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Ministry of Education.

Shylock's speech to Antonio

Signior Antonio, many a time and oft Sir Antonio, many times
In the Rialto you have rated me In the Rialto you have criticized me
About my moneys and my usances. About my money and my money-lending.
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug, I have put up with it with a patient shrug of the shoulders,
For sufferance is the badge of all our tribe. Because Jewish people have to put up with things and that is what distinguishes us.
You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, You call me someone who believes in a false religion, a nasty dog
And spit upon my Jewish gabardine, And spit on my Jewish cloak,
And all for use of that which is mine own. And all because I lend out my own money.
Well then, it now appears you need my help. Well then, now it appears that you need my help.
Go to, then, you come to me, and you say, You come to me and you say,
"Shylock, we would have moneys"; you say so; "Shylock we would like to borrow money"
You that did void your rheum upon my beard, Even though you spat phlegm on my beard
And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur And kick me as if you were throwing a stray dog
Over your threshold; moneys is your suit. Out of your house; you are asking for money.
What should I say to you? Should I not say: What should I say to you? Shouldn't I say
"Hath a dog money? Is it possible "Has a dog money? Is it possible
A cur can lend three thousand ducats?"; or That a dog can lend three thousand ducats?" or
Shall I bend low, and in a bondman's key, Shall I grovel and in a slave's tone of voice
With bated breath and whispering humbleness With a soft respectful whisper
Say this: Say this:
"Fair sir, you spat at me on Wednesday last; "Good sir, you spat at me last Wednesday
You called me dog; and for these courtesies You called me a dog; and for these kindnesses
I'll lend you thus much moneys"? I'll lend you so much money"?


Match the original lines with the modern version.

What does this speech tell you about Shylock's character?

What do we learn about money and money-lending?

What do we learn about anti-Semitism?

Published on: 11 Dec 2010