An analysis of morality in richard iii a play by william shakespeare

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An analysis of morality in richard iii a play by william shakespeare

Act I, scene iii Summary: Act I, scene iii Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, agrees to loan Bassanio three thousand ducats for a term of three months. When Antonio arrives, Shylock, in an aside, confesses his hatred for the man. Antonio, Shylock says, is a Christian who lends money without interest, which makes more difficult the practice of usury, in which money is lent out at exorbitant interest rates.

Antonio makes it clear to Shylock that he is not in the habit of borrowing or lending money, but has decided to make an exception on behalf of his friend Bassanio. Their conversation leads Antonio to chastise the business of usury, which Shylock defends as a way to thrive.

Antonio responds that he is likely to do so again, and insists that Shylock lend him the money as an enemy. Such an arrangement, Antonio claims, will make it easier for Shylock to exact a harsh penalty if the loan is not repaid.

Assuring Antonio that he means to be friends, Shylock offers to make the loan without interest.

An analysis of morality in richard iii a play by william shakespeare

Instead, he suggests, seemingly in jest, that Antonio forfeit a pound of his own flesh should the loan not be repaid in due time. Bassanio warns Antonio against entering such an agreement, but Antonio assures him that he will have no trouble repaying the debt, as his ships will soon bring him wealth that far exceeds the value of the loan.

At a Glance

Bassanio remains suspicious of the arrangement, but Antonio reminds him that his ships will arrive within the next two months. However, in many ways, the play belongs to Shylock. Shylock, however, differs in that his malice seems to stem, at least in part, from the unkindness of his Christian colleagues.

Exactly how to read Shylock has been a matter of some debate, and even the most persuasive scholars would be hard-pressed to call him a flattering portrait of a Jew. In the first place, these other villains see themselves as evil, and while they may try to justify their own villainy, they also revel in it, making asides to the audience and self-consciously comparing themselves to the Vice character of medieval morality plays.

Though the Christian characters of The Merchant of Venice may view Jews as evil, Shylock does not see himself in that way. His views of himself and others are rational, articulate, and consistent. Shylock, on the other hand, is an outcast even before the play begins, vilified and spat upon by the Christian characters.


Indeed, Shylock understands the Christians and their culture much better than they understand him. The Christian characters only interact with Shylock within a framework of finance and law—he is not part of the friendship network portrayed in Act I, scene i.

Though Bassanio asks him to dine with them, Shylock says in an aside that he will not break bread with Christians, nor will he forgive Antonio, thereby signaling his rejection of one of the fundamental Christian values, forgiveness.

Shylock is able to cite the New Testament as readily as Jewish scripture, as he shows in his remark about the pig being the animal into which Christ drove the devil.

As we see more of Shylock, he does not become a hero or a fully sympathetic character, but he is an unsettling figure insofar as he exposes the inconsistencies and hypocrisies of the Christian characters. Shylock never quite fits their descriptions or expectations of him.Richard III's rise to power is made possible by his ruthless assassination of his friends, his enemies, and even his wife.

His defeat at the Battle of Bosworth comprises much of the action in the. (Even his wingman, Buckingham, is repulsed by the idea of killing innocent kids.) In other words, Richard's villainy is sort of hilarious at first, which suggests the play has a sense of humor. But then Richard becomes grotesque, which alters the play's tone in a very big way.

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Richard III study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major themes, characters, and a full summary and analysis. About Richard III Richard III Summary.

The protagonist and central villain of William Shakespeare’s Richard III, the famous play featuring the York family drama directly after the War of the Roses, is a .

The Raigne of King Edward the Third, commonly shortened to Edward III, is an Elizabethan play printed anonymously in It has frequently been claimed that it was at least partly written by William Shakespeare, a view that Shakespeare scholars have increasingly endorsed.

Shakespeare portrays Richard as a hunchback (even though the real Richard III wasn't) and everyone in the play makes a big deal out of his physical appearance. Richard tells us from the get-go that he was born "deformed, unfinished, sent before [his] time / into this breathing world scarce half made up" ().

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