ven though the title of the movie would imply that the merchant (Antonio) is the main character, he really isn’t. In the film, Shylock, an antagonistic figure, is perhaps the most important character because of his pivotal role in the plot. Shylock is Jew and basically despises the rising Christians of Venice. His mission is pretty much to try to undermine the power, authority, and stature that the Christians have in Venice. He does this by specifically targeting to kill Antonio.
Describe the most significant scene in the film. Why was it important?In my opinion, the most significant scene in the film was when Jessica eloped with Lorenzo. It was important because an act like this is very scandalous during the time when the movie took place. A Christian marrying a Jew was an act of dishonor and one just asking for criticism. When Shylock found out he was excruciatingly angry, and that motivated him even more to seek revenge.
What did you like most and least about the movie? My favorite part about the movie was when Jessica dropped her glove or handkerchief. She did this as a sign of greeting towards the Christian men, but it’s interesting how she didn’t stop and talk to them or say hi or anything. These actions directly portray how tense the relations between Jews and Christians were and how much oppression the Jewish people faced. Jessica wanted to speak with the Christians (Bassanio, Lorenzo, Antonio), but she was with Shylock her dad, and he would have gotten really mad. My least favorite part about the movie was in the ending, because it was a little bit pointless. Everybody, except for Shylock ended up happy and an ending like this is just very boring in my opinion. What did you learn from viewing the film and its place in World History?I definitely wasn’t aware of how bad the persecution of Jews was in the 16th century.
In the beginning of the film, they show a few lines that explain how Jews were forced to live in the outskirts or “ghettos” of the city, which were locked up and guarded by Christians. Even in the most liberal city- states, like Venice, Jews were discriminated and not even allowed to own property, which led them to usury, something they became infamous for and Christians didn’t tolerate. Before watching the film, if anybody ever mentioned to me Jew persecution, I would instantly think of the Holocaust. However, persecution of Jews has been around for a very long time, and it’s shocking to see how a stigma towards them in the 16th century repeats itself to be seen in the Holocaust during the 1940’s.