Character analysis of shylock

Shalah is the grandson of Shem and the father of Eberbiblical progenitor of Hebrew peoples.

Character analysis of shylock

On stage, it is Shylock who makes the play, and almost all of the great actors of the English and Continental stage have attempted the role. 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?

Or his attitude toward them? Is he a bloodthirsty villain? Or is he a man "more sinned against than sinning"?

One of the reasons that such questions arise is that there are really two stage Shylocks in the play: Shylock's function in this play is to be the obstacle, the man who stands in the way of the love stories; such a man is a traditional figure in romantic comedies.

Something or someone must impede young, romantic love; here, it is Shylock and the many and various ways that he is linked to the three sets of lovers.

Character analysis of shylock

The fact that he is a Jew is, in a sense, accidental. Shakespeare wanted to contrast liberality against selfishness — in terms of money and in terms of love.

Character analysis of shylock

There was such a figure available from the literature of the time, one man who could fulfill both functions: 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.

As a result, a great deal of medieval literature produced the conventional figure of the Jewish moneylender, usually as a minor character, but also too, as a major character. It is from this medieval literary tradition that Shakespeare borrows the figure of Shylock, just as Marlowe did for his Jew of Malta.

Some commentators have said that the character of Shylock is an example of Elizabethan and Shakespeare's own anti-Semitism.

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In contrast, many have seen the creation of Shylock as an attack on this kind of intolerance. But Shakespeare, they forget, was a dramatist. He was not concerned with either anti- nor pro-Semitism, except in the way it shaped individual characters in his plays to produce the necessary drama that he was attempting to create.

The play is thus emphatically not anti-Semitic; rather, because of the nature of Shylock's involvement in the love plots, it is about anti-Semitism. 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.

Shylock is drawn in bold strokes; he is meant to be a "villain" in terms of the romantic comedy, but because of the multi-dimensionality which Shakespeare gives him, we are meant to sympathize with him at times, loathe him at others.

Shakespeare's manipulation of our emotions regarding Shylock is a testament to his genius as a creator of character.

Related Questions

He is a defeated man. Yet we cannot feel deep sympathy for him — some, perhaps, but not much. Shakespeare's intention was not to make Shylock a tragic figure; instead, Shylock was meant to function as a man who could be vividly realized as the epitome of selfishness; he must be defeated in this romantic comedy.

In a sense, it is Shakespeare's own brilliance which led him to create Shylock as almost too human. Shylock is powerfully drawn, perhaps too powerfully for this comedy, but his superb dignity is admirable, despite the fact that we must finally condemn him.Shylock's character in Merchant of Venice is very complicated, especially in today's post-holocaust age.

Expert Answers

First, during the beginning of the play, Shylock's personality traits include very negative. Melville's "Bartleby the Scrivener": Introduction of Character In the first three paragraphs of "Bartleby the Scrivener," Melville introduces a character who will be played upon and defined throughout his text.

Shakespeare's Presentation of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice This essay is an analysis of how the character of Shylock, in the play 'The Merchant of Venice', . The character is undertaking a challenge of courage, strength or skill for some important prize.

However, at a critical moment, The Hero is confronted with doing something that is morally ashio-midori.come being warned about a forfeit if the reprehensible act is not done, the hero reluctantly stands by the decision and accepts that the challenge is lost, expecting no credit for the deed.

A Shylock character analysis can tell us a lot about The Merchant of ashio-midori.comk, the Jewish moneylender is the villain of the play and the audience response depends on .

A Shylock character analysis can tell us a lot about The Merchant of ashio-midori.comk, the Jewish moneylender is the villain of the play and the audience response depends on .

Shylock - Wikipedia