Role Of Shylock In The Merchant Of Venice

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Shylock: Villain or victim?
William Shakespeare an outstanding play writer and actor too. He wrote “Merchant of Venice in the late 1590s for an Elizabethan audience who would have found this play very comedic and would have loved it. Although, a modern audience would find this play extremely racist. The Merchant of Venice is what we now call a tragicomedy. During this play shylock is shown as a villain for the majority of the time, but there are few areas in which he is shown primarily as a victim. The 2004 film of “Merhcant of Venice” was absolutely brilliant. It stars Al Pacino, who plays the role of Shylock extremely well and plays both villain and victim terribly well. The way Al Pacino plays Shylock as a victim creates even more sympathy than when
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Shylock’s daughter even runs away with a Christian man who she ends up getting engaged and then finds out that she doesn’t even love him. Shylock is constantly being left alone during the play which provides even more reason to sympathise for him. Even his servants betray and leave him to go to richer Christian families/men.
Breaks stereotype: Shylock also breaks the typical stereotype of being a Jew because when we find out that his daughter stole her mother’s ring that meant a lot to Shylock, Shylock says “I wouldn’t trade it for a wilderness of monkeys”, this gives the sense of him loving something even more than money. The ring may also hold a lot of memories of his wife when she was alive.
Other characters: Shylock is not shown any mercy by any of the characters. Antonio is meant to be the main character but, it actually ends up being more about Shylock’s life rather than Antonio. Shylock is Antonio’s response to this is villainous because he says “I am as like to call thee so again, spit on the again, to spurn thee too”. This point that Antonio made really hurt

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