You'll ask me why I rather choose to have weight of carrion-flesh than to receive 3,000 ducats: I'll not answer that. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Shylock begins by eloquently reminding the Venetians that all people, even those who are not part of the majority culture, are human. And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? In other words, he is a gentleman by birth, but destitute. In most scenes the character Shylock has to deal with a lot of racial discrimination, which has at modern… 988 Words 4 Pages The Merchant of Venice: Shylock - Antagonist or Victim? Some commentators have said that the character of Shylock is an example of Elizabethan and Shakespeare's own anti-Semitism. Part of memorizing the quotes is memorizing the context. Shylock refuses to eat with the Christians: A modern audience may find these lines insulting.
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. He honors the judge by calling him her Daniel, who in biblical times intervened in a case in order to save an innocent. The Christian characters think it's wrong to charge interest and make money off of loans, which is a reflection of 16th-century English attitudes about usury. Antonio wonders aloud if Gratiano's words have any value, and Bassanio replies that finding the meaning Gratiano seeks to communicate within his words is like seeking two grains of wheat within two bushels of chaff: the search takes all day, so that when you find the two grains of meaning , they are not worth the search. If you prick us, do we not bleed? Shylock, Act 3 Scene 1 If you prick us, do we not bleed? I'll stay no longer question. Here, Shylock also exposes the hypocrisy of the Christian characters who are always talking about Christian love and mercy but then go out of their way to alienate Shylock because he's Jewish and different.
The play is thus emphatically not anti-Semitic; rather, because of the nature of Shylock's involvement in the love plots, it is about anti-Semitism. Once again Shylock responds that he cannot find it in the bond which states all the legal requirements. In contrast, many have seen the creation of Shylock as an attack on this kind of intolerance. But a villain is the one person that people love to hate. This causes us to feel sympathy for Shylock, even though we may feel him to be a villain. Further, the Merchant of Venice has within its words the spirit of Commercial and Mercantile Laws. If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that.
However, it is difficult to view Shylock as anything other than a devious, bloodthirsty and heartless villain in the majority of the play. Portia, Act 1 Scene 2 I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. Shakespeare wanted to contrast liberality against selfishness — in terms of money and in terms of love. He was not concerned with either anti- nor pro-Semitism, except in the way it shaped individual characters in his plays to produce the necessary drama that he was attempting to create. Duke, Act 4 Scene 1 The quality of mercy is not strained, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath.
The presence of this speech offers an alternative reading of the play in which it is a tragedy: Shylock is the sympathetic character who wrongfully loses at the end of the play. In The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, there appears Shylock - a Jew. When Shylock points out that Antonio has treated him like garbage, Antonio is unapologetic and insists that his racist behavior will never change, not even if Shylock lends him money. Hath not a Jew eyes? But as soon as the villain walks on stage he is… 469 Words 2 Pages William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice is a classic play that has also brought about some issues revolving around the antagonist of the story Shylock. This makes Shylock one of the most vivid characters of the play. It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings.
How much more elder art thou than thy looks! If you poison us, do we not die? In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt, But, being seasoned with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil? Shakespeare brings out these human qualities by causing us to feel sympathy for him. To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. Shakespeare's intention was not to make Shylock a tragic figure; instead, Shylock was meant to function as a man who could be vividly realized as the epitome of selfishness; he must be defeated in this romantic comedy. Shylock can be seen as both the villain of the play and as a man who is very human. As Antonio needed money quickly he had… 1948 Words 8 Pages Shylock as the Villain in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare wrote 'The Merchant of Venice' in about 1597.
As Jessica later says, she and Lorenzo are out-nighting each other. Antonio tells Bassanio not to grieve because this whole situation is his fault, but to celebrate his friend's good luck, as Fortune quite frequently lets old men outlive their wealth to die in poverty: Antonio will avoid this fate. Shakespeare gives us unmistakably human moments, but he often steers us against Shylock as well, painting him as a miserly, cruel, and prosaic figure. And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? Portia is decidedly not enthused about the young German as a suitor or a man. Something or someone must impede young, romantic love; here, it is Shylock and the many and various ways that he is linked to the three sets of lovers. Three months from twelve; then, let me see; the rate— 17 Signior Antonio, many a time and oft In the Rialto you have rated me. In order to answer the question it is vital to look at the pervading… 6154 Words 25 Pages Shylock: Victim or Villain? Portia as Balthasar has just made Shylock's flesh forfeiture impossible; she has also denied Shylock the bond's original principal, so Gratiano is continuing to mock and taunt the Jew mimicking his earlier allusion to Daniel as a compliment to Balthasar and letting Shylock know that his losses are Gratiano's delight.
Salerio explains Antonio's troubles by saying that he's worrying about the safety of his fleet of merchant ships. Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this, That in the course of justice none of us Should see salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to render The deeds of mercy. The Duke's quote signifies that Antonio is the Defendant, since he is called to answer Shylock's complaint. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Instead of using reason to elevate himself above his Venetian tormenters, Shylock delivers a monologue that allows him to sink to their level: he will, he vows, behave as villainously as they have. It is from this medieval literary tradition that Shakespeare borrows the figure of Shylock, just as Marlowe did for his Jew of Malta. As the play unfolds Shylock is seen to be the villain and is portrayed as being cold, unbending, and evil.