The Cruelty Of Shylock In Shakespeare's The Merchant Of Venice

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In Act I. iii of William Shakespeare’s comedy, The Merchant of Venice, the readers first encounter of our “villain”: Shylock. Shylock, a moneylender is asked by Bassiano to lend him money, he refuses Bassiano brings his fellow friend Antonio. Act I. iii focuses on the negotiation of “three thousand ducats” to be able to lend the money to Bassiano. One might imagine, Shylock feels disrespected by the mockery of Antonio’s “need for help” as just before he “spet upon” his “jewish gaberdine”(I. iii 122) and ridiculed him. This commentary, explores the numerous literary devices in which Shakespeare uses to exploit the level of disrespect christians have towards jews and deepen the reader’s understanding of the struggles and cruelty a jew has to…show more content…
Creating a certain tone, in knee-slapping scenes to hide a bigger image that even though Shylock is indeed “a villain” he is also a victim of life’s great cruelty. As Shakespeare uses direct speech to make Shylock mock Antonio; “Shylock, we would have moneys?” (I. iii 126) displaying the irony of Antonio’s actions, since he disgraced him. Shakespeare uses alliteration and repetition to emphasis the point that Shylock is giving his “moneys” and his “usances” by repeating “my” (I. iii 118). The use of symbolism is expressed to exhibits Antonio and Shylocks’s selfish desire for “money”. Symbolizing that money is the only significant aspect of the two character’s life. However, Shylock remarks to Antonio that, “Money is your only suit”(I. iii 129). In spit of Shylock himself having money as his “suit” making this quote an ironic metaphor. Showing that Antonio’s only interest is “money” and that he would like Shylock to “lend it rather to thine enemy” as opposed to a friend. Shakespeare’s use of tone in Merchant of Venice focuses on a bigger image than just comedy it displays life’s cruelties and abuses towards jews creating a dramatic and comedic…show more content…
In Act I scene iii Shakespeare uses diction to stress certain elements of Shylocks words use. Shakespeare use of soliloquies exhibit the thoughts and ideas of our “villain” in this case Shylock. Shylock’s thoughts “for suff’rance” are expressed through sentence structure. As Shakespeare uses parentheses to create a metaphor by saying that sufferance “is the badge” of all jews. It shows Shylocks own personal experience, from the sufferance of being a jew. And values the fact that Jews at that time had to wear yellow badges because of their religion. Suggesting that this badge symbolizes the sufferance of all jews. Shakespeare uses diction on the words “friends” and “love” (I. iii 150), which displays Shylock as a sympathetic person and less of a “villain.” Which humanizes his character and changes the readers point of view of Shylock, displaying him as the victim of life’s cruelties. Shylock is indeed a villain, yet he is a villain because of these “courtesies” (I. iii 138) from Antonio and Christians in general, Shylock’s insecurities have turned around to become selfish and immoral desires. Conclusively showing that Shylock humanizes himself because of his insecurities and the endless abuses he has

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