Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay

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Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare has created a marvellous character in Shylock. He lives in Veniceand he is a money lender. He is a widower and he is isolated by the people of Venicebecause of his religion. He is hated also because he is a money lender and the Christians think that it is wrong to lend money and charge interest. The Jews were hated in the Elizabethan times because the Christians believe that the Jews were responsible for the death of Jesus Christ. The Jews were spat on and treated very badly; they were also called names and mocked. Italywas very big in learning and trade in those times. Trade and learning was the biggest industry in the time and
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"You call me misbeliever, cut throat dog. And spat upon my Jewish gabardine".

Antonio rarely calls Shylock by his name, usually referring to him as "Jew" and "misbeliever". The effect this had on Shylock was it made him a lot more aggressive and bitter. It also made him hate all the Christians that he knew. Shylock seems to value his money and hatred of Christians more than the loss of Jessica, "I hate him for he is a Christian". This shows us that because of a few Christians he knows in Venicehe hates all Christians. This makes him quite aggressive towards them all.

Shylock also suffers at the hands of his daughter; Jessica does not respect her father because he is treating her cruelly and like a child. He doesn't let her do what she wants or see who she pleases, she is not allowed to socialise with basically anyone and this makes her really frustrated and upset. We sympathise with Shylock's agony when he discovers she has eloped, but we also sympathise for Jessica because her father controls what she does until she eloped and before she left she had no freedom. This is a good reason to feel sorry for Jessica. Jessica has run off with Lorenzo because she hated her father because of all that she had suffered in his presence of him, so she also felt the need to get back at him and to annoy him. She needs

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