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Essay about Shylock of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

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Shylock of William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Shylock is one of the main characters in Shakespeare's play "The
Merchant of Venice", he starts in the play as an outcast of society
because he is Jewish. Shylock has been forced to become a banker in
his life as an inhabitant of Venice, for the fact that his religion is
seen as wrong. Although Shylock is forced to become a banker he plays
a vital role in the city of Venice, without Shylock the city would
struggle economically. From an early point in the play Shakespeare
makes Shylock look like a money-loving fiend, Shylocks first words in
the play are " Three Thousand ducats." This line shows that Shylocks
life revolves around money. The first account that Shylock gives to
the audience about the bullying he receives is in Act I scene III when
Shylock tells of the time when on the rialto seignior Antonio spat
upon him and called him dog. Antonio then continues to request money
from Shylock while saying that he is quite likely to spit on Shylock
or call him or dog again. Antonio then tells Shylock that the money
should be lent to him, but if not repaid Shylock will receive a
penalty from Antonio. This promise of a penalty appeals to Shylock, as
it is a way of receiving revenge for the terrible heartache cause by
Antonio. Although the borrowing of money is frowned upon by
Christians, Antonio is forced to borrow the money from a man he has
hated for many years showing his lack of faith and the power money has
over him. Antonio and Shylock make a bond that if the money is not
repaid then Shylock must claim a pound of Antonio's flesh.

During the period when Antonio is securing his m...


... middle of paper ...


...tian law would be a farce if rights are not upheld."

This makes the Duke worried because he doesn't want Antonio to get
hurt. Shakespeare puts some dramatic irony in the court scene when
Shylock is so convinced that he will have a pound of Antonio's flesh
he allows Portia to look at the bond. Portia then finds that no blood
can be spilt because it is not written in the bond. This gives the
Duke a chance to stop the court case and gives Antonio a let off from
Shylocks revenge.

The audience no longer shows pity for Shylock because he is a villain
and has no pity for others he only cares about his own revenge.
Shylock is seen as a dark character because he is so keen to get
revenge and never allows any previous experiences to pass. Shylock
always wants the upper hand, which results in him becoming a miserable
man.


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