Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice


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Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

In Shylock’s first scene he comes in talking about money

“Three thousand ducats, well!”

The audience would think of him as a stereo typical Jew troubled more
about money than anything else. Later in this scene he asks “Antonio
is a good man” this could be a query or a proclamation but he tells
Bassaino that Antonio will be sufficient for the bond. Shylock is
asked to dine with Bassanio and Antonio but Shylock replies,

“Yes to smell pork, to eat the habitation which the Nazarite conjured
the devil into. I will buy with you sell with you, talk with you, walk
with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with
you, nor pray with you”

Later, when Antonio enters Shylock consults himself at this point;
you see how Shylock feels about the Christians. He has a deep hatred
for them. Shylock can not instantly raise up the money, so he must go
to his friend Tuble for the rest of the money. Later he takes a quote
from the bible about Jacob and his sheep.

Antonio replies “the devil can site scriptures for his own uses”
Shylock is quite obviously upset by this, as he is referred to as the
devil but he just brushes it off as if nothing has been said. Shylock
starts to think about the rate Antonio asks for a answer, Shylock
replies sarcastically and shows how he has been treated in the past ,
” Fair sir you spat on me Wednesday last, you spurned me such a day,
and for these courtesies I’ll lend thus moneys’?”

Antonio states that he would do it again. Shylock tells Antonio that
he will lend the money but not charge usury but if Antonio doesn’t pay
off the debt Shylock could take a pound from Antonio’s flesh, nearest
to the heart. Antonio agrees to this bond, they both call it a merry
sport. The audience think Shylock is a cruel man at this point.

Act 3 scene 1

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Solanio and Salerio are talking about Antonio’s ships and how they
have been shipwreck. Shylock enters and he is angry because his
daughter has run away with his money and jewels, as well as what
happened to Antonio’s ships, because that was Antonio’s income, so
Antonio can’t pay the debt. For most of the scene Shylock is angry.
Later Tubal brings news to Shylock about his daughter and how she
traded Shylock’s ring, given to him by his dead wife, it was traded
for a monkey! In the film you see this because Shylock starts to tear
his clothes off and cry, this reinforces the audience’s stereo typical
view of shylock

Act 4 scene1

All the way through this scene Shylock is referred to as The Jew “Go
none, and call The Jew in to the court”

The duke is very biased towards Antonio because the duke is Christian
and at the time that the play was written in most country’s Jews were
banned.

Later in the scene Portia plays a learned doctor called Balthasar and
Nerissa plays a clerk. Blathasar starts on Shylock’s side. When it
looks like Shylock is wining in the video, he starts to sharpen his
knife on his shoe, but soon after that the tables are turned.

Shylock is offered twice the amount of money, but he declines the
offer and is about to cut the flesh from Antonio when Balthasar
(Porsha) finds a loop hole in the law and if Shylock spills one drop
of Antonio’s blood, Shylock’s life would be forfeit. He is confused
and angry at this point. Balthasar finds another loop hole in the law,
if an alien to Venice should attempt to, or take the life of a
Christian your fate lies in the duke and your riches should be given
to the court and the other half should be given to Antonio. The duke
spares Shylock’s life and Antonio lets Shylock keep his half of his
riches, but when Shylock dies his daughter’s husband gets the money.
Also Shylock must become Christian. In the video Shylock’s cap is
knocked off and he is forced to kiss a cross which is placed a round
his neck.


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