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Shylock is solely responsible for the tragedy that unfolds To what extent, do you agree or disagree with this.

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Critical Essay Shylock is solely responsible for the tragedy that unfolds To what extent, do you agree or disagree with this. "In Merchant of Venice, no individual character exclusively causes the occurrence of tragedy" states Harold Bloom when presenting his perspective on the character and personality of Shylock. Merchant of Venice is a Shakespearean tragedy play, written in the Elizabethan Era, between 1596 and 1598. The statement, "Shylock is solely responsible for the tragedy in Merchant of Venice", is proven to be completely false by the actions of Bassanio, who failed to repay the debt, therefore making him responsible for the tragedy in the play. Although Shylock is not solely responsible for the tragedy, he is presented as the key antagonist due to his constant desire for revenge against Antonio, which causes the introduction of tragic and dramatic context. Shylock does not single-handedly cause the tragedy in the play, but, the conventions of society villainies the Jewish community, therefore, producing a misinterpretation of Shylock's action. ...read more.


The repetition and use of the phrase, "pound of flesh", symbolises Shylock's desperate desire for vengeances, which also supported through the use of, "If every ducat in six thousand ducats Were in six parts, and every part a ducat, I would not draw them,-I would have my bond", which clearly represents Shylock's desire for Antonio's life more than the repayment of the debt, therefore signifying him to be the key antagonist. In addition, his expectations of inhumane and unrealistic penalties for simply failing to pay the debt on time, such as the "The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, is dearly bought; 'tis mine, and I will have it", give the viewers or readers, a very accurate interpretation of the Shylock's character, which is, as the main villain in Merchant of Venice and due to this, the previously triggered chain of event intensifies and later concludes in tragedy. ...read more.


This undoubtedly shows, Shylock's respect for the law, on the other hand, Antonio and Bassano defaulted the borrowed loan, therefore, failing to follow the law. This juxtaposition shows the involvement of anti-semitism in the Merchant of Venice because of the discrimination against the Jewish community as Shylock was following the law and yet, the audience were presented with the idea of Shylock being the key antagonist. When play was performed during the time it was written, the conventions of society were a major influence on who was the key antagonist in the Merchant of Venice, because during of the religious conflict between the two religions, Christianity and Jewish, and with the setting of the play in Venice, where the Jewish community for banned several years and later treated as second class citizens. Furthermore, this is supported through the use of simile, in "Antonio spat on me just last week and treated me like dog", since, it clearly displays how the Christian, Antonio, has used to setting of Venice, where the religion in majority was Christianity, to discriminate against Shylock, the Jew. ...read more.

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