Things Fall Apart Essay

938 words - 4 pages

Plot Vs. Character In many literary works, such as Things Fall Apart, the strict rigid character and tragic situation of the protagonist makes the audience sympathize with the protagonist like Okonkwo. Even with the audience's desire to sympathize, the protagonist's drive to uphold his belief creates conflict with both the audience and other characters. By developing an individualistic and hubristic character Shylock, Shakespeare allows his idiosyncrasies dictate the trial scene and ending. Shylock's desire for revenge prevents him to see reality; instead, he creates an illusion that only hinders Shylock from developing emotionally in the play because Shylock denies being true to himself and others. Therefore, his denial only leads to pain and suffering.Shakespeare creates realistic character Shylock to dictate the trial scene by through his limited roles in the play. Constantly mocked and insulted by Antonio's and others' diatribes, Shakespeare immediately identifies Shylock as a villain. Establishing Shylock's personality through his description that "hath not a Jew hands, … affections, passions" shows that Shylock becomes limited by those descriptions (MV 3.1.56-8). Hence, Shylock conforms "no more than an opportunity for bringing him to life" because Shylock like the other characters, once created, determines the plot and the plot determines them (Palmer 114). With a great importance of first impression or lines of a character in Shakespeare's plays, Shakespeare reveals Shylock's personality through his economy of works and actions. Living in every word that he utters, Shylock's distinct language denotes his lack of warmth. Instead, his phrases "three thousand ducats" and "for three months" and "Antonio shall become bound" shows little variety in his speech because Shylock's mind is "concentrated, obsessed, focused upon a narrow range of fixed ideas," which is revenge against Antonio for his insults (1.3.1-10). This obsessive characteristics cause Shylock to seek revenge in the trial. Also, even in the diction of periodic and short sentences shows Shylock's unmistakably emotionless and stubborn quality. Shakespeare makes this character alive by matching diction with the personality. This becomes apart when contrasting with similar statements by Salerio about Antonio's ship: "But I show think of shallows and of flats, And see my wealthy Andrew docked in sand" (1.1.26-7). The warm and easy flow of words create a sharp contrast to Shylock's plain, broken, and surly sentences; therefore, the diction and under toning means influence the character's personality and plot of the play.Shakespeare portrays a dichotomy in Shylock's character: he says one thing but thinks another because Shakespeare wants to further the concept of Shylock's mischievous quality. This villainous quality causes the audience to lose their sympathy for Shylock at the end; therefore, his hamartia prevents Shylock from seeing the truth and thinking rationally. By making...

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