Appearance vs Reality of Merchant of Venice-3

Most importantly, Shylock.He is introduced as this very self-centred person who only cares about money and is portrayed as a really bad person only basis that he was a jew and he lends money with interest. He is the antagonist in the play. Even though his actions and behaviour was not the best, I honestly feel he is the way he is only because he was treated the way he was.i believe he is a good person.as for the thing about lending money with an interest, as it is given that at the time the play was set, 1598; London, England and at the time, Jews either having been “forced,” or voluntarily choosing to abandon landholding and with no alternative but choosing moneylending as a livelihood.


He doesn’t hurt anyone intentionally.i think the real reason he has this cruel hatred towards Antonio is that he bullies


I think the real reason to why Shylock's actions towards Antonio are so evil is mainly because of the evil things done to him. Antonio bullies Shylock and treats him really badly.  This is proved when he asks if Jews don't get sad, hurt, happy and angry just like Christians. It clearly shows that Shylock acts like a bad person because people around him made him that way. just like the saying:

People say that I've turned bad, but the thing they don't understand is that the same people are the ones who changed me.


I feel really moved for Shylock because he is the only one who really suffers in this play. Everyone has a happy ending into the play except him. It is as if all the bad luck has been dumped on him. To one extent Shakespeare has cut him some slack as at the end the audience does feel sympathy for Shylock. As begun from everyone hating him for choosing a living by taking interest for loans he gives out, to being a Jew. I do understand at the time of this play is set it was a very conservative society and Shakespeare was only trying to interest his audience with relatability. In the play, Shylock goes through a lot of loses. He loses his beloved whom he deeply moved and trusted daughter when she elopes with what he calls "the enemy". Robbing him of his money and jewels too. Knowing that this Jessica doesn't have any materialistic values and how she doesn't understand them is quite unsympathetic.

I strongly believe what he did with being adamant with getting revenge as in cutting the man was very rude but the thing is that the only reason the man did that was that after all these ill-luck happening to him, he saw a chance of revenge in Antonio. Antonio was in a way the face of Christians, ones who caused him all the bad things, and wanted to win at least once. And it is clearly proved when Antonio is off the noose and gives him a hell life to live. Just like flipping a coin, two-faced. It was so confusing when he changed from begging shylock to making Shylock a beggar. Just for making Shylock made Antonio feel powerless for merely a month, which was only due to how Antonio treated him his whole life, because to his inferiority complex, he took away everything the man had left. Taking away his money and making him a Christian, as a whole taking away his free life and only happiness.


All these actions and traits really make all the protagonist as the antagonist and vice - versa.


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