Comparison of Shylock and Antonio's Character

Topics: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Portia Pages: 2 (634 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Antonio and Shylock are both successful entrepreneurs in Venice but they both have different attitudes and experiences. When Antonio is asking Shylock for the loan he says, “Within these two months – that’s a month before this bond expires – I do expect, return of thrice times the value of this bond.” (1.3.169-170). Antonio and Shylock both are well off and successful businessmen. Antonio, being a man who is treats everyone nicely, lends his good name to Bassanio to woo Portia. Shylock on the other hand, could never do that and is a very greedy man who asks for three times the value of the loan. Also, Antonio is a risk taker and thinks things will always go the right way for him and his success will continue, which is shown when he accepts the high interest rate and the bizarre payment if the money isn’t received. Shylock handles his business straightforward and charges interest because it is his job, although being a very high amount and if it isn’t carried out, Shylock gets his payment of one pound of flesh. Shylock is depicted as the greedy businessman while Antonio is the nice man who tries his luck.

Another way Antonio and Shylock are different is their religion based social status: Antonio is a Christian and Shylock is a Jew. When Antonio walks into the room, Shylock greets him with, “I hate him for he is a Christian . . . I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.”(1.3.42&47) Shylock doesn’t even give Antonio a chance to bond with him and already hates him even though Antonio is a respectable businessman who has ties around the world. Shylock is placed in a constant Christian hating mood just because he is Jewish and it whenever something bad happens, its due to a Christian, from his daughter running away or all his assets being taken away. This is justified by the way Christians act toward him but he still shouldn’t stereotype everyone in the city he is in. Antonio is a Christian, which means he will automatically fit in with the city and have...
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