William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

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William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

"The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare features, Shylock a very controversial character due to his religion, profession and personal traits. Professionally Shylock lends money to people in debt, in order to gain interest and profit. Although, this is very much central to our modern way of life, in the Elizabethan period, money lending was not accepted as an acceptable profession. Throughout "The Merchant of Venice" Shylock is portrayed as menacing, inhumane and slightly eccentric, yet at times misunderstood and induces sympathy from the reader. His personal traits and beliefs evoke complex emotions. We cannot decide whether Shylock is an
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Sympathy is created, as it is apparent that Shylock cannot trust, nor befriend anyone in the play, not even his own daughter. This is clear evidence of one way in which Shylock is more sinned than sinning.

Shylock places profit above love. When Jessica, his daughter, steals from him and leaves him, it is clear that Shylock is very distraught. However, it is difficult to ignore what appears to be Shylock's priority -the loss of money. As, money lending is Shylock's profession; it is obvious money is very important to him. When discussing the loss of his daughter and ducats, Shylock describes how he would rather his money returned to him than his daughter and would infact like to have revenge against her.

"Shylock: I would my daughter were dead at my feat, and the jewels in her ear."

Immediately it is clear how heartless, inhumane, unforgiving and sinister Shylock is. To place profit above the life of his daughter demonstrates how wrong Shylock's priorities are and is clear evidence of how Shylock is sinning.

Shylock is more sinned against than sinning by the fact that every character in the play is against him. Shylock has no family or friends to rely upon or trust. He is constantly mocked and insulted by many characters throughout "The Merchant of Venice". The first
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