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Analysis Of Shylock In Shakespeare’s Merchant Of Venice

511 words - 3 pages

In Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice the antagonist of theplay is Shylock. Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender.Shylock is probably the most memorable character in the playbecause of Shakespeare's excellent characterization of him.Shylock is the antagonist in the play because he stands inthe way of love, but this does not necessarily make him thevillain of the play. Shylock can be seen as both thevillain of the play and as a man who is very human.The villain that we see in Shylock is the greedymoneylender. Shylock ...view middle of the document...

When Antonio's ships do not comein and he is not able to repay the loan Shylock is no longerinterested in getting his money back. Shylock want revengefor the loss of his daughter through the fulfillment of thebond. In court Shylock is defeated because of hisselfishness.Shakespeare also shows the human qualities of Shylockthroughout the play. Shakespeare brings out these humanqualities by causing us to feel sympathy for him. After theloss of his daughter Shylock ran through the streets crying"My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter!" as childrenfollowed him, mocking him. This causes us to feel sympathyfor Shylock, even though we may feel him to be a villain.Besides the loss of his daughter and his ducats, after thetrial Shylock also looses his property and his religion.The loss of his property was certainly a blow to Shylock butit can hardly compare to his loss of his religion. Hisforced conversion to Christianity brings out more sympathyfor him.Shakespeare's manipulation of our feelings for Shylockshow Shakespeare's gift as a writer. He gave Shylock theability to make us hate him at times, and sympathize withhim at others. This makes Shylock one of the most vividcharacters of the play.

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