Merchant Of Venice – Shylock

Introduction • Merchant Of Venice• Playwrite: William Shakespeare• Character: Shylock and how we feel sympathy towards him
Who is Shylock? Shylock is a Jewish money lender. He is hated for his religion.
“He hath… laughed at my losses, mocked my gains, scorned my nation” Shylock Antonia gives Shylock a very hard time, just because of his religion. The long list emphasises how much Antonio bullies Shylock. Sympathy towards Shylock as nobody deserves to be treated this way, no matter what they do.
“You spat on me on Wednesday last” Shylock Antonio even goes as far as literally spitting on Shylock. It’s as if he doesn’t think of him as a person just like him, but as a jew.
“I am as like… to spit on thee again” Antonio Antonio does not care about the way he treats Shylock. He is horrible to him, yet he still asks him for money.
“And what’s his reason? I am a Jew.” Shylock Feel sympathy for Shylock as he didn’t choose to be a Jew, he was probably born into it and get people make fun of him for that.
“I hate him for he is Christian” Shylock doesn’t react well to the harassment from the Christians. Instead of ignoring them, he retaliates by taking a big disliking towards them and so we feel sorry for him as he is only doing this to defend himself.
“If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you poison us, do we not die?” Rhetorical questions make us feel sympathy because it shows that Shylock doesn’t understand why they hate him, he is confused. He says ‘we’ when referring to Jews which makes the audience feel as though he cares about Jewish people as much as he cares about himself and so he does have a heart.
“And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that” During Shylock’s speech in act 3, he then talks about revenge. I feel sympathy towards him as it comes across like the only reason he is mean to Christians is because they are mean to him, and he stands up for himself and all other Jews.
“Become a Christian” At the end of the book, after Shylock was forced to not go ahead with the bond, Antonio forced Shylock to become a Christian. It is at this point in the play that I feel most sympathy towards Shylock for as he has lost his daughter, lost his servant, lost his money and bond with Antonio, and now he is losing his religion, which he cares most about besides money.
Conclusion • Answer the question• Give a summed up feeling towards Shylock and make it personal