One of the earliest idioms taught to students of all ages is “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Oftentimes, a quote like that can easily be disregarded, however, it is applicable to people who aren’t always who they seem to be. Shakespeare’s play the Merchant of Venice is an outstanding work that contains a very strange villain in Shylock, who is hated by all, although he has not wronged them in the past. Thusly, his habits and personality evolved from his interactions with the Venetian populous. By examining the changes Shylock displays in tone, Shylock the villain’s motivations can be seen and ultimately display that no matter how twisted a person is or may seem, the motivations behind their actions indicate that innately they have a …show more content…
This correlates almost directly to how most of the other major characters of Merchant of Venice also treat him (e.g. Antonio). However, as is with most cases, there are two sides to each story. To understand the motivation behind Shylock’s obsession with money, the beginning of the play has to be referenced. In Shylock’s negotiations with Bassanio and Antonio, Shylock recalls, “Signior Antonio, many a time and oft in the Rialto you have rated me about my moneys and my usances… You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog and spet upon my Jewish gabardine… You called me dog; and for these courtesies I’ll lend you thus much moneys?” (1.3.104-126). From this passage, Shylock’s motivations are presented clearly. He loathes Antonio for how poorly he has treated him in the past, insulting both his character and his religion. Therefore, the motivating factor in lending money to Bassanio is so Shylock has the ability to hold some form of power over Antonio. Therein lies the key to Shylock’s obsession with wealth. In the referenced Venetian culture, Jewish people were persecuted for their religion and were branded unsavory by the predominantly Christian community. Shylock, being ridiculed and domineered his whole life by his Christian counterparts, saw an opportunity to finally even the odds and jumped at it. Shylock clings onto his wealth because it is the only thing that gives him power in Venetian
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In ‘The Merchant of Venice’ Shylock is very strong minded and is singled out of the play because he is a mean Jew that charges interest. Shylock is very stubborn and determined to keep to his bond; a pound of flesh of Antonio.
Shakespeare engages a modern audience through the character Shylock. Shylock in The Merchant of Venice is the antagonist of the play and is subject to sequences of misfortune, much to the delight of the Elizabethan audience. However, in a modern context we show slight feelings of sympathy towards him as a result of today’s ideologies. Upon meeting Shylock we see that his religious standing puts him in an isolated position against the Venetian society. A line is recited
In The Merchant of Venice, Grudges and Personal Rivalries in the trial scene has clearly been expressed with Shylock and Antonio. The central part and the twist of this novel are primarily caused by the rivalries between Shylock and Antonio. The “merry bond” that Antonio signed to help his dearest friend, Bassanio, was the main reason of the trial scene. According to Antonio, “Content in faith. I’ll seal to such a bond, and say there is much kindness in the Jew” (1.3.163-164) The bond which Antonio had willingly accepted was that if he failed to pay back 3 thousand ducats in 3 months, Shylock had the right to cut a pound of flesh from his body. As Antonio was a rich merchant and had plenty of ships coming in, with 9 times the money of the loan, he found no difficulty in accepting the bond. However, times were unfortunate for
Shylock is a character famously known as being the antagonist of Shakespeare’s play merchant of Venice. In this play, Shakespeare portrayal of Shylock the moneylender is one of anti-Semitic stereotype. Shylock is depicted as a typical bloodthirsty Jew who lives a life void of any depth or meaning. His sole purpose for living seems to be to amass wealth and vengeance as seen from his adamant claim for his “pound of flesh”. Despite Shakespeare’s attempts to humanize Shylock at points in the story, it appears that his primary focus is to steer the audience against Shylock, painting him as being a cruel, bitter and inaffable figure. It is clear that in both Shakespeare’s merchant of Venice and Grace Tiffany’s Turquoise Ring, Shylock exposes
Shylock is punished by the Venetian court for seeking to end Antonio’s life. He is charged under a Venetian law (of Shakespeare’s creation) and he is forced to give up his wealth and to beg the Duke to spare him his life. Viewed like this it seems simple enough; Shylock broke a Venetian law and, as a consequence, is punished. However, Shylock’s case is far from simple. Antonio’s demand that Shylock should renounce his Judaism and become a Christian and his insistence that Shylock should will his money to the Christian
Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is so alike to our financially afflicted world. The rules of law and commerce are subject to deceptive manipulation, fear of "the other" overwhelms respect for a common humanity, duplicity is the norm, sexuality is a vehicle for ambition, and money drives and wraps almost every action. It is a classic tale that includes important details of the financial crisis in the United States during 2007-2009. Shakespeare’s Venice, like the New York of his time - and the financial capitals of ours - is a city based on borrowing, on market speculation and greed masquerading as wealth and sophistication. Behind the curtains of the practice of lending and borrowing money in Shakespeare’s play lay the transition to capitalism: the rise of banking system; the scarcity for credit in developing industrial enterprises; and the growing dispute of default facing both aristocratic landlords and, above all, small, independent early entrepreneurs on trading ventures. Even though almost 600 years apart from each other, both Shakespeare’s tale and the financial crisis in the United States during 2007-2009 have a similar financial dilemma, each has its unique Shylock, Bassanio and Antonio- people who were responsible for causing the meltdown of their days.
