Essay on The Merchant Of Venice By William Shakespeare

1128 Words May 26th, 2016 5 Pages
The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare has caused a wave of debates for centuries after the play’s debut in 1605, and this wave increases to this day. One of the most debated topics of the Merchant of Venice between readers is the argument whether Shylock, a Jewish usurer, is a victim or a villain in the play. Labeled as the “devil” (1.3.107) and an “inhuman wretch” (4.1.4) by many Christians, Shylock’s wickedness identifies him as the major foe in the play. As the root of most trouble, Shylock starts problems with his usury and irrationality, yet he escapes trouble by hiding behind a mask of Judaism, his scapegoat. Through the dialogue and actions of its characters, the Merchant of Venice illustrates Shylock as the villain due to his usury and his obsession over his wealth, which even takes precedent over his family. Shakespeare’s words present Shylock as the villain in the Merchant of Venice as he is a usurer and does not care for his daughter. Shylock’s goals in life are seeking wealth and revenge against Antonio for degrading him, enabling his need to kill Antonio. As an unmerciful Jew, Shylock only offers mercy when possible penalties are brought against him, and his wealth is on the line.
As a Jewish usurer, the villainous Shylock gets looked down upon and constantly degraded by the Christians in Venetian society. Priding himself on his wealth, money is always first in his mind and is the main factor in his life, leading him to not care for his daughter,…

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