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Character Analysis of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice

Character Analysis of Shylock from "The Merchant of Venice"

Shylock is the devil in the Merchant of Venice, and wants revenge on the Christian, Antonio. Shylock attempts to kill Antonio because he is a Christian. Shylock is a murderer and he hated all the Christian people. “Shylock is a villain.” (258;Stoll). Stoll says that Shylock is the villain in The Merchant of Venice because he hates Christians, and he attempts to kill Antonio, by taking his heart. Shylock cares more about money then his daughter, and he attempts to kill Antonio. Shakespeare is writing for an anti-Semitic audience and he wants to make Shylock look like a devil. The audiences that lived in Venice and watched the play, at the time, were mostly Christian and they were very anti-Semitic.

The Christian people hated the Jews because they believed that the Jewish people were devils. The Christians thought the Jews were the devils because they killed Jesus Christ. “Shakespeare's age based their anti-Semitism on religious grounds… that the Jews murdered Christ and were therefore in league with the devil.” (1;The Nature of Anti-Semitism). Shakespeare tries to make it an anti-Semitic play to attract more attention and make more money by selling more tickets. Shakespeare himself is not Anti-Semitic he is just trying to make a living by selling his books and performing acting out his plays.

Shylock, a Jew, is portrayed as a devil who wants revenge against a Christian. Shylock’s wants revenge due to a forfeited bond. Antonio’s friend, Bassanio, has the money to pay off the debt and even add a lot extra money on top of what is actually owed to Shylock. Shylock refuses to take the money and wants Antonio dead. The death of Antonio by Shylock would happen because of an unpaid debt from Antonio, the Christian merchant, who Shylock dearly hates. Shylock asks Bassanio if he would free his slaves and then Shylock says no one would free their slaves because the slaves are theirs. Shylock says this so he can reaffirm his want for the flesh, he is bound to have pound of flesh and he wants it. “The slaves are ours’. … / The pound of flesh which I demand of him / is dearly bought: ‘tis mine, and I will...

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