The Merchant of Venus, is a play written by William Shakespeare and is a majority of the time remembered for its scene with Shylock and Antonio. As intricate as the play wove itself, the word that seemed to occur a majority of the time “bonds”, had multiple meanings occurring throughout the play. Oxford English Dictionary (OED) tells us that Bonds can mean the bondage of a marriage, the ways of which a thing is bound or tied down, agreement or engagement binding to him of which who makes it, and a deed, by which binds himself, his heirs, executors, or assigns to pay a certain sum of money. In this play, we see a strong connection between bonds and goods reoccurring from start to finish. The term “bond”, is
He declares, "I'm very glad of it. I'll plague him, I'll torture him, I am glad of it." (3, 1, 115-116) At the end of Act 3, scene 1, Shylock's true motive is revealed. Shylock says, "I will have the heart of him if he forfeit, for were he out of Venice I can make what merchandise I will." (3, 1, 125-127) All these comments clearly attempt to paint Shylock as a money-worshipping murderer and not as a person.
and jewels with her, seems to be a the subject of a sub plot written
In The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare reflects the historic and cultural time period by expressing anti-semitic views in portraying Shylock. At the beginning of the play Shylock offers Antonio a loan for three thousand ducats in three months or Shylock will cut off a pound of Antonio’s flesh. As the play advances, the readers learn that Antonio’s ship has sunk and he will be forced to forfeit the loan. They also learn that the pound of flesh Shylock wants is his heart. At this point readers are viewing Shylock as a cruel and immoral Jew. As the readers continue to read, Shakespeare interrupts that the reason Shylock is being cruel and unjust is the because of the inequitable life he suffered being a Jew in a christian society. Being
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.
William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice is a perplexing story of dark humor, race, religion, identity, love, and justice. Generally, most people understand The Merchant of Venice as a comedy about a bitter and outcasted Jewish moneylender named Shylock who seeks revenge against a Christian merchant who has failed to pay his loan back. However, there are many different perspectives on whether The Merchant of Venice is a comedy or a tragedy depending on one’s views on the difference between race and religion. If one views the story as a comedy, it is a dark comedy full of many problems, especially the controversial subject matter of anti-Semitic attitudes of its Christian characters. If one views it as a tragedy, it is a tragedy that concludes with majority of its characters in a “happy ending”—that is if one agrees that Jessica’s decision of love over betraying her father and giving up her Jewish identity is indeed a happy ending.
In William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is instantly portrayed as a villain. Shylock, while making a deal, crucially demands a pound of Antonio’s flesh as interest. It is revealed that Shylock’s villainous behavior stems from a history of constant torment from characters in the play. In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is a villain who acts out of revenge when he wants pay back for all the pain he endured. Evidently, Shakespeare created the character Shylock with a sympathetic past in order to have the audience question Shylock’s true nature.
In the play the ‘Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare the antagonist Shylock is both the victim and the villain. Shylock is a Jewish moneylender and is initially portrayed as anger filled and bloodthirsty but as the play continues we begin to see him as more human and his emotions become more evident. As the antagonist, Shylock is a fearful adversary to Antonio, the protagonist. But as good begins to win over evil, Shylock is crushed and we see evidence of his mortality in his grief. Shylock changes significantly though out the course of the play and he is formed into a too complex character to be labeled just victim or villain.