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The Merchant of Venice
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Novel to Film | Shylock's Defense

Play | Script | Film


Shakespeare's Play

Shylock's defense
From The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare
from Act III, Scene 1
The Yale Shakespeare, Yale University Press, 1923

Act Third, Scene One

[Venice. A Street]


Salario. ... But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no?

Shylock. There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a beggar, that was used to come so smug upon the mart. Let him look to his bond: he was wont to lend money for a Christian courtesy. Let him look to his bond.

Salar. Why, I am sure, if he forfeit thou wilt not take his flesh: what's that good for?

Shy. To bait fish withal: if it feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. 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! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.


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The Television Script

Shylock's defense
From The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, directed by Trevor Nunn
Originally staged at The Royal National Theatre
Produced at Pinewood Studios, UK

from Act III, Scene 1

Act Third, Scene One

[Venice. A Street]


Salerio: ... But tell us, do you hear whether Antonio hath had any loss at sea or no?

Shylock: There I have another bad match: a bankrupt, a prodigal, who dare scarce show his head on the Rialto; a beggar, that was used to come so smug upon the mart. Let him look to his bond!

Salerio: Why, I am sure, if he forfeit thou wilt not take his flesh: what's that good for?

Shylock: To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. 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 all the rest, we shall 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! The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.


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The Television Film

Shylock's defense
From the film
Video clip courtesy OnlineClassics.com

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