In Your Opinion Does Shakespeare Present Shylock As A Victim Or A Villain

878 words - 4 pages

In Your Opinion Does Shakespeare present Shylock as a Victim or a Villain?

Shylock’s greed is displayed through his resentment to people against him. The wickedness of Shylock’s character is demonstrated in Act 3 Scene 1 line 43, where Shylock is thrilled with Antonio’s failures, and desires him to be even more troubled by wanting Antonio “look to his bond”. Shylock purposefully reiterates this, so that the people around him will realise how painful it will be for Antonio, to know the pain that could be coming his way, if he doesn’t make the money in time. As a villain, these repeated lines would be demonstrated with a completely evil grin, as shylock believes that his malicious plan is a ...view middle of the document...

” (Act 3 Scene 3 line 4). By repeating “I’ll have my bond”, this suggests Shylock is trying to intimidate Antonio with his self-assurance. In addition, “sworn an oath”, Shakespeare has used grave language, so that Shylock could make Antonio realise that his bloodthirsty villain character, is not a joke and the conditions in the bond will always stand. Shylock, a non-Vencien, has a great deal of confidence in himself that he truly believes he will be able to carry out the life-threatening conditions in his bond and he is also certain that he will have the Duke’s favour, “the Duke shall grant me justice” (Act 3 Scene 3 line 8). The “justice” that Shylock is relying on, implies that Shylock believes he deserves to cruelly take “a pound of flesh” from Antonio, and he implies that he genuinely believes that he has the right to do so. Subsequently, on meeting with the Christians in court, Shylock feels very highly of himself that when he is begged to give mercy he retorts, “On what compulsion must I? Tell me that.” (Act 4 Scene 1 line182). Most commonly, a villain, according to himself, is never compelled to do any orders which he feels have been given to him. In court Shylock proves that he feels very highly about himself – there is nothing that can change him-

Shakespeare’s illustrations of Shylock’s revengeful...

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