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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 11 | (Level 1) Valedictorian

Posted April 30, 2013 at 2:49 PM via web

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

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Honoured Sirs, I would 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 long and cruel oppression. Other than being spat upon, I had been kicked numerous times. Children were no less rigorous towards me than the adults. They spoke contemptuously and ferociously whenever they passed me. Even those too young to link words to form a sentence knew utterly well the ways they should mistreat Jews. After years of extreme treatment, I almost became numb to everything. I have swallowed word after word, cOme to a point where nothing matterS(ed). This is what I have tried to make myself believe; a lie.

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My tolerance dwindled with years until I was unable to endure this harshness anymore and, therefore, called in my bond. Even then, consequences that followed were more punitive than anything (I have confronted). The one thing that I treasured the most was my religion and now, even that has been taken away from me. Converting to Christianity may have saved my soul; so, what will become of me now Sirs?  I WAS HOPING(hoped) that I would be welcomed by the Venetian Christians. I believed that I would be accepted as part of their family, embraced by their mercy and kindness - a true Christian virtue. Now I know that all of that was merely my thoughts. Neither warmth nor acceptance have I found. I continue to be isolated, seen as a Jew who converted to Christianity on threat of death. How could I expect to be accepted under these circumstances? Neither Jew nor Christian? IF ONLY I COULD (At least, to) be accepted by someone, somewhere, and (to) have a family. (All) I am requesting (is for)YOUR consideration regarding my conversion. No longer can I tolerate being abandoned (from)BY 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 bear it as I have successively done in the past. I am used to these kinds of prejudices against Jews. As long as I find acceptance, I will survive. I beg of you to be thoughtful regarding my conversion and show sympathy. As I do not belong as part of Christianity I would like to be considered Jewish again.


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

Posted April 30, 2013 at 8:21 PM (Answer #1)

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When tasked with interpreting a work of Shakespeare, such as The Merchant of Venice, it is interesting to be able to add your own emphasis to one or another character.

Shylock is one of the main characters in this play, in fact, critics argue that the name, The Merchant of Venice does not explain or necessarily lend itself to the plot sufficiently. Although Antonio is crucial to the development and it is his agreement to deliver "a pound of flesh," Shylock certainly plays the leading role.

There are a few alterations needed to your sentence structure - not many -  as in the edited version above and these paragraphs deliver what it seems you intended.

Shylock - although he is a confrontational character - has managed to control his emotions to the point of reaching his audience rather than irritating and infuriating it. Shylock is not a forgiving man himself but he does recognize when to be assertive but NOT aggressive - in terms of this interpretation.


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