I do not believe what just happened to me, it was all going so well. But those heartless, vicious Christians stood in my way. Stood in the way of one man getting what he deserved, what was fair. I hate all Christians. I will not become one of them! I actually thought the judge was on my side, on the side of the law. But I should have known better than to think a Christian would treat anyone fairly. Especially me. I had lost the case a thousand years before. From the first day I met Antonio I knew he was trouble. I gave him the benefit of the doubt, I helped a friend when he was in trouble.
When he needed help, I was there. I disregarded how he would, “call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, spit upon my Jewish gaberdine”. Yet he still wanted my money. Antonio was too easily persuaded when he knew it was a “merry sport”. But then again, I should expect stupidity like that from a typical Christian. I desperately wanted “to feed fat the ancient grudge”, yet I ignored his religion, his past and his hatred for me. I gave him the bond, and the ungrateful swine would not “look to his bond”. I warned him, I tried to help him.
But I know where my help is not wanted, and I shall not regard such scum with the same kindness again. Antonio is such a hypocrite! He ridiculed me, he insulted me, he judged me. And then he expected me, a Jew to lend him money! For years I had “borne it with a patient shrug” and I overlooked the past to help him. The Christians even turned my own daughter against me. The spiteful, merciless dogs did not regard my feelings. No Christian ever does. Jessica was influenced into marrying one of those Christian scum and as far as I am concerned, she is not my daughter.
Not my flesh and blood. I do not know the girl. She stole all my hard-earned money. I brought her up on my own… and she repaid me by stealing, thieving from her own father. I had been betrayed. At that point, my anger reached a climax. I hated Antonio with more passion and vengeance than before. He became the scapegoat of all my rage. My thirst for Antonio grew. But he deserved what he was about to get. The next I heard of Antonio was the news that his ships had sunk. I was overjoyed. I felt I could kill the worthless brute at long last. My bond was still intact.
It meant the world to me, and meant death for Antonio. What a nicer place the world would have been without that waste of space! Such malicious, hard-hearted Christians are a blot on the landscape of a beautiful world. My feelings for Antonio became known that day. I astonished that scumbag, Salarino, for actually proving Jews have hearts, feelings, and affections too. I spoke for the first time openly. My grief had built up since he “disgraced me, hindered me, laughed at my losses and mocked my gains”. I had to speak from the heart to try to let those Christians know the depth of my feelings.
Of course, they would not understand, for themselves being cruel, heartless liars. The days counted down to the court case. For some reason, my nerves were in shreds. Maybe I knew all along what was to become of me. I still cannot get over how scandalous the whole case was. Those swindlers! Who do they think they are? I entered the courtroom this morning, after countless nights of tossing and turning in my bed. “What if…? “, “What if…? ” were the pondering questions that terrified me.
But, “what if the Christians are such cruel, wicked people they will fix the court case so I lose, unjustly, unfairly? was one question I did not ask, for I could not believe that any human beings would be capable of hurting, causing so much damage to one individual. How wrong was I? They must have fixed the case! I was so close, but yet so far. They twisted the words in the bond. They mocked me. They picked on me. They made me look like a fool. And what was their reason? For ” I am a Jew”. I said, “my deeds upon my head”. For I was responsible, I felt in control, I was in control. Or so I thought. That deceitful judge, who I felt was at last a genuine Christian ordered, “you must prepare your bosom for his knife”. I was ecstatic.
So much so, I started to sharpen my knife in preparation. I wish I could see Antonio full of so much grief and upset again. It felt great for I was above the Christians for the first, and possibly the last time in my, soon to be, meaningless, depressing life. Then, just as I was about to cut that well-deserved pound of flesh, the judge twisted the bond. “He shall have nothing but the penalty” he spoke as he tried to “catch me upon the hip”. Why, I ask, didn’t they say beforehand that he not “doth shed one drop of Christian blood”. How unjust! How unfair! They knew all along what they were going to do.
Crooks! Cheats! That hell raiser, Antonio made my position even worse. His smug expression infuriated me. “Presently become a Christian,” he ordered. Become a Christian! A Christian! I will still be Shylock to them. Shylock the Jew in a Christian’s disguise. What is the point in changing my religion? It will not change the person I am. I will still be mocked. I will still be picked on, victimised, taunted… I will not change. I cannot change. I shall not change. They cannot deter me, I am who I am, regardless of who does or does not like it. I will stay as I am. I am Shylock. The Jew.