Shylock Is a Villain as a Result of the Way He Has Been Treated

10 October 2016

The way in which discrimination plays a part in the ‘the merchant of Venice’ is very evident throughout the entire play. The view over the ‘ Jews’ throughout the play is generally negative, this bias nature found throughout the play may influence the villainous and immoral actions performed by Shylock and his decisions which lead to him lawfully having the right to take one pound of Antonio’s flesh, which Shylock immorally accepted.

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The situation arose when Antonio’s great friend bassiano fell in love with a woman call portia and asked a loan from Antonio in order to impress the woman, not having any immediate source of money, Antonio stated that he would take a loan from a jewish money lender called Shylock, in the meanwhile Antonio had ships filled with his soon to be fortune on their way, hence the loan was sanctioned and an agreement was made but in a somewhat tragic lead up of events Antonio had lost all his boats, creating a situation where the Jew could either be merciful towards the christian, or take one pound of his flesh of which Shylock took the second option. The first major bias or discriminative action performed in the play which may have created Shylock’s urge for ‘revenge’ may well have been when Antonio had had a quarrel with Shylock. Shylock states this when Antonio seeks a loan from Shylock, it becomes apparent that Antonio abused Shylock due to the fact that he was a Jew.

Another event that may have been a stimulator towards the actions of Shylock may have been the way in which his daughters life had been intertwined with a Christians in a negative way, when shylocks daughter jessica betrays him by running away with in a way whichever emotionally hurt Shylock. A final and very strong reason for Shylock being so prejudice was due to the overall hate towards the ‘Jews’ in the city, it seems as though Shylock acts towards antonio in a way which expresses his hatred towards the unfair treatment towards the Jews, it seems as though all his actions are a way in which he expresses the fact that even though he is a Jew he is a capable as any other Christian.

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