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Shylock Critical Essay

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Shylock Critical Essay My critical essay is on Shylock, who is one of the main characters in the play, "The Merchant of Venice," which was written by one of the most famous playwrights of all time, William Shakespeare. In this essay I intend to prove that Shylock was the villain of this play and although there may have been moments where he appeared to be a victim, he was a cruel and evil villain. He was an unforgiving character who was scheming to get his own way throughout the whole play. At the start of the play we see Shylock grudgingly lending Antonio money-3000 ducats. Even though he does not like Antonio he lends him the money with the agreement that if Antonio should not be able to pay him back, within the time given, Shylock will take a pound of his flesh. During the play Shylock's daughter Jessica runs away from him taking all of his money and some of his jewels with her. ...read more.


Another comment he makes in that scene is that he hates Antonio just because he's Christian, which is an intolerant opinion and shows you exactly the kind of person Shylock is. Shylock is a greedy, money-mad man who cares more about his money than his family. This is proven in Act 2 Scene 8 when he finds out that his daughter Jessica has run away from him with Lancelot-a Christian- and she has taken his money and some of his jewels with her. He is upset that she has left him and worried about her but he is also furious that she has taken his money with her. He goes out into the streets shouting and can't seem to decide which he cares about more his daughter or the ducats. "My ducats and my daughter! And jewels! Two stones!" He should obviously care far more about his daughter but it is apparent that he doesn't. Another example of his cold-hearted personality is his statement in Act 3 Scene 1 "I would have my daughter dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear." ...read more.


but only if he takes exactly a pound, no more no less and he must not spill a single drop of blood. He immediately drops his case, as he knows this is not possible and so is charged with attempted murder. He has to give half of his money to the court, half to Antonio and become a Christian. Although this may seem like a very harsh punishment I think it is fitting to his crimes, as he would have been willing to kill Antonio if they had given him the chance. In conclusion I would definitely say that Shylock was the villain of the play. His scheming and malicious nature overturn any chance of him been seen as a victim. He was a nasty, greedy, money grabbing character that hated Antonio because of his religion and because he supposedly stole business from Shylock-a moneylender-as he was willing to give out loans without interest. Using this character as an example I think that Shakespeare was trying to show that everyone who does wrong gets caught out in the end. Laura Combe ...read more.

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