The Merchant Of Venice Is Shylock A Hero Or A Villain Analysis

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In William Shakespeare 's "The Merchant of Venice," religion plays a big part in early 1600s venetian society. The antagonist, Shylock, is an extremely religious man who lets his vengeance get the better of him. Throughout the play Shylock was constantly being treated badly because of his religion. Shylock is viewed as the villain in the play because he is a Jew but is actually the victim because of negative actions done onto him by others.

When negotiating a deal with Antonio, Shylock gives him the opportunity to apologize for calling him dog and spitting in his face. This is evident because he brought up the event, not to make Antonio feel bad but to seek an apology. Antonio 's response after Shylock brings up his wrong doings was "I am as like to call thee so again, to spit on thee again, to spurn thee too"(1.3.383947389). If Antonio would have apologized, it is likely that Shylock would not have made the deal for a pound of flesh. Shylock is a victim of Shylock 's disrespect and humiliation in front of Bassanio. Shylock actually spoke well of Antonio before he came in the scene to Bassanio. Shylock referring to his business history says, "my meaning in saying he is a good man is to have you understand
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This is true when Solanio and Salarino are mocking Shylock for losing his daughter. Usually when something negative happens to a character, others feel remorse and sympathy but since Shylock is a Jew they have an oppressive attitude. Saliero says “My daughter, oh my ducats, oh my daughter! Ran off with a Christian! Oh my Christian ducats!"(2.3.4242) This shows that since Shylock is Jewish, it is good and humorous to mock him. Solanio and Salario are both protagonists in the play and the viewer sees them talk negatively about Shylock, it gives the viewer the notation they should not like Shylock. That’s not a reason why one should view someone as a

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