The Merchant Of Venice: Shylock - An In-depth Character Analysis

Often, The character Shylock, in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice,
is portrayed as a beastly monstrosity, with a lust for Antonio's life. Through
a more careful examination it can be determined that Shylock was an upstanding
member of his community, who endured abuse, forgave easily, and upheld the
customs and law.
Shylock endured much of Antonio's abuse, overt a long period of time.
This can be seen by the sheer volume of disgraces he has bore. A good example is
in Act 3 Scene 1, beginning with line 52:
“He hath disgraced me half a million, laughed at my losses,
mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains,
cooled my friends, heated mine ...

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no doit of usance
for my moneys, and you'll not hear me! This is kind I offer.”

Often, this quote from Act 3 Scene 1 line 83,
“Why, there, there, there, there! A diamond gone cost me two thousand
ducats in Frankfurt! The curse never fell upon our nation till now, I
never felt it till now. Two thousand ducats in that and other precious,
precious, jewels! I would my daughter were dead at my foot and the
jewels in her ear;” portraying Shylocks' treatment of his daughter, after she
ran away, is manipulated to make Shylock seem beastly. But, within the Jewish
culture and the time period, his response was appropriate. After his daughter
ran away, she was, for all intents and purposes, disowned. Thusly, the theft of
his jewels reduced her to the level of a thief, and so she deserved to be
Shylock is also an honest, law abiding citizen of Venice, before the
very end. His great respect for law and order are shown in the following quotes
from Act 4 ...

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Added: 10/2/2004 07:49:07 AM
Category: Arts
Type: Premium Paper
Words: 433
Pages: 2

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