An Analysis of Major Characters; Shylock, Villain or Victim?

Topics: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Bag Pages: 1 (417 words) Published: April 24, 2012
An analysis of major characters: Shylock, villain or victim?
Using evidence from act one and act two, it is believed that the revengeful shylock is indeed a villain based on his actions and statements. Firstly, through Shylock’s words, he shows how he is very spiteful. “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.” (1.3.30-33). In this quote, Shylock mentions to Bassanio how he will do everything that the Christians do, except anything involving religion. Shylock is a Jew, and Bassanio is Christian, they believe in slightly different things, and despise one another. Another great example of Shylock’s hate is, “I hate him for he is a Christian: [...] Cursed be my tribe, if I forgive him!”(1.3.37-47). Shylock speaks this quote aside. He is speaking in term of Antonio, and how he truly hates Antonio mainly because he is a Christian, but also because he lends out money with no interest. Another reason for why Shylock is believed to be a villain is because he is very conscious and cautious about his moneybags and jewels. “There is some ill a-bearing towards my rest, For I did dream of money-bags tonight.” (2.5.17-18). Shylock is so conscious of his money that he made sure that his daughter Jessica would lock up his house when he leaves to attend a dinner he was invited to. His moneybags were set in the back of his mind just because he had a dream of them. Now when Shylock’s daughter runs away with his moneybags, he seems to care more that his “ducats” are gone, than his daughter who has left him. “A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, of double ducats, stol’n from me by my daughter! And jewels – two stones, two rich and precious stones,” (2.7.18-20). Shylock is being mimicked by Solanio in this quote. But he goes into specific of what was stolen which shows that he really cares about them. In conclusion, Shylock is categorized as a victim due to the fact that he...
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