- Shylock is constantly undermined in his business by the Christians.
- He is the victim of religiously-motivated prejudice.
“He hath mocked me and hindered me half a million”
- In any modern court this would at least mitigate/ lessen the sentence he receives.
- The Geneva convention states that everyone is free to practice their faith.
- The Christians – not Shylock – should be on trial for contravening (going against) this.
- Lending money for profit is forbidden in the Bible/ Torah.
- “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.” Exodus 22/ Shemot 24
- The Christians were punishing Shylock for a crime according to their faith.
- This was also a crime by Jewish religious law.
- The Bible states “an eye for an eye” (as does the Torah).
- Thus the punishment of Shylock should be equal to the crimes he has committed on the Christians – and vice versa.
- “Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions…”
- Shylock is as bad as a pay-day lender.
- He charges interest to people who are desperate.
- He is a vampire, preying on their need.
- An Elizabethan Wonga.
- We nowadays accept that this kind of moneylending is morally dubious.
- Many victims of modern pay-day loans lose more than they gain from the bargain; this is why it is profitable to lend money in this way.
European Convention on Human Rights
The Court has ruled that states have three main duties under Article 2:
- a duty to refrain from unlawful killing,
- a duty to investigate suspicious deaths, and
- in certain circumstances, a positive duty to prevent foreseeable loss of life.
Article 3 prohibits torture and “inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment”.
Article 14 contains a prohibition of discrimination.
Article 16 allows states to restrict the political activity of foreigners.