In the play The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, Shylock is the victim of neglect and mistreatment who we can feel sympathy for. Shylock is a victim of betrayal, injustice, and prejudice. He is portrayed as a bitter man who has so much hate towards everyone other than himself, however this is not the case. In this essay I will show how Shylock is the victim of betrayal, injustice, and prejudice.
First off, Shylock is a Jewish money lending widower who is betrayed by his own daughter, Jessica. Jessica is told to watch over Shylock’s jewels while he is out because he had a dream about someone stealing his money. Shylock, trusting his daughter Jessica, leaves, and right away she steals his ducats, jewels, and ring that he gave his wife before she passed away. Shylock seems to be angered that Jessica has stolen his money, but he is more concerned when he learns that Jessica has sold his turquoise ring, which was his wife’s ring and had sentimental value. He proves that he has actual sorrow for the loss of the ring when he says:
“Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal: it was my
turquoise; I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor:
I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys”
This proves Shylock would rather have the ring for its sentimental value rather then it’s value in ducats.
Secondly, the injustice that Shylock endures is incredible. In Elizabethan times Jewish people were not accepted and were therfore forced to wear certain clothing so that they could be easily identified. Jews were also not protected by Venetian laws, so someone could do anything they wanted to a Jew and expect no retaliation because Christians were protected by the law. Shylock, a law abiding citizen, is basically helpless when in court because the Duke has sympathy for Antonio, and seems to be prejudice when he asks “Where is the...