Essay about Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
The above statement makes two main assumptions about Shylock. One is that Shylock is a two-dimensional villain, a man who is a stereotypical, one-sided man with no true motive for his actions. This assumption also implies that Shylock is extremely superficial, an supposition that we strongly disagree. The second assumption is that Shylock does not deserve our sympathy as although he is not superficial, what he has …show more content…
Another striking example that portrays Shylock as a typical villain who is cruel is in Act 4, Scene 1, where time and again, Shylock turns down all offers of money for his revenge on Antonio. This can be seen from "My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, The penalty and the forfeit of my bond." Act 4, Scene 1. Even after Portia pleads for mercy for Shylock to rip his bond and grant mercy to Antonio, Shylock refuses, making himself seem cruel and unmerciful. Shylock's bloodthirstiness is further emphasized later in the scene when Bassanio asks "Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?" Act 4, Scene 1, to which Shylock replies, "To cut the forfeiture from the bankrupt there." Act 4, Scene 1. Through these words, Shakespeare makes Shylock seem eager to kill and unmerciful even with so many Christians pleading with him and money as a reward to boot. His thirst for revenge gives readers a further reason to hate him, and a justification for the Christians to mock and insult him.
However, at the same time, Shylock also knew love before, and loved others. This can be seen from "It was my turquoise. I had it of Leah when I was a bachelor. I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys." Act 3, Scene 1. Here, we