How could one write a newspaper report, reflecting the Jewish persepctive, on the trial of Antonio?    

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kipling2448 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

A newspaper article reflecting a Jewish perspective on the trial of Antonio would have to focus on the context in which the trial takes place.  A moneylender, who happens to be Jewish, insists on the pound of flesh that was part of a bargain with a known antisemite in exchange for money Antonio promised to his friend.  Shylock, in an impassioned speech, attests to the humanity that he, like all Jews, possesses:

"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 weapon...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, do we not revenge?"

Despite appearing in Act 3 of the play, while the trial consumes Act 4, Shylock's climactic speech would be quoted at length in the newspaper article, as it speaks directly to the frustration of Jews subjected to a long history of persecution for their religious beliefs. 

The article would also likely include the intrigue and machinations that were involved in deceiving Shylock during the trial, especially Portia's use of a disguise to pretend to be a lawyer so as to manipulate the court proceedings in Antonio's favor.  Next, the newspaper article would likely detail the manner in which Shylock's estate becomes a bargaining chip, once again at the hands of the "lawyer" Portia, unless Shylock, an "alien" in Venice by virtue of his religion, converts to Christianity.  

Finally, the article would provide an epilogue, in which Antonio, Portia, and the rest go along to live their lives in comfort and happiness while Shylock is left broken.

Read the study guide:
The Merchant of Venice

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