An analysis of the character of shylock the jew in shakespeares play the merchant of venice

He is a defeated man.

Character sketch of shylock in 150 words

O my daughter! In contrast with the unrelieved blackness of Barabas, the character of Shylock remains both truly human and within the limits of dramatic probability. Thou torturest me, Tubal. This I cannot but regard as the primary effect of the whole of either play. Antonio signed that bond and promised that money, Shylock has been wronged; he has had his money stolen from him by his daughter and Lorenzo. Braunmuller as general editor of The Pelican Shakespeare series from Penguin. Click the character infographic to download. But the character of Shylock has also been the subject of much critical debate: How are we meant to evaluate the attitude of the Venetians in the play toward him? Historically, money lending had been a fairly common occupation among Jews, in part because Christians were not permitted to practise usury , then considered to mean charging interest of any kind on loans, and Jews were excluded from other fields of work. This interpretation, as given in Ward's History of English Dramatic Literature, [10] is as follows, " I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys. But Shakespeare, they forget, was a dramatist. Read more about this in "Symbolism, Imagery, Allegory. He has also been sentimentalized as a wronged and suffering father nobler by far than the people who triumph over him.

But, later, when we actually see Shylock talking to Tubal about Jessica's elopement, it seems like Shylock isn't as materialistic as Solanio makes him out to be.

Usury was forbidden to Christians by the church of the Middle Ages, and as a consequence, money lending was controlled by the Jews; as a rule, it was usually the only occupation which the law allowed to them.

What impression do you form of shylock in the play merchant of venice

Is Shylock just being hateful, or is his disdain justifiable? Kean's Shylock established his reputation as an actor. Nevertheless Shakespeare manages quite well in portraying Shylock as the embodiment of all common resentments and negative prejudices towards Jews in general. Hudson, Ginn and Company, Boston, p. One interpretation of the play's structure is that Shakespeare meant to contrast the mercy of the main Christian characters with the vengeful Shylock, who lacks the religious grace to comprehend mercy. O my ducats! O my daughter!

He also exposes the hypocrisy of the Christian characters who are always talking about love and mercy but then go out of their way to alienate Shylock because he is Jewish and different.

Yet we cannot feel deep sympathy for him — some, perhaps, but not much. The Shylocks of sixteenth-century London included "goldsmiths, mercers, and, most visibly of all, scriveners", [2] according to prominent scholar Stephen Orgel, a Stanford professor who serves with A.

Character sketch of shylock in merchant of venice in 150 words

Inchbald believed that Shakespeare's purpose in writing the play was to 'hold up the Jew to detestation,' and such undoubtedly was the general impression created by the 'snarling malignity' of Macklin's Shylock []. Or is he a man "more sinned against than sinning"? Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender. He's abrupt with his daughter and mean to his servant, and his house is described as a "hell" on more than one occasion. Shylock is then ordered to surrender half of his wealth and property to the state and the other half to Antonio. In Venice, Jews had to live in a ghetto protected by Christians which was probably for their own safety. Shakespeare never seriously defined or condemned a group through the presentation of an individual; he only did this for the purposes of comedy by creating caricatures in miniature for our amusement. Solanio tells us that Shylock screamed "My daughter! In his tones we hear the protest, crying to heaven, of human rights trodden under foot, against the love of humanity paraded by the hypocritical mouths of his oppressors; and if his towering revenge mounts to fanaticism, it is verily of a different stamp to the fanaticism of usury and greed which the critics are fain to find in his character. Shylock is sticking to his bond to his word. Appleton and Company, Lee Jamieson has a M. Poltitical Circumstances of Jewish Life in the 16th Century The history of the Jewish people has, for the most part, been one of exclusion, intimidation and even persecution. Having said this, there are a lot of insults leveled at Shylock merely based on his being a Jew , many suggesting that he is akin to the devil: A modern audience may find these lines insulting. Shylock's Opinions on Jews and Christians Shylock's pained response to Jessica's actions reveals that he is deeply human, a point that he makes at a pivotal moment in the play, when Salerio and Solanio taunt him with Jessica's elopement: Hath not a Jew eyes?

If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? In Venice, Jews had to live in a ghetto protected by Christians which was probably for their own safety.

character sketch of shylock in easy language
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Shylock in The Merchant of Venice