The Merchant of Venice - Shylock

Paper Rating: Word Count: 805 Approx Pages: 3

Is Shylock, in your opinion: a comic villain, a ˜stage' Jew

OR a villain who just happens to be Jewish

OR an ill-treated and persecuted victim?

After reading this play I think of Shylock as both a victim and a villain. He is ill-treated which makes me think of him as a victim but he is also revengeful and cruel.

Shylock's hatred of the Christians comes from their hatred of him because he is Jewish and the fact that they lend out money with no interest. When I first read Shylock's character talk I thought of him as just another money lender but then he went on to talk about how he was mocked and insulted, this made me feel sorry for him. Many characters despise him because of his religion and his character; Gratiano is one of them. During the court scene Gratiano says

"A halter gratis - nothing else, for God's sake  (Act 4 sc 1)

This means that instead of showing mercy towards Shylock, Gratiano wanted to give Shylock a rope to hang himself with, free of interest. This quote proves that Gratiano hates Shylock because he wants him dead.

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