Shylock, a Villainous Character in the Merchant of Venice Essay

Kevin Ohren Logan-Hay English Three 13 May 2010 Shylock’s Evil Plot “An excellent man, like precious metal, is in every way invariable; A villain, like the beams of a balance, is always varying, upwards and downwards” (John Locke). A villain is a cruelly-malicious-person who does bizarre and unlawful things. In William Shakespeare’s, The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is a Jewish character who is portrayed as a Villain because of the freakish things he does. Shylock is a bad example for the people of Venice: he is a very selfish, he is evil, he has no mercy for anyone and he will do anything to have Antonio dead.

A villain is someone who is selfish and does not care about anyone but himself. Shylock is a selfish, cold-hearted, old-bastard because all he cares about is his gold; which makes him a stereotypical Jew. His daughter Jessica decides to run away because she hates him for all the things he does. So when she runs away she decides to take all of his ducats and jewels. When Shylock finds out, he gets really pissed off, saying, “I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear!

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Would she were hearsed at my foot, and the ducats in her coffin! ” (III. i. 43). This means that Shylock would rather have his gold back than his one and only daughter and also that he loves his gold like a fat kid loves cake. Shylock is a villain because of the cold hearted behavior he has over his servant, Launcelot. Launcelot hates working for Shylock because he is treated poorly and does not get fed enough food, like when he says, “My master’s a very Jew I give him a present! Give him a halter: I am famished in his service” (II. i. 20). Shylock is a villain because of the villainous things he does. Also, he has no mercy for anyone. It all started off with Bassanio borrowing three thousand ducats from Shylock by using Antonio’s credit and reputation, and if Antonio does not pay the bond in three months, then Shylock gets to take a pound of flesh from Antonio. Throughout the rest of the play, all Shylock wants is to have Antonio dead. He stops caring about his three thousand ducats that he lended and starts caring about taking a pound of flesh from Antonio.

For example, when Shylock says, “There is no power in the tongue of man to alter me! I stay here on my bond” (IV. i. 70). What he is trying to say is that there is nothing anyone or anything can do to change his mind, because he hates Antonio with a passion. He admits that he hates Antonio and wants him dead when he says, “I am very glad of it! I’ll plague him; I’ll torture him! I am glad of it” (III. i. 44). Shylock is so cold hearted and sick that he will enjoy making torturing Antonio and making him as miserable as possible.

Another reason that Shylock is evil and has no mercy is when he is offered double the amount of ducats he is owed to forgive Antonio; however, like the cold hearted bastard he is, he refuses it and decides that he would have his bond and kill Antonio. Shylock is portrayed as a Villain and is seen as a disgrace to his community because of the evil and cold hearted things he does. He is a very selfish and grumpy person with a personality of a stereotypical Jew and does not care about anyone or anything but his gold.

No matter how nice people try to be to him, he ends up being an asshole, and he lets his rage for revenge get to him. Also, Shylock will not stop until he gets Antonio’s pound of flesh. Thesis Attempt at humor Semicolon with conjunctive adverb Colon Repetition Sensory details Hyphenated Comma with Coordinating conjunctive Magic Three Locke, John. “Villain Quotes. ” Brainy Quote. Web. 18 May 2010. <http://www. brainyquote. com/quotes/keywords/villain. html>.


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