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Describing Shylock of William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice

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Describing Shylock of William Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice

When then Merchant of Venice was written, the religion in this country was Christianity. Anybody who was not of that religion was looked down upon, especially those who were Jews. They were treated despicably, so as the play starts and as Shylock is introduced as a Jew it is certain that he is going to be depicted as the lowest of the low, as being mercenary and sadistic. However, as the play progresses we see another side of Shylock, we see him as the victim of many years of Christian abuse, both verbal or physical, and we can see that his behaviour is understandable due to the persecution he has suffered.

I think that Shylock is
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We start to see another side to Shylock in this scene. He is about to have dinner with Antonio and Bassanio. He is telling his daughter, Jessica to look after his house.

This shows Shylock to be slightly sadistic as he is keeping his daughter like a prisoner and won't let her enjoy the parade and its music as it passes their house. When Jessica runs away with the Christian, Lorenzo, taking Shylock's money with them, my dislike for Shylock is deepened. This is because he is more worried about losing his money than his daughter. He shouts, "My daughter! O my ducats! O my ducats! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!"

This is a time when we should feel sympathy for Shylock but his sorrow of losing his ducats is far greater than his sorrow of losing his daughter, making me feel he is unloving and mercenary.

However, once I start thinking that Shylock is an unloving, sadistic and mercenary villain, Shakespeare invokes sympathy for Shylock. As when Shylock says, "I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood." We see that Shylock is upset about his daughter running away with a Christian. He sees this as the greatest sin against him. He is also very bitter but Solanio and Salario just makes fun of him.

Once again, we can see why Shylock is so intent on revenge and why he behaves like he does. I think he is almost justified in his actions as the Christians constantly abuse
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