• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

In your opinion is Shylock a villain or a victim of the society he lives in?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

25/02/05 The British School of Bahrain In your opinion is Shylock a villain or a victim of the society he lives in? In my opinion Shylock was a victim of the society he lived in. He was a victim because he was a minority in a Christian city where anti-Semitism played an important role in society. In the society in which Shylock lived, there was plenty of racism, so it was easy to paint a picture of Shylock as a villain on evil, based on stereotypical opinions for the society in which he lived. The target audience for which the play was written was largely a racist and a prejudiced audience, so they readily accepted Shylock in the role of Villain, without questioning whether this was an accurate assessment of his personality. Due to the target audience being racist, there is a bias in the way in which Shylock is portrayed, and does not always effectively portray what Shylock was feeling or thinking. Although in some cases Shakespeare did show that he did not have the stereotypical view of Shylock, which most certainly his audience did have. In this essay, I will be expressing my opinion on whether Shylock is a victim or a villain in the society that he lives in. ...read more.

Middle

She would accept the family's religion as an important part of her heritage and background, and not something to be ashamed of. In Act 2 scene 5 Shylock looks like a kill joy - he seems to give Jessica no freedom and is always controlling her, and not leaving her on her own. This could be because he is in fear of what might happen to her, and thus his controlling her is just Shylock's way of making sure that nothing happens to her, as he wants her to be protected. However because Shylock is portrayed in such a negative way, his control over Jessica could be incorrectly seen as unreasonable and evil - so one again he looks like a villain. In this scene there are very good examples which shows how much hatred Shylock has towards Christians for example "But yet I'll go in hate, to feed upon the prodigal Christian". In this scene there is dramatic irony, this is when the audience know what is happening and some of the characters do not know what is happening. The use of dramatic irony is used when, Shylock explains his dreams, and he says that he is going to lose something. ...read more.

Conclusion

This is also ironic, as when Shylock had the upper hand against his enemies they all begged him for mercy, and told him that what he is doing is wrong, but when the tables had turned against Shylock and he was now the victim, and the Christian society had the upper hand, they did not show that they were better than him and give him mercy, as they had begged him for. This all shows that in the end Shylock was the Victim, and that the society he lived in was the villain towards him, and other Jews. So to summarize in my opinion I believe that shylock was a victim and a villain of the society he lived in, he was a victim due to the fact that he was a minority amongst Christians, and during his time there was a lot of racism against him and his religion, I also believe that Shylock was a villain in some ways because the society had driven him to be villainess meaning that because he was treated so badly, that every time he could get his own revenge back against the Christians he did try to do that, making it look like he is the villain to a Shakespearean audience. 1,648 words Done by Cameron Hill ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Shylock - Victim or Villain - What is your assessment of the presentation of ...

    whet his knife in anticipation of the moment he had waited for. Also, his own decision to have only his bond, and only what was stated in the bond, caused his downfall. This decision made Shylock particularly villainous because he did have respect for the sanctity of human life any more.

  2. Shylock: Victim or Villain?

    "many a time and oft", meaning many times before has Antonio stood in public and treated him like he is nothing. Antonio "rates" Shylock meaning that he insults him in a public place and many times has he ignored it, "Still have I borne it with a patient shrug".

  1. Shylock - Victim or Villain?

    Also, Shylock is shown to have cared about his money more than he cared about his daughter as seen in : "my ducats, and my daughter! A sealed bag, two sealed bags of ducats, of double ducats, stol'N from me by my daughter!"

  2. Shylock - Victim of Villain?

    is not an act of kindness, rather a chance of taking revenge. Shylock's bond with Antonio, 'If you repay me not on such a day...a place...sum or sums as are...let the forfeit be...an equal pound of your fair flesh...', is absurd.

  1. Shylock: Victim or Villain?

    'Gratiano speaks an infinite deal of nothing', so perhaps Shakespeare's discouraging the negative opinion Gratiano and the audience have of Shylock. I feel that Bassanio in comparison, shows a greater measure of tolerance for Shylock, because of the respect he treats him with when persuading him to lend Antonio the

  2. Shylock: villian or victim

    Perhaps he is too preoccupied with generating yet more wealth to concern himself with his only daughter. This view of him as self- serving and avaricious is compounded by his reaction to Jessica running away with a Christian. He is outraged that she has left and has stolen some of

  1. Shylock - Villain or Victim?

    His appearance was hardly noticeable and his entrance was slightly delayed. As a result of this there was great anticipation leading up to his eventual appearance. His first confrontation was with Bassanio who arranges an agreement in which he can borrow some money from Shylock.

  2. In Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice" discuss whether Shylock is a villain or victim ...

    "Yes, to smell pork, to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into. I will buy with you, sell with you, talk with you, walk with you, and so following; but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you" A1.S3.L29

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work