Merchant Of Venice Essays: Shylock Villain Or Victim

1179 Words 5 Pages
Shylock Villain or Victim In the Shakespeare comedy The Merchant of Venice we find a Jewish money lender, Shylock, a victim of anti-seminism, cursed as he tries to make his way into a Christian society. It is not long before Shylock is presented with an opportunity to extract revenge on one of his oppressors a Christian merchant Antonio, who is in need of the Shylocks services. Antonio needs three-thousand ducats to send his good friend Bassanio on a romantic journey. In turn Shylock wants a “pound of flesh” bond from Antonio for his services (cite). This opens the door for Shylock’s revenge without mercy against his oppressor if the debt is not paid within ninety days; Shylock is to have his “pound of flesh” and Antonio’s life. We find …show more content…
Now Shylock has found a direct line to his revenge and collection of his bond. Bassanio also received word that his dear friend was going to be unable to repay the debt, which Antonio bonded his self to for, Bassanio. At the same time Jessica comes forward with news that her father would much enjoy collecting the bond, as opposed to the collection of the ducats. Bassanio becomes distraught, Portia, inquires what her husband is in such distress over. When she gets to the root she, offers up the ducats to save …show more content…
Shylock will have none of it, demanding his pound of flesh at the trial. As the trial gets underway Bassanio appears with twice the amount of ducats due and pleas for Shylocks mercy. Shylock calloused from Christian treatment will not be swayed from his bond. As he prepares to extract his revenge he is informed by a doctor in charge of the trial, which is later found to be, Portia the fare-lady of Bassanio dressed in men’s clothing. Portia as the Doctor says “This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; The words expressly are “a pound of flesh” (line 305), then she states to Shylock: “Shed thou no blood, nor cut thou less nor more But just a pound of flesh”, ending with “thou diest, and all goods are confiscated” (line 325), with this all said quickly Shylock tries to recant to collect the six-thousand ducats. Making him appear as greedy as his is portrayed, vengeful and merciless. Portia then points out that under the same laws that Shylock is to forfeit half his house and belongings to Antonio and the other half to the state. While placing him at the mercy of the duke who overseen the trial. Who also strips Shylock of his Jewish faith, forcing him to become a Christian. Entering this reading of Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice, as bias reader one might profess that this is a compliment to horrendous discrimination on the Jewish

Related Documents