Is Shylocks Revenge Justified?

Topics: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Portia Pages: 2 (752 words) Published: May 17, 2013
Is Shylock’s Revenge Justified?
Shylock is a major character in the play, most people consider him a villain. He is a wealthy, moneylending Jew who practices usury. He’s revenge is justified for many reasons, these reasons include him being abused for being a Jew and a moneylender at the same time. Another reason is that Antonio prevents him from doing business as he loans money interest free. Shylock was a victim of an unjust trial which leaves Shylock’s will to live demolished as he is bloodthirsty for revenge. He also complains that aren’t Jews and Christians the same, if a Jew were to do wrong to a Christian wouldn’t a Christian want revenge? Despite all of this he uses his patience and lends 3000 Ducats to Antonio interest free in an attempt to lure him into his death hole, which seemingly succeeds. A reason for Shylock’s justification for revenge is that he was abused verbally and physically. In the 16th century if you were a Jew living in Venice, you would be discriminated in countless methods, it was a period of racism. Shylock was called names, spat on and kicked by Antonio (“You’ve called me blasphemer, cutthroat dog, and spat on my Jewish cloak/you shunned me on some other day”). All that did was make Shylock’s fury grow towards Antonio. Another reason would be that Shylock was a victim of an unjust trial, Portia disguised as Balthazar (a young lawyer) calls Shylock a foreigner. Even though he was born, raised and owes all his life to Venice. Shylock came to the court for one reason only, all he asked for was justice (Act 4 Scene 1). Portia turned everything around on him and made the Duke believe that he was the villain. He took an unfair sentence as he was accused of being a foreigner and had to convert to Christianity. In addition to this, Antonio prevents Shylock from doing business as he lends money interest free, while Shylock uses interest to make profit and to support his family. Antonio then mocks and laughs at his losses (Act 3 Scene 1...
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