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Analysis Of Shylock In Shakespeare

’s Merchant Of Venice Essay, Research Paper In Shakespeare?s Merchant of Venice the antagonist of the play is Shylock. Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender.

’s Merchant Of Venice Essay, Research Paper

In Shakespeare?s Merchant of Venice the antagonist of the

play is Shylock. Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender.

Shylock is probably the most memorable character in the play

because of Shakespeare?s excellent characterization of him.

Shylock is the antagonist in the play because he stands in

the way of love, but this does not necessarily make him the

villain of the play. Shylock can be seen as both the

villain of the play and as a man who is very human.

The villain that we see in Shylock is the greedy

moneylender. Shylock charges high interest rates and when

he is not repaid he insists on revenge. In the play Shylock

loans Antonio money, and out of jest he suggests that should

the loan not be repaid in time Shylock may cut off one pound

of flesh from Antonio?s body. Soon after Shylock?s daughter

runs away from home with Lorenzo, a Christian, and takes her

father?s ducats with her. When Antonio?s ships do not come

in and he is not able to repay the loan Shylock is no longer

interested in getting his money back. Shylock want revenge

for the loss of his daughter through the fulfillment of the

bond. In court Shylock is defeated because of his

selfishness.

Shakespeare also shows the human qualities of Shylock

throughout the play. Shakespeare brings out these human

qualities by causing us to feel sympathy for him. After the

loss of his daughter Shylock ran through the streets crying

?My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!? as children

followed him, mocking him. This causes us to feel sympathy

for Shylock, even though we may feel him to be a villain.

Besides the loss of his daughter and his ducats, after the

trial Shylock also looses his property and his religion.

The loss of his property was certainly a blow to Shylock but

it can hardly compare to his loss of his religion. His

forced conversion to Christianity brings out more sympathy

for him.

Shakespeare?s manipulation of our feelings for Shylock

show Shakespeare?s gift as a writer. He gave Shylock the

ability to make us hate him at times, and sympathize with

him at others. This makes Shylock one of the most vivid

characters of the play.

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