Even thought it seemed like Shylock loved his money more than his daughter, it was still a very cruel thing to do to any one. This is because after harsh words like these you can see why Shylock is so driven to want to kill Antonio. The continuos onslaught of comments towards Shylock, makes him a more sympathetic character. Although this was a cruel thing to do, it was not the worst of the trials that Shylock was put through.
After the trial between Shylock and Antonio, Shylock was cheated out of his bond then punished. “The party gainst the which he doth contrive shall seize one half his goods, the other half comes to the privy coffer of the state, and the offender”tms life lies in mercy”(The Merchant of Venice; Act 4, Scene 1; Lines 349-351). Another quote that shows how Shylock was treated was said by Gratiano, “O, be thou damned, inexorable dog, And for thy life let justice be accused!
Thou almost mak”tmst me waver in my faith, To hold opinion with Pythagoras that souls of animals infuse themselves into the trunks of men: thy currish spirit governed a wolf, who hanged for human slaughter, Even from the gallows did his feet soul fleet, And whilst thou layest in thy unhallowed dam, Infused itself in thee; for thy desires are wolvish, bloody, starved, and ravenous” (The Merchant of Venice; Act 4, Scene 1; Lines 128-138).
To really understand Shylock one can not just look at his actions, but it is necessary to see why Shylock did them. Later in the play it is seen that Jessica regrets her decision to leave her father, which shows that it would not have been likely for her to leave without Lorenzo asking her to. “My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats! Justice! The law my ducats, and my daughter! “(The Merchant of Venice; Act 2, Scene7; Lines 12-17).
It should be said that Jessica, Shylock”tms daughter, did leave on her own terms and did steal the ducats from her father, but she would not have done this without the persuasion from Lorenzo. No one should have to convert to a different religion, it is a horrible thing to happen to anyone. The way that Shylock is treated makes it clearer why Shylock is seen as the victim. Shylock lost all of his possessions, he was forced to convert to Christianity, and he almost had to plead for his life.
Courtney from Study Moose
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