Is Shylock a Villain or Victim?

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 73
  • Published : March 28, 2011
Open Document
Text Preview
Critical Evalution

Is Shylock a Villain or Victim?

A victim is someone who has been singled out for cruelor unfair treatment. A villain is a wicked person or a criminal.
The question is does Shakespare portray Shylock, the Jewish moneylender as more of a villain than a victim in "The Merchant of Venice"

The first scene is one of the main scences in which Shylock could be seen more as a victim. In this scence Bassanio goes to Antonio, a merchant of Venice and his good friend. Bassianio asks Antonio if he is able to lend him some money. Antonio promises him the money if he is able to borrow it. Then both Bassanio and Antonio go to Shylock, a rich jew who lends money and also Antonio's enemy. Antonio asks for three thousands ducats for three months. However Shylock doubts the security of Antonio's ships but he seems willing to lend the three thousands ducats. He tells the audience why he hates Antonio for a variety of reasons. " I hate him for he is a Christian. He lends out money gratis. I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him. He hates our sacred Nation." This controversial and powerful statement is targeted towards the audience; Shylock is almost quoting it to tell his feelings and hatred towards Antonio. This is confusing as Shylock detests Antonio yet he still is willing to lend money to a Christain man whom he hates.

One of the reasons why i considered Shlock to be a Villain is because he was very greedy in contrast to Antonio who lent his money to others with no interest. Also, when they merged in their bond together it was quite grotesque for Shylock to ask for a pound of his flesh, If the loan was not returned in time. "If every ducat in six thousands ducats were in six parts and every part a ducat I would not draw them I would have my bond" This quote is from, Act 4 Scene1, the trial Scene Antonio, Bassanio and the Duke confront Shylock but Shylock still is very consistent in getting the bond, he wouldn't change his mind....
tracking img