"Shylock" Merchant of Venice - Critical Essay

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Evan McGalpine - The Merchant of Venice - Shylock Critical Essay 'Shylock' from William Shakespeare’s 'The Merchant of Venice' is the character I have chosen to analyse, because through Shakespeare’s characterisation of Shylock, we find him truly fascinating and confusing as a character as we dislike him, yet sympathise with him, simultaneously, throughout the play for his various actions, There are some we agree with and others we do not. 'The Merchant of Venice' is about a man named Bassanio who wishes to travel to Belmont in order to win a beautiful lady's hand in marriage, named Portia. Although Bassanio does not have the money to impress her, nor get there. He asks to borrow money from his friend, and the merchant of play's title, Antonio. However Antonio's assets are currently out on his fleet of ships, and so he cannot give Bassanio the money, but he does advise him to speak to a money lender to obtain the money he requires. Taking up on Antonio's advice, Bassanio speaks to a Jewish money lender, named Shylock, who agrees to loaning the sum of money despite having issues with Antonio, however does request for an unusual clause in the contract. If Antonio cannot repay the sum of money by the deadline of 3 months, Shylock receives the opportunity to cut a pound of Antonio's flesh from his body. Antonio agrees, believing it is purely a mere joke with nothing sinister behind it. However there is a darker side to Shylock yet to be discovered who desires revenge after being mistreated for being a Jew off the Christian, Antonio. Bassanio then successfully travels to Belmont, winning Portia's hand in marriage. However things have changed for Shylock by this point , as his daughter, Jessica, has abandoned him to run off and marry a Christian, named Lorenzo, and not only that but she has stolen thousands of ducats (money) and precious jewels from him as well

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