The Characters of Shylock and Bassanio in A Merchant of Venice

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First let me start of by explaining the common stereotype of a hero and of a villain: A hero is associated as being brave, generous, warm hearted and an all round good person. A villain is normally thought of as cruel, deceiving, hurtful and evil.

The characters in A Merchant of Venice can all fit into one of these

catagories but especially those of Shylock and Bassanio.

Shylock's job is as a moneylender. Insists on a lot of interest back,

selfish when Antonio approaches him for money to borrow. If Antonio

does not pay Shylock back in the time he's given with interest Shylock

gets to cut a pound of his skin out from wherever he chooses. Antonio

foolishly agrees to this arrangement. This is definitely something

that a villain would do, as Shylock plans to cut out a pound of flesh

which would kill Antonio. Murder definitely is something a villain

would consider or do.

When Shylocks daughter goes missing he seems to be happier that

Antonio's ships have crashed than worried about his daughter. It

doesn't seem as though he is a very caring man.

But maybe Shylock has an excuse for the way he acts. Maybe he is not a

villain after all. He has always been treated badly by many other

people living in Venice, as he is a Jew and the rest Christians. With

so much cruelty given to him maybe he deserves to give a little back

without really being cruel, just getting his deserved revenge? Also at

times Shylock can be a rather decent man.

Bassanio in this play seem to be a very good, loyal man and holds many

qualities that a hero would. When he goes to try and win Portia's love

he chooses the right casket that must mean that the way he feels about

Portia is what her father would have wanted. Which probably means that

he isn't just after her money, instead loves her as a person and wants

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