Preview
Preview

Is Shylock a Villain or a Victim? Essay

No Works Cited
Length: 860 words (2.5 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Yellow      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

In this essay I will try to discover is Shylock a villain or a victim, in the William Shakespeare play “A Merchant of Venice”

It is difficult to say if Shylock is a complete villain or a victim, as his character is complex and ambiguous. However, it is difficult to view Shylock as anything other than a devious, bloodthirsty and heartless villain in the majority of the play. There are a few points in the story where he can be viewed as victimised, as most Jews were at that time, but Shakespeare has purposely portrayed Shylock as a stereotypical Jew, greedy, and obsessed with money. Shylock has been written to be very inflated and exaggerated. Even when Shylock makes his first appearance in the play, his first words are “Three thousand ducats,” Act 1, Scene 3.

Shylock lends Antonio a sum of money, that Antonio intends to pay back when his merchant ships arrive in Venice, one month before the debt would be forfeited. When Bassarnio arranges the sum of money, Shylock befriends them, only to stand aside and utter to him self, "I hate him for he is a Christian... If I catch him once upon the hip, I will feed my ancient grudge I bear him," Act 1, Scene 3. Shortly after saying, "But ships are but boards, sailors but men... the perils of waters, winds, and rocks...Three thousand ducats; I think I may take his bond." Shylock is setting his trap here. Shylocks terms of the debt are a pound of Antonios flesh from closets his heart if it be forfeited.

Shylock also seems to show little or no love towards his daughter, Jessica. He may have been hurt by his daughter running away with a large amount of his wealth and with a Christian lover (Lorenzo); this is a point where Shylock can be viewed as a victim in the story. This still does n...


... middle of paper ...


...t he was asked and begged repeatedly to accept three-fold the debt to excuse Antonio, but does not show any remorse, nor does he look like a victim of anybody. He is essentially paying six thousand ducats to have Antonio executed.

At the end of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock has been both a victim and a villain. He is a victim of his religion, and a victim of his greed and overwhelming need for revenge. Shylock is definitely the most villainous character in the play, and only a few elements can show him as a victim overall, even then, his victimisation only seems to be a consequence of his own actions. His daughter running away, because of her treatment, and apparent lack of love. The taking of his assets, because he would show no mercy towards Antonio. The final conclusion must be that Shylock is unreasonable, spiteful, heinous, greedy - and a villain.





Click the button above to view the complete essay, speech, term paper, or research paper








This essay is 100% guaranteed.


