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Shylock- victim or villain?

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Introduction

Shylock: Victim or Villain? Sam Booty 10R4 The first time we meet shylock is in Act1, scene 3. At this point, he is discussing a loan for Antonio through Bassanio and he is considering his options. "Three thousand Ducats-well" (Act 3, scene1) He says "well" meaning yes, I see (He is considering the proposition) This makes him out to be a villain because he is proving himself to be a stereotypical Jew in the way he is thinking about whether the bond will benefit him in any way or not. Shakespeare introduces the first plot of the play here "The bond plot". Shakespeare had never met a Jew before because they were expelled from England before Shakespeare's time. Anti-Semitism is the hatred of Jews which Adolf Hitler was also very keen on. At the time, everyone was keen on religion and Anti-Semitism; Shakespeare decided that everyone would like to see a play which involved these elements. The first long speech that's Shylock has; Shakespeare has portrayed him to be an educated/clever man "But ships are but boards, Sailors but men; there be land rats [...] I mean pirates" at this point, he is reminding Bassanio that the Spanish Armada was only a few years back (1589) ...read more.

Middle

The first time we see Shylock and Jessica together, he calls "Jessica" and she comes "Call you? What is your will?" (Act 2 scene 5) this connotes that she is a very obedient girl. Later, Shylock tells her that she can't have anything to do with the masque "Lock up my doors, and when you hear the drum band [...] Nor thrust your head into the public street to gaze upon Christian fools with varnished faces" Here, Shakespeare is using shylocks language to make it us totally clear to us that he is totally against Christians once again. Jessica is planning on sneaking out and seeing Lorenzo, the Christian. Jessica dresses up as a boy and meets Lorenzo at the masque. She has stolen money from Shylock "Here, catch this casket, it is worth the pains." (Act2, scene6) Lorenzo tells Jessica that he loves her "Lorenzo, and thy love" (Act2, scene6) Later on, we learn more about the people and how they treat Shylock "As the dog Jew did utter in the streets: "My daughter! O my Ducats! O my daughter" [...] Stolen by my daughter. Justice! Find the girl! She hath the stones upon her, and the ducats." (Act2, scene 8) ...read more.

Conclusion

"Tarry a little, there is something else. This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood [...] One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods are by the laws of Venice confiscate Unto the state of Venice" (Act 4,scene1) Shakespeare uses dramatic irony here because Bassanio doesn't know that Portia is there and we do. Shylock is forced to give half of his possessions to Lorenzo and Jessica thanks to Antonio "The other half in use-to render it upon his death unto the gentleman who lately stole his daughter.[...] He presently become a Christian."(Act 4 scene1) The other half of his belongings went to the state of Venice. In conclusion, I think that Shakespeare uses a number of elements e.g. dramatic irony when nobody but the audience knew that Portia in court, an oxymoron "o happy torment, when my torture doth teach me answers for deliverance" and some more. Shylock is a villain but this is because of the victims acting like villains themselves but they are seen as victims because they are legal to discriminate Jews and Jews can't do anything about it other than act like they are treated so overall, I think that Shylock is a victim to the own world that he lives in. ...read more.

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