Is Shylocks Revenge Justified?

10 October 2016

He is a wealthy, moneylending Jew who practices usury. He’s revenge is justified for many reasons, these reasons include him being abused for being a Jew and a moneylender at the same time. Another reason is that Antonio prevents him from doing business as he loans money interest free. Shylock was a victim of an unjust trial which leaves Shylock’s will to live demolished as he is bloodthirsty for revenge.

He also complains that aren’t Jews and Christians the same, if a Jew were to do wrong to a Christian wouldn’t a Christian want revenge? Despite all of this he uses his patience and lends 3000 Ducats to Antonio interest free in an attempt to lure him into his death hole, which seemingly succeeds. A reason for Shylock’s justification for revenge is that he was abused verbally and physically. In the 16th century if you were a Jew living in Venice, you would be discriminated in countless methods, it was a period of racism.

Is Shylocks Revenge Justified? Essay Example

Shylock was called names, spat on and kicked by Antonio (“You’ve called me blasphemer, cutthroat dog, and spat on my Jewish cloak/you shunned me on some other day”). All that did was make Shylock’s fury grow towards Antonio. Another reason would be that Shylock was a victim of an unjust trial, Portia disguised as Balthazar (a young lawyer) calls Shylock a foreigner. Even though he was born, raised and owes all his life to Venice. Shylock came to the court for one reason only, all he asked for was justice (Act 4 Scene 1). Portia turned everything around on him and made the Duke believe that he was the villain.

He took an unfair sentence as he was accused of being a foreigner and had to convert to Christianity. In addition to this, Antonio prevents Shylock from doing business as he lends money interest free, while Shylock uses interest to make profit and to support his family. Antonio then mocks and laughs at his losses (Act 3 Scene 1 “laughed at my losses, mocked my gains, scorned my people, and prevented me from doing business”) Shylock is patient while his fury grows and waits for that one day, where all his revenge will be put to justice against Antonio.

Furthermore, Shylock complains to Salarino and Solanio that if a Jew were to do wrong to a Christian wouldn’t that Christian want to seek revenge? (Act 3 Scene 1 lines 50-60) He then gives them proof that Jews and Christians are the same (“Doesn’t a Jew have eyes? Doesn’t a Jew have hands? Organs, a body, senses, emotions, passions? …”) In addition he tells them that he learnt his cruelty and desperateness for revenge from the Christians, he actually is crueler than his own teachers (“The villainy you teach me, I will emulate, and in all probability, I’ll do better than my teachers”).

Again, Shylock has the right to take revenge on Antonio because he was patient and had no aggression towards him on any of the cases. Antonio did a lot of humiliating things towards him as stated before, but he had no retaliation and all that did was make his fury and anger grow towards Antonio. He had no intention of harming Antonio, it was his actions which led Shylock into wanting revenge Just as a vampire that is bloodthirsty.

Subsequently, Shylock’s revenge is justified because if Antonio didn’t break the agreement Shylock wouldn’t have had the penalty of the bond. Is Antonio foolish? Firstly, who would accept a penalty which would kill him? Secondly, why would he break such an agreement? It all goes down to how mindless Antonio is. Shylock would then have the right to take his bond penalty because of a stolid move which cost Antonio his life. Finally, Shylock’s justification for revenge has been proven and he has with all means and rights to take his revenge against Antonio.

He was abused verbally and physically, he also was prevented by Antonio from making business, he was a victim of an unjust trial and had no retaliation towards Antonio despite all the abuse and harm he has done. Shylock never had the intention of harming Antonio therefore why shouldn’t he take revenge if he did nothing wrong. But only to take all the damage which was inflicted to him. After all, Shylock truly deserves to take revenge as he never did anything wrong.

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