Title Length Color Rating  
Is Shylock a Villain or a Victim? Essay - In this essay I will try to discover is Shylock a villain or a victim, in the William Shakespeare play “A Merchant of Venice” It is difficult to say if Shylock is a complete villain or a victim, as his character is complex and ambiguous. However, it is difficult to view Shylock as anything other than a devious, bloodthirsty and heartless villain in the majority of the play. There are a few points in the story where he can be viewed as victimised, as most Jews were at that time, but Shakespeare has purposely portrayed Shylock as a stereotypical Jew, greedy, and obsessed with money....   [tags: A Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare] 860 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay on Shylock: A Villain or a Victim? - In The Merchant of Venice, it seems that William Shakespeare often invites the audience to feel hatred towards Shylock, but perhaps William Shakespeare means to invite the audience to feel the opposite. Shylock is shown as someone who is incredibly money hungry, materialistic, and only cares about his ducats rather than the fact that his own daughter, Jessica, has abandoned him for a Christian fellow named Lorenzo. Throughout The Merchant of Venice, it is easy to see why one would think of Shylock as the symbol of the devil, but perhaps William Shakespeare intended for Shylock to be portrayed as the misunderstood victim....   [tags: Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice] 829 words
(2.4 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Essay about The Merchant of Venice: Is Shylock a Villain or a Victim? - In this essay I will try to discover is Shylock a villain or a victim, in the William Shakespeare play “The Merchant of Venice” It is difficult to say if Shylock is a complete villain or a victim, as his character is complex and ambiguous. However, it is difficult to view Shylock as anything other than a devious, bloodthirsty and heartless villain in the majority of the play. There are a few points in the story where he can be viewed as victimised, as most Jews were at that time, but Shakespeare has purposely portrayed Shylock as a stereotypical Jew, greedy, and obsessed with money....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays] 862 words
(2.5 pages)
Better Essays [preview]
Shylock: A Ruthless Villain or a Persecuted Victim. Essay - ... This then makes the audience lose all or most of the sympathy they had for Shylock, thus making him look like a villain. In Act 2 Scene 3 Shylock is portrayed as being a victim because Jessica who is Shylocks daughter upset because a “heinous sin is it in me, to be ashamed to be my father’s child!” “Heinous” and “sin” have connotations of religious guilt and effectively convey to the audience how upset Jessica is to be her fathers child, ashamed of her own blood and this also causes the audience to sympathise with Shylock because he has a daughter who is disappointed and unhappy with him....   [tags: Shakespeare's A Merchant of Venice] 1171 words
(3.3 pages)
Research Papers [preview]
Shylock: Villain or Victim? Essay - ‘The Merchant of Venice’ is a play set in Italy in the late 16th Century, written by William Shakespeare. One of the main characters in the play is a cunning Jewish moneylender named Shylock. Shylock is part of a race that was discriminated against, despised and hated for their religion. In the beginning of the play Shylock makes an unsettling bond with a well-known, good and generous man named Antonio. Shylock has always had a grudge against Antonio because he is trusting; he lends money without interest, taking away Shylock’s business....   [tags: The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare] 1029 words
(2.9 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Shylock: Villain or Victim? Essay example - Shylock: Villain or Victim. In this essay I will look into the question of whether Shylock is villain or victim and then answer it with my own opinion. To do this I intend to examine the following, Shylock and the persecution of the Jews and by focusing on the courtroom scene and the formation of the bond scene. Previous history ---------------- Jews have been previously persecuted even before 1500 in Spain, Rome, France, the Middle East, Western Europe and Austria. They have suffered exile, torture, conversion, been massacred and even had their land Israel taken by the Turks....   [tags: Papers] 786 words
(2.2 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]
Shylock as a Victim of Villain Essay - Shylock as a Victim of Villain Throughout the play ‘The Merchant of Venice’ there are constant references to various characters and the way they relate to one another, however there is no character so diverse and so complex as Shylock’s character. Shakespeare tries to portray Shylock in a number of ways however I believe his main focus in the play, is on his villainous side. This may be portraying the time of Shakespeare where ethnic minorities like Jews were hated and condemned for their religion....   [tags: Papers] 2296 words
(6.6 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay Shylock: Victim or Villain - Shylock: Victim or Villain "The Merchant of Venice" by Shakespeare is set in the Italian city of Venice in the late 15th century. Originally, it was meant to be a comedy but it seems to have more elements of a tragedy than of a comedy. However the audience of that time would find it amusing to see Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, losing everything because Jews have not been accepted due to the fact their religion and their typical occupation as moneylender, which made the Christians depending of them....   [tags: Papers] 770 words
(2.2 pages)
Good Essays [preview]
The Merchant Of Venice - Shylock: Villain Or Victim? Essay - Many people are villainous in the way they behave. Their villainous acts may be attributed to their desire to destroy others and in turn elevate themselves to a higher financial or social level. However, the root cause of their villainy may be a response to the treatment they have endured at the hands of others. In short, they have been taught villainy, rather than it being an integral part of their personality. In such instances, revenge can be a key motivator in inspiring them to act in a villainous way....   [tags: Merchant of Venice Essays] 1770 words
(5.1 pages)
Powerful Essays [preview]
Essay on William Shakespeare's Shylock: Villain or Victim - William Shakespeare's Shylock: Villain or Victim In "The Merchant of Venice" Shakespeare confronts a considerable issue of his time, known as Anti Semitism. "Shylock", his stereotypical Jew lends money to a Christian in an agreement that flesh would be cut from the Christian's body, should it not be paid. Looking at the history of Jews in England, it is evident that Jews were persecuted and murdered up until 1290, when Jews were expelled from the country. Jews were treated with strong disrespect because of their alternative religious beliefs, their financial status and because of their ways of living....   [tags: Papers] 2301 words
(6.6 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]