Examples Of Villain In Merchant Of Venice

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Shylock the Jew of Venice: Victim or Villain? In fifteen ninety-five when William Shakespeare’s play, Merchant of Venice first took stage to the present moment, people of the Jewish religion have been discriminated against. Audience members have questioned the anti-semitic nature of Shakespeare’s play since its opening day nearly four hundred years ago.Shakespeare portrays the focal character of the play, Shylock a Jewish man, as both an adversary to the protagonists and a casualty of their abuse. Although Shylock is an arguably ambiguous character, William Shakespeare depicts him as a villain to a supplementary extent in Merchant of Venice, providing sufficient evidence that he is a malicious antagonist. Although the Christian characters…show more content…
Therefore, the position that an Elizabethan audience would have viewed the characters of the play from considerably differs from how a modern audience would. For nearly four hundred years, there has been controversy surrounding Shylock’s character. Critics and audience members alike still question whether or not Shakespeare anticipated for his play to be anti-semitic. The author of the critical essay “Rethinking Shylock’s Tragedy: Radford’s Critique of Anti-Semitism in The Merchant of Venice”, Frank P. Riga, elaborates on the matter that the Christian characters’ treatment of Shylock is still potentially sensitive to audiences. He explains that while Radford’s 2004 production of the film adaptation of Merchant of Venice was in production, the producers had to be cautious of how they portrayed the harassment Shylock faced, because of its seemingly direct connection to his religious beliefs (Riga). However, the production team had to remain especially guarded when it came to their portrayal of Shylock as evil for the same reason. Had they portrayed Shylock as vile as Shakespeare originally did, viewers could have taken it as a message that the production team itself saw the Jewish community as depraved. Without the director’s extreme attention to his portrayal of this character, the film could have posed as an anti-semitic message. Audience members were oblivious
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