Why Is Shylock A Victim In The Merchant Of Venice

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A Victim Behind the Villain’s Eyes

In a book or play, it is usually very easy to distinguish who the victim is and who the villain is. The villain usually causes all the problems in the story line and the victim is the one who suffers in result of the villain’s actions. In the play The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, we examine the life of Shylock as a victim. It is seen through three main events in the play. Shylock is ridiculed by his community and his family, he is betrayed by his daughter and the community he lives in, and he is forced to lose all his wealth.
The first event that demonstrates that Shylock is a victim would be that he is ridiculed by his community and his family. Antonio and Shylock were never friends. They always fought because Antonio was a Christian and Shylock was a Jew. They also have different money lending practices which cause a lot of discrepancies. Antonio always mocked Shylock. He calls him a misbeliever and a cutthroat dog. Shylock tells us that Antonio “…call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog,/ and spet upon my Jewish gabardine,” (1.3.108-109). Here Shylock demonstrates that Antonio on a day to day basis mocked Shylock. Later on, Antonio mentions that he will call Shylock that again if he wants to. Another example would be Antonio’s friends. They teas Shylock for his faith and his misfortunes. When Jessica runs away with Shylock’s money and jewelry, he asked the Duke to go help him search Bassanio’s ship for them. Solanio heard
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