Essay Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

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Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

By the end of Act 4 scene 1, my view of Shylock is a man who wishes to get revenge at society by trying to take the flesh of a Venetian merchant because of the prejudices that are thrown at him. Shylock is a rich Jewish moneylender and a widow whose daughter has eloped with a Christian, Lancelot. Shylock is treated with the lowest kind of integrity and respect in Venice this was normal for Jews in the Victorian period since most of Europe was greatly Anti- Semis-tic.

Shakespeare first introduces Antonio then Shylock, in Act 1 scene 1 Antonio is presented as a rich merchant who is a kind and loyal friend, as he has no money, Antonio goes to
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Antonio naively signs it because he is secure about his ships. Shylock has the upper hand because he now has a chance to contract his revenge. From this introduction of Shylock, the audience would probably perceive him of having a negative character in contrast to Antonio as Shylock is seen to act in a strongly revengeful manner constructing him to be villain but the audience at the same time feel sympathy for Shylock because he has been abused and the abuser has no regret or isn't dishearten about, this is verified when Antonio quotes in act scene 2 "To spet on thee again, to spurn thee too" this produces Shylock to be a victim.

In Act 2 Scene 3, Jessica states, "I am a daughter to his blood I am not to his manners" this sentence would give the audience the impression that Jessica is embarrassed of her father's behaviour. This would probably lead Jessica to feel that Shylock is irritable and unbearable to live with; this is evident when Jessica cries, "Our house is hell, and thou, a merry devil, didst rob it of some taste of tediousness", and the audience ponders if Shylock is a victim because of the way his daughter feels towards him. Then again when Shylock locks Jessica in the house ordering her "hear you me Jessica, Lock up those doors and when you hear the drum---nor thrust your head into the public street to gaze on Christian fools", (Act 2 Scene 5 line
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