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The Character of Shylock in The Merchant Of Venice

            The character William Shakespeare creates when he writes the part of Shylock is that of a villain, on the surface. He creates Shylock as the antagonist of the story using several stereotypes. Shylock is a Jewish banker, and, as the stereotype entails, is very bitter and tightfisted with his money. The stereotypes of Jewish people in that day come into play very much in the story. The fact that he is a banker/moneylender is no accident; in that day and time, Jewish people were the moneylenders because they could collect extreme amounts of interest on money lent, which was against one of the rules in Christianity. Shylock, having been mistreated by the Christians in Venice, particularly Antonio, was not very friendly with them and held much contempt for them. When Bassanio needs a loan to fund a courtship/wedding between he and his beloved Portia, Bassanio goes to his friend Antonio, who does not have the money at the time because all of his wealth is at sea in his ships, and Shylock is the only moneylender around, he has no choice but to go to him . Antonio agrees to back Bassanio on his trip to see Shylock and take the loan out himself. Shylock agrees to loan the money, three thousand ducats, with no interest, at the agreement that should the loan go unpaid, Antonio would pay the balance with a pound of his flesh. .
             It is obvious that Shylock still has contempt towards Antonio for the constant torment he put him through, and it shows later on in the story, when it is found out that Antonio's wealth was lost at sea when every one of his ships crashed before reaching port. Antonio is now penniless and cannot make the payment as promised to Shylock. Shylock is adamant about exacting his revenge and getting his pound of flesh, as promised. In the meantime, Shylock is getting crossed by his own daughter, who runs away with her lover, all of Shylocks money and all of his jewelry.

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