Preview
Preview

Essay Shylock: Victim or Villain

No Works Cited
Length: 770 words (2.2 double-spaced pages)
Rating: Orange      
Open Document
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

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. Observing the way he loses his wealth the question appears
weather he is responsible for his poverty, a villain who drives
himself into the worst state he can be because of pure and cruel
revenge, or if he is a victim of the inhumanity of the Christians
towards the Jews.

appear as both victim and villain throughout the story.

The first appearance of Shylock is accompanied with his answer to
Bassanio's request for a loan of "three thousand ducats ", which shows
the stereotypical Jew in him always worried "about his money and his
usances", and who is hated and teased by Christians by being called
"dog" and by being " spit "at. All these prejudices and the hate,
which reigned the opinion of the people of this time, is shown in the
scene, which he meets Antonio.

And so Shakespeare starts the play with the audience believing that
Shylock is a stereotypical Jew. But with reasonable arguments such as
" …if you prick us do we not bleed? …" Shakespeare tries to neutralise
the opinion of the public and to view him from another perspective.

In Shylock's speech in Act 3 Scene 1 he puts forward reasoned debate
by saying that " ...


... middle of paper ...


... forfeit of my
bond", and his sarcasm in the court, would make him lose all remaining
sympathy the Elizabethan may have had and changed it into hate. The
similar reaction would be showing the audience of today because
cutting a pound of flesh is more evil than any prejudice. As the scene
continues Shylock proceeds with his arguments and speaks as he doing
the right thing. The audience no longer has any compassion towards
Shylock but it regains sympathy after Christianity wins the battle.

As a conclusion, Shylock is neither a villain nor a victim. It changes
throughout the play and Shakespeare manipulates the audience so that
it always feels the extreme.

Additionally, the way the characters are represented either really
noble and in the play plays a big role in the development of the
opinion about Shylock.





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: 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]
Essay about Shylock : a Villain in appearance, a Victim at heart - In many plays there are two types of characters, good and evil. Then there are those few who could be on either side of the fence. The character could have both good and evil aspects, creating a complex personality. In The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, there is an example of one of those characters. Shylock could be one of the most controversial characters ever created. Some people believe he is a victim, while others say he is a villain. In order to trace this idea we should know why people in the Elizabethan era hates Jews....   [tags: Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare]
:: 2 Works Cited
2028 words
(5.8 pages)
Strong Essays [preview]