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Many schools and school boards have decided that The Merchant Of Venice is an unsuitable play for classroom study, on the grounds that it may be offensive to some students. The play famous for 'a pound of flesh', and the lines "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?". III, 1, 57-59 The Merchant Of Venice portrays a prejudiced message. All throughout the play, the Christians are battling with the Jew, Shylock, and neither of them will listen to the other, because their hearts are filled with intense prejudice. Some people would think the play itself was a racist. The reader might not want to portray the play to others, because of the villainous character of Shylock. The reader doesn't realize the Christians portrayal was just as bad as the Jewish man, Shylock's portrayal. The play teaches the reader about prejudice, why it is wrong. People would see how everyone was hurt at one time or another by a prejudice, whether it was the Christians mocking and making fun of Shylock or Shylock showing his prejudice to the Christians. This is first noticed in Act one when Shylock is openly saying to himself, "I hate him for he is a Christian....Curs'd be my tribe if I forgive him!" I, 3, 37-I, 3, 46-47. Antonio proves he is unwilling to change his prejudice feelings towards Shylock when he says, "I am as like to call thee so again, To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too." I, 3, 125-126 They do not realize their prejudiced attitudes and actions are portraying an ugly message to the reader and the reader is thinking, this is not suitable for younger children. Their messages could get themselves killed, which in fact comes very close to happening. This is a bad message that is portrayed to the reader. There is a motif of revenge in the play The Merchant Of Venice which also stuns the reader. Shylock has great hatred for Antonio, and his intent is getting revenge for all the things he assumes Antonio has done and said to him. "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 resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, What should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, Revenge!". III, 1, 49-59 This clearly explains the intent of Shylock, the man who is mocked by the Christians. He wants revenge, and this is driving him too far. The readers will not like the motif that is presented by Shakespeare. They will want this play banned from school and will not want to show their children. The desire of revenge is almost inseparable. This play provides a point of view in which racism can grow and become only a bigger problem. It will teach the reader to hate another race and racial discrimination will only grow and grow. There are a lot of racial comments in this play, and could indeed have an effect on the reader and also influence them in the wrong way. There is a lot of racism, especially between Shylock and Antonio. They both hate each other immensely and all throughout the play they are both snapping back and forth at each other. The other is probably hurt from what the other is saying, but they are not showing it. There is racist comment that is 'a Negro's belly', which is censored in the newer versions of The Merchant Of Venice. This is a fact in the play that racism is occurring and this could have an effect on the society. This is a reason why the school boards might want to take this play out of the curriculum. As you can see, there are many reasons The Merchant Of Venice should not be taught in classrooms. Although there are many reasons, The Merchant Of Venice is an excellent play and it should not be removed from the classroom. A. Whitney Griswold said in a speech, "Books won't stay banned. They won't burn. Ideas won't go to jail. In the long run of history, the censor and the inquisitor have always lost. The only sure weapon against bad ideas is better ideas." This quote here, by A. Whitney Griswold, clearly states the bad idea of racism in the play should be viewed by a positive view of anti-racism and showing how wrong the racism is. Also, if the play were to be banned, why hasn't it been banned yet? If the play were to be banned because of the character and portrayal of Shylock, this would be wrong, because the Christians portrayal was just as bad as Shylock's. They ended up taking away his religion from him and the punishment that was given to him was even more severe than the one he had intended. If the play were to be banned, they would have to look at both sides of the arguments. Most readers are missing out on the point of Shylock's. He is a human and he has feelings as well. After a discussion, it is concluded that The Merchant Of Venice should not be banned by the school authorities. This is an excellent play to be taught, and the problem of racism everybody is facing today. This play should be taught properly by a teacher, who can explain the play's meaning, so the students do not miss any important points from it. The play can teach many new, great things to the reader, and it can also have a positive effect on them. The reader will understand the play has a point to it and how wrong all this revenge, prejudice, and racism is and can be. If this play is read correctly, it will stop one person from being racist, by teaching them it is wrong. This play is a strong, emotional read, and it should always remain in the classrooms, so the students can gain the knowledge of reading this.
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Many schools and school boards have decided that The Merchant Of Venice is an unsuitable play for classroom study, on the grounds that it may be offensive to some students. The play famous for 'a pound of flesh', and the lines "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?". III, 1, 57-59 The Merchant Of Venice portrays a prejudiced message. All throughout the play, the Christians are battling with the Jew, Shylock, and neither...
students do not miss any important points from it. The play can teach many new, great things to the reader, and it can also have a positive effect on them. The reader will understand the play has a point to it and how wrong all this revenge, prejudice, and racism is and can be. If this play is read correctly, it will stop one person from being racist, by teaching them it is wrong. This play is a strong, emotional read, and it should always remain in the classrooms, so the students can gain the knowledge of reading this.
