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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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