Shylock, the Villain
The Merchant of Venice portrays Shylock’s character as the evil villain who only wants to contribute wrong doing to the community. “Shylock is an outsider with a thirst of blood” (The Merchant of Venice: Overview). It’s evident that Shylock is feeling left out of the community as though he were exiled from the town. No one has any sympathy for the poor man. Although, it seems as though Shylock is out for revenge his concept is evil for evil. Shylock felt that he was wronged first therefore his revenge is necessary in his mind. Shylock felt the hatred from Antonio, the discrimination from Christians’, and the betrayal of his daughter, Jessica whom marries Lorenzo who is a Christian.
Shylock was a genuine member of his community and a Jewish moneylender, who endured abuse from Antonio and yet forgave easily. Shylock endured much of Antonio’s abuse for a long period of time, eventually realizing that he has been disgraced. “He hath disgraced me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies,” says Shylock (3.1 52-54). This caused Shylock’s vengeful side to take place, thus evil for evil comes into play.
Antonio is the merchant of Venice whom is loved by many Christians. He is known to be the good Christian who lends money without interest. He is willing to die for his best friend, Bassanio, always showing his kindness for others. Antonio is very generous and also an anti- Semite, which is someone who discriminates against the Jews. Because he is an anti- Semite he takes his pity out on Shylock by cursing and spitting at him. Antonio claims he will do it again. “I am as like to call thee so again, to spet on thee again, to spurn thee too,” said Antonio (1.3 130-135).
One reason Shylock is recognized as a villain is because of his deep hate for Antonio. “I hate him for he is a Christian” (1.3 30-40). Shylock is a Jew and Antonio is a...