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The great British philosopher and mathematician...The great British philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead once commented that all philosophy is but a footnote to Plato. A similar point can be made regarding Greek literature as a whole. It may be an exaggeration, but the ancient Greeks created masterpieces that have inspired, influenced, and challenged readers to the present day. Their brilliance is especially evident in the two quarrelsome fields of poetry and philosophy, where we see world of thought of Plato and Aristotle so far-ranging that there is scarcely an idea discussed about poetry today that these two ancient philosophers did not debate. Plato and Aristotle take apposing attitudes towards poetry in general, and tragedy in particular. In the Republic, Plato condemns poetry and abolishes it form his ideal city. On the other hand, Aristotle dedicates his Poetics to challenges his teacher"s condemnation of poetry, and concludes with elevating tragedy above all other poetic types. Plato uses Socrates and his dialogues with his friends to try to infer logically what would constitute the most just state. The debates on "what is just?" is eventually linked to "What is good?". Therefore, Plato raises the fundamental question of whether the pleasure produced by poetry is good enough for the well being of his state. He came to the conclusion that it is not, because poetry has the tendency to corrupt the youth of his state. For one thing, poets such as Homer and Hesiod make a "bad representation of what gods and heroes are like" Plato, 55. Their misrepresentation persuade the youth of the city that "gods produce evil and that heroes are no better than human beings" Plato, 69. Thus, Plato believes that poets should be compelled to fallow a certain model of representation where "god is not the cause of all things but the good" Plato, 58 and where heroes do not convey inadequate emotions in public. Plato also asserts that poets are incapable of conveying the truth since they are thrice removed form it. According to Plato, imitation is far form the truth even when something as simple as a couch is the subject of imitation. He explains that there are three kinds of couches, the god produced couch, the carpenter produced couch, and the poet produced couch. The poet imitates the carpenter"s couch, which is itself a copy of the ideal couch of god. This is also applied to the imitations of characters in tragedy for example. Thus, the great characters in the tragedies are "naturally third from the truth" Plato, 55, which makes them only appearances of the real. This distance form the truth helps the poet produce everything, because, according to Plato, the poet "lays hold of a certain small part of each thing, and that part is in itself only a phantom" Plato, 281. He singles out tragedy and its leader Homer to further convey this notion. Plato believes that writers of tragedies deceive peoples in believing they know about virtue and vice, when in fact they only imitate what appears to be good and bad. He challenges Homer, whom he thinks is "third from the truth about virtue" Plato, 282 to give an example of the good his tragedies has offered to society. By this he wants to prove that poets have an understanding of nothing that they represent. Plato also asserts that admitting poetry to his city will only lead to a "bad regime in the soul of each private man"¦by gratifying the soul"s foolish part"Plato, 289. Thus, poetry is dangerous to the soul, since it produces the wrong emotions, and interferes with the striving towards pure reason that is the proper conduct of the good soul. Plato is intolerance towards poetry, especially tragedy, and thus he tosses it out of his Republic. He simply does not allow the irrational and corruptive tendencies that are produced by poetry philosophy-ruled state. However, Plato"s harsh and dismissive attitude is challenged by Aristotle in the Poetics. He first presents the principles of poetic composition in detail, set as a way to demonstrate that poetry is a serious genre that can be analyzed and studies as a science. He then moves on to respond to Plato"s criticism on the misrepresentation of poetry. Plato argues that the work of art is incapable of presenting the truth and is therefore bad. Aristotle asserts that the function of the work of art is not representing the truth as it is, but to "represent the situation as it should be" Aristotle, 47. Aristotle also argues that "poetry is more philosophical and significant than history" Aristotle, 17 in the sense that it is concerned with the universal. This is a powerful argument against Plato"s objection that poetry does not teach practical wisdom, and that since the poet does not know the true essence of the thing he is imitating, he is thrice removed from the truth. Instead, for Aristotle, the poet is the one who approaches the truth more directly by focusing on human universality, rather than on the individuality of human experience. As for the arousing inappropriate emotions, Aristotle believes poetry arouses the emotions in such a way as to increase our ability to control them, as oppose of them controlling us. This is achieved threw "catharsis" which gives a deeper understanding and awareness of oneself. Thus catharsis is a process whereby you learn to control your emotions, by purifying the soul of bad emotions in the same way that the good soul is purified of evil. Aristotle concludes the Poetics with the elevation of tragedy above all other poetic types. For him, tragedy is better because not only does it have the same elements of the epic, but surpasses it by offering more pleasure with music and spectacle. And since Aristotle sees tragedy more than just a combination of gestures, he thinks it can be enjoyed when it is read without performance. Finally, he notes how tragedy produces a more unified plot, whereas the epic seems to either drag the plots or leave them undeveloped because of the element of length. As we have seen, Plato and Aristotle give two opposing, yet interesting views on poetry. While Plato"s view of poetry is negative, Aristotle seems to understand that poetry is a reflection of human nature.   

The great British philosopher and mathematician Alfred North Whitehead once commented that all philosophy is but a footnote to Plato. A similar point can be made regarding Greek literature as a whole. It may be an exaggeration, but the ancient Greeks created masterpieces that have inspired, influenced, and challenged readers...

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