When William Shakespeare wrote “The Merchant of Venice” in the 16th century, he included a character named Shylock who is Jewish. Some scholars have suggested that Shakespeare intended to use Shylock as a way to criticize the anti-Semitic attitudes of his time.
Shylock is a complex character, and there is much debate over how he should be interpreted. Some people see him as a victim who has been wronged by society, while others see him as a villain who deserves to be punished. No matter what interpretation you choose, there is no doubt that Shylock is one of Shakespeare’s most memorable characters.
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The Shylock character sketch will cover his physical and personality features. Shylock is a Jewish money lender in his fifties who has a daughter named Jessica. Shylock is introduced to the story when Gratiano, Antonio’s buddy, needs money to impress a lady. Antonio at the time did not have any cash and sent Gratiano to Shylock for a loan. Because of previous encounters with Antonio where he publicly mocked him, Shyluck does not like him. This develops into an intriguing connection between Antonio and Gratiano, one that must be accepted by Antonio in order for Gratiano to receive funds.
If Antonio defaults on the loan, then he will have to give up a pound of his flesh. This makes for an interesting plot point in the novel because it is something that Shylock desperately wants, but at the same time is afraid of because of how much pain it would cause Antonio.
Physically, Shylock is described as being “ugly and deformed” with a hooked nose (Shakespeare 9). He also has a very harsh and bitter personality which often comes out through his speeches. He is always looking for revenge against Antonio and takes any opportunity he can to gain an advantage over him. Some would say that he is a very stereotypical Jewish character, but Shakespeare does a good job of making him more complex than that. Overall, Shylock is a very interesting character who is able to evoke a lot of emotion from the reader.
Shylock is a tragic protagonist in the play who has recently been written about in the past due to his role as an antagonist. The reader’s feelings towards him may change throughout the play, and he can be viewed as a despised Jew that is frequently called a villain, devil, and money-driven freak. However, there is usually a shift in personality.
In the beginning, Shylock is consumed with revenge and the acquisition of money. He is ruthless, heartless, and will do whatever it takes to get what he wants. However, as the play progresses, Shakespeare begins to humanize Shylock.
The viewer starts to see that he is not just a one-dimensional character, but a complex individual with feelings, emotions, and a backstory. This change in perspective allows the reader to feel empathy for Shylock, even though he has done some terrible things. William Shakespeare creates an interesting and unique character in Shylock that is sure to provoke thought and discussion.
Shylock has a number of distinct personality characteristics, such as vengeful and greedy, which will be illustrated in this character sketch. His vengefulness is mostly directed at two individuals in the play: Antonio and Bassanio. He seeks revenge on Antonio because of how Antonio previously treated Shylock. On page 15, he utters these words to himself: “If I can get him once by the hip, I’ll feed him fat from my ancient grudge.”
Although, his revenge isn’t always violent. An example of his non-violent revenge is when Antonio had to give up a pound of his flesh as punishment. This was more painful for Antonio then it was harmful. Another character trait that Shylock has is greed. He is mainly greedy for money and power. However, he also desired Antonio’s wealth and land.
This is seen when he says “I would my daughter were dead at my feet, and the jewels in her ear! Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin!”(3.1.43-45). He would rather have his daughter dead and buried with her jewels, then see her happy with them. This shows how much power and money means to him. Overall, Shylock is a very complex character with many different traits that are seen throughout the play. William Shakespeare does a fantastic job of showing all of these traits through his words.
Shylock expresses his fury toward Antonio in this speech. Shylock, first and foremost, despises Antonio for his religious beliefs or simply because he is not Jewish. Shylock also detests Antonio because he is a good guy: he refuses to lend money at interest.
This means that Shylock can’t make as much money off of him as he could other people. Finally, Shylock reveals that he hates Antonio because Antonio has insulted him in the past. He says that Antonio has spit on him, called him names, and even hit him. Despite all of this, Shylock still wants to lend money to Antonio because he knows that Antonio will eventually need it.
Shylock’s hate for Antonio is evident in his monologue. He lists several reasons why he hates Antonio, including his religious beliefs and his honesty. However, the most significant reason for Shylock’s hate is probably the fact that Antonio has insulted him in the past. This insult is so great that it outweighs all of the other reasons combined. Despite all of this, Shylock still wants to lend money to Antonio because he knows that Antonio will eventually need it. This shows that, despite his hate for Antonio, Shylock is still willing to help him when he needs it.
Shylock’s son Jessica is the other individual against whom he wishes to wreak vengeance. When Lorenzo and Jessica fall in love, they decide to elope. This happens the night that Shylock leaves for dinner when Jessica steals some of his money and his deceased wife’s ring. Shylock was enraged by this, exclaiming, “She is condemned for it.” (page 44) Shylock seems to go after anybody who gets in his way; it’s perfectly understandable as a Jew in Venician society.
The main reason for this is that he is always seeking revenge on people. The first person he wants revenge on is Antonio because Antonio borrows money from him and doesn’t want to pay him back in the same way that Christians get out of paying Jews.The other person that Shylock wants revenge from is his daughter Jessica. When Jessica and Lorenzo fall in love they decide they are going to elope.
They do this the night that Shylock goes out for dinner when he goes Jessica steals some of his money and his dead wife’s ring. This made Shylock furious and he said, “”(page 44) Shylock seems to go after anyone that crosses his path, it is for good reason though being a Jew in Venician society. In a way you may feel sorry for him until you realize how greedy this man is.
Shylock has a strong sense of pride that is probably the result of all the discrimination he has faced over the years. You get a sense that he would do anything to get what he wants and doesn’t care how he does it. This is most evident when he says, “ If you prick us , do we not bleed? If you tickle us , do we not laugh? If you poison us , do we not die? And if you wrong us , shall we not revenge? (page 3) .”
He is basically saying that they are no different than anyone else and that they should be treated equally. This is something that he will never get the chance to do because of the way he is portrayed in the story. Even though he is a very complex character, most people see him as nothing more than a greedy Jew.