The relationship between Shylock and Jessica is that of a complex nature, we are shown elements of anger and betrayal.
I regard the most distinguished of these emotions as betrayal. Jessica surrenders her religion, and in many ways humiliates and abandons her father, the effect of betrayal is apparent when Shylock quotes:
“She is damned for it...My own flesh and blood to rebel”[Act III, Scene I]
After reading this extract I believe Shakespeare is leading the audience to sympathise with both characters. We sympathise with Jessica as it is evident that Jessica's hatred for Shylock is so great, she is willing to leave, to do anything to escape, including leaving her homeland and converting religions, just to escape his tyrannical control. On the other hand, we also sympathise with Shylock as his only child that he bought up single handedly has fled, leaving him totally alone as he has already been widowed. His controlling manner could also be attributed to the over protective nature of a loving single parent. We are also reminded by Shakespeare that Shylock has been persecuted for his religion. He has been made to feel his belongings are all he’s worthy of and he’s been repeatedly maltreated by his fellow civilians, and used for his money. He loses our sympathy however when he is seen to treat Jessica merely as another possession and when he learns of her flight he is more anxious of the whereabouts of his treasures:
“I would my daughter were dead at
my foot, and the jewels in her ear:
would she were heirs’ at my foot,
and the ducats in her coffin”[Act II Scene III]
These are hardly the words of a doting father.
The above quote proves that Shylock would not mourn Jessica’s death, furthermore he appears more concerned over the loss of his Ducats. Shylock appears to be in turmoil and struggles to prioritise his feelings for Jessica above his desire for wealth and status. The following quote helps illustrate Shylocks inability to express his...