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Please give me suggestions on how to improve this essay based on Shylock from The...

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rainbow224 | Student, Grade 10 | Valedictorian

Posted April 20, 2013 at 3:05 AM via web

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Please give me suggestions on how to improve this essay based on Shylock from The Merchant of Venice.

Please correct grammar, punctuation and sentences

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Honoured Sirs, I would also like to reveal both the verbal and physical abuse I have suffered at the hands of both adults and children. I have been made the hard, savage, relentless creature which is seen by everyone due to the long and cruel oppression. Other than being spat upon, I have been kicked numerous times by not only Antonio but other Venetian Christians. Children ranged in my different ages are no less rigorous towards me than the adults. They speak contemptuously and talk ferociously whenever they came pass me. Even those too young to even link words to form a sentence knew utterly well the ways they should mistreat us Jews. After years of vile treatment, I have become numb to everything. I swallowed word after word, came to a point where nothing did matter; that is what I wanted myself to believe, a lie. My tolerance loosened with years until I was not able to endure this harshness anymore and therefore desired my bond. Even then, consequences that followed were more punitive than anything I have confronted. The only thing that I treasured the most was my religion and now, even that is taken away from me. Converting to Christianity may have saved my soul; however, what would become of me now Sirs? I thought that I would be welcomed by the Venetian Christians. I believed that I would be accepted as part of them, part of their family, embraced by their mercy and kindness. Now I know that all of that was merely my imagination. Neither warmth nor acceptance I found. I continue to be isolated, seen as a Jew who converted to Christianity on threat of death. Even my Jewish brother deserted me as well. No longer part of them as I have failed to make them proud, failed to retain my own religion and beliefs that I have fought for so many years. I cannot find acceptance by either, I have become an outcast, a little more than beggar on the street, alienated from just about everyone. Honoured Gentlemen, I rather die than be executed from my Jewish brothers. At the least, I was accepted by someone, fitted somewhere, and had a family. All I am requesting is for consideration upon my conversion. No longer can I tolerate being abandoned from those who I have been with since childhood. Even though all the discrimination I have received is abhorrent to me, I can endure it and attempt to bear it like I have successively done in the past, as long as I have someone who accepts me, lending me their hand when in need, a shoulder to cry on in times of trouble and a supportive back in times of hardships. I beg of you to be thoughtful regarding my conversion and show sympathy. I do not desire anything more than just returning back and continuing life as a Jew with my Jewish brothers.

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I would like to share a mournful real life of a boy who was tormented in every way as everything precious to him gets taken away . My mother taught many things. Whether it was a practical advice or ethical, her wise words gave me something to live by and to believe in. Without even realizing it, her voice became those words inside my head, and her theory became those I shared with many other people and friends. She was the bank where I deposited all my hurts and worriers. After being harassed by other Christian boys when I was a little boy, she would comfort me in her arms and tell me that it was ok. That’s all I needed; acceptance and warmth. She brought the sunshine in the house, made it pleasure being there. She was my teacher, adviser and the greatest inspiration when I needed it. She understood what I could not say. She acted both as a mother and a father after my father’s death.  My father died due to overwork as he was put into labour. He was a Jew and not many job opportunities were given and so he strived at every job possible that would earn him money, just to keep his family alive. After his death, mother attempted not to show how lonely and depressed she was, so I would not be affected anyhow. Even so, I was lonely at times, wanted my father back. Not too long after, my mother followed him. While she was attending the synagogue, a group of Venetian Christians burnt down the building, they even dishonoured us Jews in death; they burn down my mother’s body. They did not even leave her to die in peace. Everything that I treasured was taken away from me.  I was a frozen soul with just a heart that beats. I blocked my emotions, thoughts, did not even shed tears. I came to hate this society. I hated the place I live in; it is full of memories I want to forget about. I was traumatized, dead. My life became a perfect graveyard of buried hopes. 

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted April 23, 2013 at 2:32 PM (Answer #1)

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Please take care not to ask multiple questions as eNotes rules do not allow for this. I have tried to guide you below to an understanding of better structure by correcting poor phrasing and verb use (take care with the tenses) and commas as these will make your essay flow better. Structure is important as otherwise the reader gets bored, trying to work too hard to understand what your MAIN focus or intention is.

Putting too much information into a paragraph actually detracts from what you are saying. Try and find a few points to get your message across; otherwise, it rambles and interest is lost.  Paragraphs should never be so long; this is an indication that you need to edit your work.   

You have used strong words which are good and add to the passion and drama and help the reader to believe the hurt you (Shylock) are / is feeling. Shylock is a strong character - hated by most but pitied because he is doomed simply for being a Jew! He  “is a kind of devil” (II.ii.24)  Do not minimize his character.He is but a "faithless" Jew and would not focus on" having a shoulder to cry on" - You must be sure to structure it so that the reader still pities him without him becoming a "wimp" (for want of a better word!)    

At the end of the passage I have included below, there is a natural break so your next paragraph should begin there. The structure will be lost if there are too many different ideas in one paragraph. When you go on to talk about Shylock's Jewishness and his forced conversion, this needs its own paragraph. 

You should edit it using the same principles explained above. If you go into too much detail, Shylock's devastation at the loss of his beloved religion will not be your focus. Shylock is strong and powerful, even in defeat so be careful that you do not lose that and make him TOO pitiful      

Honoured Sirs, I would (also) like to reveal both the verbal and physical abuse I have suffered at the hands of both adults and children. I have been made the hard, savage, relentless creature which is seen by everyone due to (the) long and cruel oppression. Other than being spat upon, I have been kicked numerous times by, not only Antonio, but other Venetian Christians. Children, ranging in age,  (ranged in my different ages )are no less rigorous towards me than the adults. They speak contemptuously and talk ferociously whenever they (came) pass me. Even those too young to (even) link words to form a sentence know utterly well the ways they should mistreat us Jews. After years of vile treatment, I have become numb to everything. I have swallowed word after word, come to a point where nothing (did) matters. THIS (that) is what I have tried to make myself (wanted to) believe- a lie.

 

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