The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

Start Your Free Trial

In The Merchant of Venice, does Shylock actually convert to Christianity?

Expert Answers info

Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator | Certified Educator

calendarEducator since 2009

write5,918 answers

starTop subjects are Literature, Social Sciences, and Business

The text does not give any indication as to whether or when Shylock fulfills the injunctions put upon him by the Court regarding converting to Christianity. We can only infer whether he does convert or not. There are two parts to his sentence. The Duke by law was obliged to convict Shylock to death for plotting against Antonio's life:

That indirectly and directly too
Thou hast contrived against the very life
Of the defendant; (Portia IV.i)

The Duke, in order to teach Shylock Christian mercy, pardons Shylock's life but sentences him regarding his wealth: half his wealth is to go to Antonio and the other...

(The entire section contains 409 words.)

Unlock This Answer Now

Further Reading:

check Approved by eNotes Editorial

revolution | Student

Yes, he did convert to Christianity but actually, he was forced to it.

When he lost his case, he was an non-citizen and had to pay a fine for threatening a Vatican, so half of his property had to go to the state and the other half have to go to the accused, Antonio but he, showing Christian mercy, decided to offer Shylock his share of the estate back to him but on two conditions that he converted to Christianity and give all of his goods and property to Jessica and Lorenzo upon his death. Having no choice, he resented and left.

This shows that he had been forced to convert to Christianity and it was not that he was willing to do it, he had conditions and he need to fulfill it or face undesired consequences

check Approved by eNotes Editorial
saanwar | Student

no he would never be a christian only a jew

check Approved by eNotes Editorial
ashdash | Student

no he does not

check Approved by eNotes Editorial