio is so religious in his morals and true to his faith, surely he would treat me, my people, as his equal and not as a ravenous decay to be spat on? To scathe and balk at a business of lending money with interest shows him to be a hateful hypocrite. How am I meant to earn my living when jobs for a man of my faith are that of a servant doomed to stoop at his Christian master's every whim? Where lays his obedience to other Christian values such as ' Love your neighbour as yourself'?
The gentile court believed they were merciful at my conversion- that they have saved my wretched soul from that end. Yet the so called mercy of the Venetian law honoured me less than a dog, casting me away like the rest of society. Justice indeed! Mercy indeed! It sickens me to my very core. I regret nothing. To have my due and bond repaid was my only request after a lifetime of sufferance, though this justice is non- existent for a man of my lowly status. The very law I depend on for my security and protection is as biased as the bloodthirsty hounds that stalk my very being.
The trial haunts my contentious thoughts and in sleep alike, snatching away my few moments of happiness as I approch the autumns of my life without the care of my dear Jessica. I am but a frail old man yet they still bear me neither good will nor mercy. Cruel callous claws grip my mind in mocking. It forces me to relive that traitorous trail as the memories come flooding back with a vengeance. The cacophony if bawling voices defending the accused. The vast array of wolffish grins and deafening glared were that of a hungry predator feasting a glance at its next meal. They eagerly awaited my downfall. It was only a matter of time and consequence. The abuse hurled was not of a man but more similar to the raging primitive anger of animals, hate glazing over their sense of reason and I a lamb to the slaughter of humanity's prejudice and Anti-semitism.
I am a Jew. Forced to be a Christian though in my soul I am still a Jew. Hath a Jew not eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? And if you wrong us shall we not revenge?
I am content.
I am defeated.