Shylock In The Merchant Of Venice

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Shylock is seen as The Merchant of Venice’s main figure, no consensus has been reached on whether to read him as a bloodthirsty man, Jewish stereotype, or a tragic figure who faces many trials. Certainly, Shylock is the play’s antagonist. Shylock is also created through the circumstances which he endured; in his pursuit of a pound of flesh, he frequently mentions the cruelty he has endured by Christian’s, which makes it difficult for us to call him a monster. Shylock’s cold attempt to seek revenge for the wrongs done to him by taking Antonio’s life, prevents us from seeing any positivity in his character. Shakespeare gives us a picture of Shylock as a cold hard revengeful man.


Smart, wealthy, and beautiful, Portia embodies the virtues that are typical of Shakespeare’s heroines. At the beginning of the play we do not see Portia’s potential, as she is a prisoner to her father’s dying wishes this opening appearance proves to reveal the rule abiding lady. She does not ignore the stipulations of her father’s will, she goes through a whole lot of suitors, happy to see these particular suitors go, but sad that she has no choice in the matter. When Bassanio arrives, however, Portia proves herself to be highly resourceful, begging the man she loves to stay a while before picking a chest, and finding loopholes in the will’s provision that we never thought existed. Portia’s efficiency comes from her ability to make the law work in the way she needs

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