Villain or Victim

Villain or Victim

  • Submitted By: Arcam
  • Date Submitted: 12/16/2008 5:38 PM
  • Category: Miscellaneous
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Villain or Victim

Robert Polko

Villain or Victim

Shylock is a character from William Shakespeare’s play The Merchant of Venice.

Shylock is a Jew and through the middle ages Jews were shunned and removed from

Venice, some Jews stayed in Venice as moneylenders that made money through interest.

Although Shylock had been wronged by Antonio, he does not give forgiveness but makes

certain he gets revenge.

The first time we see Shylock is when he is approached by Bassanio and Antonio requesting that he lend them three thousand ducats. (Act I, scene iii, 140-147) We see that although Shylock agrees to lend the money needed for Bassanio to travel to Belmont, he demands that if the money is not repaid within three months he will have his bond of one pound of flesh from Antonio. Shylock demonstrates that even though he had the choice of an honest bond, he chose to make it a fatal one.

Shylock also demonstrates pure hatred to Antonio when Antonio is allowed out in the streets by the jailor. (Act III, scene iii, 4-10) Shylock restates his want for the bond he made with Antonio and becomes furious with the jailor for bringing Antonio out of his
cell. Where someone of kind heart towards others would not question the act and not become angry by this, Shylock brings his hate toward Antonio out and shows it openly before the jailor as well as Antonio.

The greatest hate for Antonio however is in the courthouse in Venice during Antonio’s trial. (Act IV, scene i, 53-60) Shylock says before the entire court that he has hate for Antonio and proves that his yearning for the bond was through pure revenge.

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