Examples Of Shylock As A Victim In Merchant Of Venice

Decent Essays
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare portrays Shylock as a victim throughout the play, but as he seeks revenge towards the Christians and everyone who has done him wrong, Shylock defends himself with some villainous behaviour. To a modern audience, the discrimination and suffering Shylock experiences, place him as a victim. Throughout the play, Shylock, a Jewish money lender, is perceived as a greedy and miserly man due to his Jewish culture. In Shakespeare's time, exploitation of Jews was common; particularly in Venice as it was an anti-Semitic city. However, Jews thought of themselves as victims of harassment and oppression. Shylock has been discriminated against, but nevertheless seeks revenge on people who have done him wrong which displays another side to Shylock. Therefore, Shylock is viewed as a victim and a villain, but more of a victim because of the abuse he has suffered.
Shylock can be seen as a victim of anti-Semitism and discrimination. He has long suffered at the hands of the Christians, who seize any opportunity to torment him. Shylock has been spat upon merely because he is Jewish and has been called nasty names such as "cutthroat dog". This dehumanising language demonstrates how poorly the Christian society views Jews as being outsiders and filthy people who do not belong to the world. Shylock has also been called ‘Jew’ twenty-two times and ‘Shylock’ only six times in the play. Shakespeare helped maintain the anti-Semitic meanings of the term
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