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The Merchant of Venice
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The Merchant of Venice Essay
'The Merchant of Venice' is a play about money and religion. The main character of the play is a Jewish money lender called Shylock, who is hated in the city of Venice. Shylock schemes to eke out his revenge by ruthlessly demanding as payment a pound of Antonio's flesh. Shylock has a daughter called Jessica who wishes to change into Christianity, against her father's will and marry the Christian Lorenzo. She runs away with him, and takes some of her father's fortune. Shylock is furious and vows revenge. Although Shylock is seen to be an inhuman monster, he gradually diverges from stereotype and reveals himself to be quite human. In the end of the play he goes to court and is made to change religion, from a Jew to a Christian, throughout the play we see just how much his religion does actually mean to him. He is a very complex character that isn't easy to define, and is constantly judged as either a victim or a villain.
In this essay I will discuss the character Shylock and conclude whether or not he is a victim or a villain.
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