Because of this Christians would also have a sense of xenophobia because they feared that Jews would take their land and their wealth from them. The character could have both good and evil aspects, creating a complex personality. Because it is a play, an audience in Shakespeare's time may well have thought the same and, indeed, may have been expected to do so. As the play unfolds, the character of Shylock develops so that he can also be seen, by more discerning audiences, as a. If he will take it, so.
The Christians, mostly Antonio, mistreated Shylock, physically and verbally. This makes him appear to be a villain. Shylock is a wealthy Jewish moneylender. And jewels, two stones, two rich and precious stones, stolen by my daughter! He insists upon having a consequence if Antonio cannot repay the debt. If you tickle us do we not laugh? However, if they had viewed Shylock as a normal human being, not as a devil, they would have noticed that Shylock is not a villain, but a victim. Antonio is getting ready to lose a pound of his flesh.
Another reason to support the view that Shylock is a victim is in the court scene. Antonio is really asking for it here. This is one of the many quotes that support that Shylock is the victim of the play because he is tormented by others for being a Jew. In addition there are some typos in this essay. On the other hand you can view him as a victim- a constant target of all Christian antagonists.
I don't think that I would class him as neither a villain nor a victim, as he is a Jackal and Hyde sort. If you prick us do we not bleed? I will now look at the reasons as to why Shylock is the victim of this play. Prose is non-rhyming text without a formal or rigidly imposed structure and is often used in the comical scenes or by low-status characters in 'The Merchant of Venice'. Then there are those few who could be on either side of the fence. Shylock created a bond that stated if Antonio did not pay Shylock back, Shylock was able to cut out a pound of Antonio's flesh. The first scene where we see Shylock is when Antonio comes to borrow money for Bassanio.
Shakespeare shows that he is firstly a villain as he is spoken about in a conversation between Salarnio and Salerio. He says that because he's not coming to ask for money out of friendship, and this is just business, Shylock has the right to exact a penalty should Antonio fail his bond. Antonio is greeted by the Duke of Venice who shows pity for him and discriminates against Shylock by saying that he can neither express pity nor mercy. It is set in two cities Venice and Belmont. In the play, Shylock speaks to the audience aside and insults Antonio.
On the surface he appears to be a bad person that does evil to everyone. He is then told that ring of his late wife was sold for monkeys by his daughter this was his only memory of his wife and a gift to his daughter from her mother which killed his insides when he heard the news of the rings loss. The first sign of Shylock liking money is when talking to Bassanio about the bond. But as soon as the villain walks on stage he is hissed and booed, unfortunately it is not as simple as this in 'The Merchant of Venice' and how the audience react to the characters is all important in making the distinction between victim or vill. The audience will also have a negative opinion of Shylock because he is surrounded by enemies while Antonio is surrounded by friends.
Throughout the play I find that there is always a controversy of the main character, Shylock. Especially this bond which is made between a Christian and a Jew. In many ways this is because he is both a victim and a villain. He is stripped of his belongings but the worst is that he is forced to convert to Christianity against his own will. Shakespeare has included the historical and incorporated the biblical references in the speeches of this play. Finally Shylock manipulates others to get his way and to not raise further suspicions. Exactly how to read Shylock has been a matter of some debate, and even the most persuasive scholars would be hard-pressed to call him a flattering portrait of a Jew.
As a result of this there was great anticipation leading up to his eventual appearance. Their villainous acts may be attributed to their desire to destroy others and in turn elevate themselves to a higher financial or social level. There are a few points in the story where he can be viewed as victimised, as most Jews were at that time, but Shakespeare has purposely portrayed Shylock as a stereotypical Jew, greedy, and obsessed with money. Are the Jews not as emotional or as physical as the Christians? Shylock is basically bullied in this play, physically and emotionally; Shylock is the victim of all this Christian assault. But a villain is the one person that people love to hate.