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Shylock Essay

  • Submitted by: miniluvufrndz
  • on June 24, 2014
  • Category: Arts and Music
  • Length: 516 words

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Below is an essay on "Shylock" from Anti Essays, your source for research papers, essays, and term paper examples.

In order to understand the concept of evil for evil, one must examine the initial evil, aimed at Shylock, through Shylock's own eyes. Some may see the discrimination aimed at Shylock as justified, as he is a malicious usurer; certainly the Venetians thought so. However, the discrimination took its toll on Shylock, until he began to hate all Christians. Shylock saw himself as an outsider, alienated by his society. The evil he saw done to him took three major forms: hatred from Antonio, discrimination from Christian Venetians, and the marriage to a Christian of his daughter Jessica.
Shylock's main reason for making the bond was, of course, his hatred of Antonio. Antonio, a "good" Christian who lends without interest, constantly preaches about the sin of usury and publicly denounces Shylock for practicing it. In addition, Shylock hate Antonio for an economic, even petty reason, and remarks that
He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of nuisance here with us in Venice. [I. iii. 44-45].
Antonio also spit on him in public and called him a "cut-throat dog."
Shylock also recognizes Antonio's anti-Semitism, calling him an enemy of "our sacred nation" [I. iii. 48]. Antonio was always trying to coerce(force) Shylock to convert to Christianity, he even remarks to that effect to Bassanio after the bond is made, and Shylock can sense this and it further fuels his hatred. Shakespeare. Tied in with his anti-Semitism is an apparent supremacy Antonio feels over Shylock, expressed in his ruthlessly complacent (self-satisfied)expression of superiority,

The most outright demonstration of evil by Shylock is his insistence on the pound of flesh at the trial scene. Shylock had in the past been seen as evil for his miserly love of money, but now he insists on much more. He is willing to give up three times the loan in exchange for a pound of Antonio's flesh. This tenacious pursuit of homicidal(killer) intentions toward Antonio is representative of Shylock's...

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