Merchant of Venice Critical Essay

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In "The Merchant of Venice" by William Shakespeare, Shylock is portrayed as an attractive villain. It is the relationship between Shylock and Antonio, Shylock and his daughter, Jessica, and his selfishness through his attitude to material possessions that make him an attractive villain, he is portrayed as an attractive villain, and I am going to look at the extent that this is true in "The Merchant of Venice."

Shylock is portrayed as a stereotypical Jew which is one of the aspects that makes him an attractive villain. He hates Christians, and especially hates Antonio because of a grudge he has had from the past. During the trial scene, he is desperate to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio, and won't even accept double the amount he is owed. "If every ducat in six thousand ducats were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them, I would have my bond." This shows how much Shylock wants to get revenge on Antonio, that no amount of money would be as valuable as a pound of flesh. It is Shylock's selfishness and hunger for revenge, that makes him an attractive villain.

Shylock's relationship with Jessica makes him an attractive villain. He cares much more about money than his daughter, and this is shown when Jessica runs away with Lorenzo. When he hears the news about Jessica, he regards the money which Jessica stole as being more important than the loss of his daughter. "I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear. Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin." This shows that he feels he has been betrayed by Jessica, and hates her because of it, which is one of the ideas which contributes to him being an attractive villain.

Even though Jessica is completely different from Shylock, in looks and personality, he still feels Jessica is his own flesh and blood. "My own flesh and blood to rebel." They are completely different in the way that Shylock is a stereotypical Jew who hates Christians, and Jessica...
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