Shylock Is A Victim

789 Words4 Pages
In literature, the victim is the most complex character. Victims often become depressed, but sometimes they overreact and lash out in rage. It takes a special character to withstand a bombardment of abuse. In the Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare creates a victim of mistreatment and discrimination, named Shylock, who still manages to keep his human emotions. Mistreatment of others can become addictive for many abusers. Sometimes it seems like everyone wants to be a part of the mistreatment of Shylock. Antonio and many other merchants frequently criticize and belittle Shylock and his business. They insult his culture and religion. This gossip seriously damages Shylock’s business and reputation. Words are one thing, but physical abuse is much more powerful. In a heated argument, Shylock exclaims to Antonio and Bassanio, “You that did void your rheum upon my beard, And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur” (1.3.109-110). Shylock is clearly disturbed by Antonio’s outward sign of hatred and disrespect. Fear is powerful, and Shylock has to live with the fear of physical abuse everyday. Shylock’s mistreatment does not come only from his enemies. Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, stabs Shylock in the back. Shylock trusts Jessica with the house. She repays him by running away with Lorenzo and taking Shylocks money with her. This betrayal leaves Shylock with no one left to lean on. The backlash brought on by Shylock’s mistreatment is nothing compared to what Shylock receives. Shylock is a victim of unprovoked and vicious mistreatment from many different places. Discrimination can often be overwhelming for the victim. Everyday, Shylock’s life is shaped by hate and vicious discrimination. Each morning, Shylock wakes up in a neighborhood that he did not choose for himself. Shylock is a very successful businessman and, if he were a Christian, he would have his pick of the best homes and
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