What does Shylock mean in his Act 3, Scene 1 speech ("To bait fish withal... will better the instruction.")?

Expert Answers

An illustration of the letter 'A' in a speech bubbles

Please follow the link below for a modern translation of the text.

"To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, 
it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and 
hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, 
mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my 
bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine 
enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath 
not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, 
dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with 
the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject 
to the same diseases, healed by the same means, 
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as 
a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? 
if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison 
us, do we not die? and if you wrong us, shall we not 
revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will 

(The entire section contains 2 answers and 454 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Start your 48-hour free trial to unlock this answer and thousands more. Enjoy eNotes ad-free and cancel anytime.

Start your 48-Hour Free Trial
Approved by eNotes Editorial Team