This website uses cookies to ensure you have the best experience. Learn more

Merchant Of Venice: Shylock, Victim Or Villain?

784 words - 4 pages

“The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare is a thought provoking play in which Antonio, a Christian, displays his anti-semetic views towards Shylock, a man of Jewish religion. It is easy to see Shylock being portrayed as both a victim and a villian, but I feel that Shylock is a victim.
In the play, Antonio borrows a sum of money from the Jewish money lender, Shylock. Shylock hates Antonio for he is a Christian, and Antonio hates Shylock for being a Jew. Antonio makes his feeling clear as he spits on Shylock and thinks of him as a dog. “You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gaberdine.” This emphasizes the fact that Jews were picked on ...view middle of the document...

Jessica, Shylocks daughter, knows Shylock would be furious if she married Lorenzo, so she runs away, without even telling him. “Farewell and if my fortune be not crossed, I have a father, you a daughter lost.” (Act II Scene V). Before Jessica runs away with Lorenzo, she steals from her father. “I will make fast the doors and guild myself with some more ducats.” (Act II Scene VI). Shylock is now without a daughter and he has lost a great amount of his money. Shylocks relationship with Jessica seems doomed. Again, this makes the reader feel sympathy for Shylock.
When Shylock tries to lend money with interest in Venice, he loses lots of business due to Antonios interest free loans. “He lends out money gratis, and brings down the rate of usance here with us in Venice.” (Act I Scene III). This shows that Shylock is losing customers and thus becoming more and more of a victim.
Finally, when Shylock tries to enforce his bond on Antonio, it all backfires as the court says that he cannot shed a drop of blood. He is punished for trying to put an impossible bond...

Other Papers Like Merchant of Venice: Shylock, Victim or Villain?

The Charater Of Shylock In Shakespeare’S The Merchant Of Venice

1676 words - 7 pages The Charater of Shylock in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice In his chapter “Shakespeare and Dissident Reading,” Alan Sinfield argues that viewing Shylock as anything but an evil villain is “achieved only by leaning, tendentiously, on the text” (Sinfield 1994, 6). This is an oversimplification of Shylock’s character as portrayed in The Merchant of Venice. Sinfield portrays Shylock as static and unchanging. However, emotions and portrayal

Merchant of Venice Essay

983 words - 4 pages or if blood is drawn Shylock is in breach of the bond. Also if Shylock would be accused of trying to kill Antonio, who was a Christian, then Shylock to will be put to death. At the end of the play Antonio shows mercy and instead of killing Shylock forces him to convert to being a Christian. The purpose of this essay is to give reasons for Shylock can be seen as both villain and victim. One example that may point to Shylock being a villain is

Merchant of Venice - 1

676 words - 3 pages Two recent adaptations of The Merchant of Venice are portrayed very differently, especially in Act 4 Scene 1. The two versions use camera angles, lighting and music in different ways. For example, in the latest version the camera is pointed down at Shylock to make him seem small. In the 2004 version we are supposed to have some sympathy for shylock but in the 1996 version it is quite the opposite. Even the crowd acts differently. In the latest

Merchant Of Venice

531 words - 3 pages racism is going to be expected with the majority of different kind of people Australia occupies.This kind of behavior was also evident in Shakespeare time. The way Shakespeare represents some characters leaves us to question whether he was an Anti-Semitist, this means he had disregard for Jewish and their customs.In the play the Merchant of Venice the character, Shylock is a Jew. Shylock is described, as being a Jewish alien, living in the ghetto

Merchant of Venice

1130 words - 5 pages for Shylock is equally as strong. He shows no remorse or regret for any past wrongs he has done to Shylock or any other Jew: “I am as like to call thee so again, to spit on the again, to spurn thee too.” (Antonio- 1,3,126-7) Antonio is the symbol of racism in society and he openly exhibits it. He is not phased in the least after Shylock’s downfall. Shakespeare displays the repugnant effects of hatefulness in The Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice

