Homework Help

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

user profile pic

rainbow224 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 28, 2013 at 4:41 AM via web

dislike 0 like

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


Honoured gentlemen of the Court,

I am well aware that you have little empathy for me as, in your eyes, I am a Jew whom you have forced to convert on threat of death. I am conscious that you consider me no more than a vengeful villain for insisting on my rightful payments of Antonio’s debt to me. But Sirs, I want to elucidate the vindictive adversities I have confronted, beginning at my early days. We Jews are repudiated by the Venetian society, our humanity denied. Certainly, you are aware of the few opportunities and rights offered to Jews in such society. Even so, I am a man who’s sincere and truthful and continues to attempt to make a living in a society which excludes my existence. Now that I am left to reflect upon my actions and subsequent judgments, I believe that they were unjust. Sirs, I am requesting to be heard for I am praying to be even marginally understood and pitied for may the concerning punishment be aroused and reconsidered.

1 Answer | Add Yours

user profile pic

sensei918 | College Teacher | (Level 1) Associate Educator

Posted April 30, 2013 at 2:27 PM (Answer #1)

dislike 1 like

I am surmising that by "essay" you mean that your assignment was to write a speech for Shylock to plead his case after he has been sentenced to lose his fortune and become a Christian in The Merchant of Venice. What I would suggest first is that you take out any contractions. Shylock would not have said that he is a man "who's" sincere. He would have said "who is."

Aside from that, you might look back over his famous speech in Act III, Scene 1 about being a Jew ("when you prick us, do we not bleed") and frame you speech in the same kind of language. Moreover, you might check to see if he uses such flowery vocabulary as you have given him, such as "elucidate the vindictive adversaries". You do seem to have captured the empathy that Shakespeare evokes in his audience for Shylock's plight despite his behavior.  


Join to answer this question

Join a community of thousands of dedicated teachers and students.

Join eNotes