Essay Shylock of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

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Shylock of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Shylock is one of the main characters in Shakespeare's play "The Merchant of Venice", he starts in the play as an outcast of society because he is Jewish. Shylock has been forced to become a banker in his life as an inhabitant of Venice, for the fact that his religion is seen as wrong. Although Shylock is forced to become a banker he plays a vital role in the city of Venice, without Shylock the city would struggle economically. From an early point in the play Shakespeare makes Shylock look like a money-loving fiend, Shylocks first words in the play are " Three Thousand ducats." This line shows that Shylocks life revolves around money. The
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Shylock seems to show that he wants something to go wrong for Antonio and Shylock feels that he deserves revenge. Seeing that Shylock is so eager to secure revenge upon any one he can, the audience is lead to believe that Shylock is a deeper and darker person than previously believed. Not only do all characters in the play feel something about Shylock is wrong but so does the audience. As Shylock is portrayed as a dark and mysterious character there is little support for him until it becomes apparent that there is more reason for Shylock to seek revenge than previously believed.

In Act I scene III after the deal to lend Antonio three thousand ducats is secured Bassanio asks Shylock to dine with him but Shylock is quick to turn down the offer, as Bassanio would insult Shylocks religion if the food were not kosher. Shylock turns down the offer of dinner for a fairly strong reason, but once Antonio arrives in person Shylock gives more reason to be disliked. Antonio and friends are stood in a group when Shylock turns away and under his breath says,

"I hate him for he is a Christian."

Although Shylock is turned away from the group Antonio still hears his spiteful words.

This shows the villainous side to Shylock and although the reasons for such dislike towards Antonio and friends is just, there is no need for the
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