899 words - 4 pages all: Antonio is saved and Shylock is forced to abandon his religion (Bevington 23) In the play Shakespeare wanted to show how cruel and dishonest the law can be if it appears in the hands of unjust and cruel people, who use it in their own interests. The play can be connected directly with modern times, when the problem if law implementation is also very burning. Reading the play The Merchant of Venice, we can draw the parallel with the

The Merchant of Venice

1501 words - 7 pages The Merchant of Venice Act I: Scene 1 Summary Walking along a street in Venice, Antonio (the "merchant" of the title) confesses to his friends Salarino and Salanio that lately he has felt unaccountably sad. They have noticed it, and they suggest that Antonio is probably worried about the safety of his merchant ships, which are exposed to storms at sea and attacks by pirates. Antonio denies this and also denies that he is in love

The Merchant Of Venice

1188 words - 5 pages made about Mythology.When trying to conclude this play everything came back to class and society, because Venice was a class-dominated society. Where as if it was set in a more democratic or neutral country then the story may not of began and would not have finished in the way it did.

Merchant of Venice - Casting directors book merchant of venice

1384 words - 6 pages Casting directors book merchant of venice Shylock – In the novel Shylock is portrayed as a greedy Jewish Money lender. He is the father to Jessica and the enemy to Antonio. In act two it is clear that money is very important to Shylock. When Shylock hears about Jessica’s elopement it seems to be that Shylock is more interested in the money that Jessica stole, than the fact that his daughter Jessica is now gone and may never come back

Merchant of Venice: Law and Love

2268 words - 10 pages passionate estate of Belmont, but he cannot continuously travel between the two locations blurring that which should be individual entities. Confusing law and love proves to be detrimental to the characters in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. For Shylock, economics is the essence of success, and love is a weakness. The Jewish moneylender is the epitomical metaphor of Venice because he is driven by fact and method. Due to his surly

Othello and the Merchant of Venice Comaprison

1581 words - 7 pages General. This softening allows the characters to be represented as more rounded, but the fact still remains that in my opinion outright racism and prejudice are present in both texts. In ‘The Merchant of Venice’, the Jewish moneylender, Shylock seems to fit the stereotype common in Shakespeare’s, and indeed, our time of the greedy and unfeeling Jew. Although we are not directly told about the racism, several of the characters refer to him using

Related Essays

Shylock As Helpless Victim In The Merchant Of Venice

2777 words - 12 pages was as easy for him to make a Jewish man the villain as it would be for us to make a Nazi the villain.    According to Sylvan Barnet "The Merchant of Venice [shows] the broad outline of a comedy (not merely a play with jests, but a play that ends happily). . . the villain in the comedy must be entirely villainous, or, rather, comically villainous; he cannot for a moment gain the audience's sympathy" (1). Shylock has

Shylock: A Villain Or A Victim?

2617 words - 11 pages Shylock: a ‘villain’ or a ‘victim’? How does Shakespeare’s presentation of Shylock in The Merchant Of Venice incline you to one view or another? William Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant Of Venice’ explores how a society so dependent upon money and power can be divided so strongly by religion and women. Shakespeare’s contemporary audience may well have seen Shylock as the ‘fierce villain’ or the ‘bloody minded monster’ (1). Today, the presentation of

Is Shylock A Victim Or A Villain?

565 words - 3 pages : Scene 1. It hard to decide whether Shylock is a victim or villain when he is first introduced as we learn about what he has had to put up with, being called a misbeliever, cut throat dog and others spitting on his beard for the reason that he is a Jew. We feel pity and sympathy for the things he has had to endure which means we cannot cling to a unique view of Shylock as a villain. He wants people to respect him and like him yet he cannot show

Examine The Extent To Which Shakespeare Presents Shylock As Either A Villain Or Victim Of The Society Which He Lives

955 words - 4 pages Examine the extent to which Shakespeare presents shylock as either a villain or victim of the society which he lives In the Merchant of Venice…Bassanio, a Venetian nobleman with financial difficulties, wishes to complete the hand of Portia, a wealthy heiress of Belmont in order to restore his fortune. He asks his friend Antonio, a successful Merchant of Venice, to loan him the money necessary to undertake such an attempt. Antonio agrees, but