Merchant of Venice

In The Merchant of Venice, the true religion of Launcelot Gobbo is highly controversial as no mention of it has been directly made anywhere in the play by Shakespeare. So which religion does Launcelot Gobbo belong to?

In Act II Scene 5, Shylock refers to him as "Hagar's offspring" and Hagar is known to be a Gentile (= non-Jew), suggesting he might have been a Christian. Launcelot even said, "I am a Jew if I serve the Jew any longer", in Act II Scene 2. But it doesn't seem too natural for Shylock to keep him in his service if he was a Christian, mistrusting and a hater of Christianity as Shylock is.

Asked by
Last updated by rituparna r #389884
Answers 4
Add Yours

No doubt the topic of discussion is controversial. If, however, on the other hand including with the lines and the impact of lines regard on the topic of discussion are considered together from the whole play within then, the answer itself is concerned,I opine, to Act 2 Sc 5 also along with the Related links from other acts with other scenes. What of it has been said of Hagar's offspring is completely been true and naturally from that aspect he might can be proved to be the Christian. At the next , if it is considered of 'fool of' Hagar's offspring (servant) as has said by the Devoted Jewish Shylock(''Our holy Abraham'', "Our nation'', ''Our holy Sabbath'', ''Our Synagogue'' etc.), apparently from therein I can consider the 'merry-devil' man belongs to the Jewish religion though with a baffling and a circumstantial mind,with special emphasis to Act 2 Scene 2, against Shylock that has been linked from Act I Scene 3 on the only perspective of ill treatment of belief upon a 'faithful' servant by the master.

Source(s) ,

Respecting all your views, rituparna r, I would like to amend one fault in my question. I'd said "no mention of it has been directly made anywhere in the play by Shakespeare" but that turns out to be a huge flaw that I'd overlooked. I didn't notice it until recently, but in Act III Scene 5, Launcelot speaks to Jesicca in the context of her conversion to Christianity from Judaism, saying "WE were Christians enow(enough) before, e'en(even) as many as could well live one by another." Here, Launcelot confirms it in a crystal clear manner that he is a Christian and certainly not a Jew. My sincere apologies for the mistake and this contradiction but I'm glad to find the correct answer to this question myself, with help from the original Shakespearean text.

Adoration to the increase of your further knowledge and your sincerity.As to put the question myself too in which religion Launcelot Gobbo belongs, I might can also think to me with a little reference to Curious An's thoughts, however in this way that suppose, when the 'merry-devil' to Jessica is saying of the following -per word, it is wholly after the both characters' whirlpool to Christianity as a domestic servant Launcelot Gobbo's new extravagant Master Bassanio from Shylock,the Jew and Jessica-Lorenzo, with no doubt Launcelot Gobbo teases Jessica about her Jewish nationality in Act 3 Sc5. The noted thoughts are:


Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians

enow before; e'en as many as could well live, one by

another. This making Christians will raise the

price of hogs: if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we

shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money."

I care the doubt, with a more clarification particularly to these following two lines along with a clear emphasis to myself on the word 'if'-

"if we grow all to be pork-eaters, we

shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money." ,including to the explanation of the character of stubborn Shylock where he says also "but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you."

Furthermore like many of situational-readers my continuation of stammering to the topic of religiosity continues to the respectable referential line " Truly, the more to blame he: we were Christians

enow before;" . "The word 'enow' is something obtrusive to me. Macmillan

says, the word enough means -

used for saying that you do not want to experience any more of something because it is annoying or boring -."