Character Analysis of Shylock in 'The Merchant of Venice'

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Ellis1 Jamar Ellis Ms. Dobson-Efpatridis ENG 2D1 November 13, 2014 The Truth About Shylock The Jew A complex character is one that is more than one-dimensional. He/she changes attitudes and behaviors to suit different situations. In Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Shylock is defined as a complex character because throughout the novel he has been portrayed as a Victim. First, Shylock may appear cruel and bitter but his behavior is really the result of someone being good. Second , Jessica ends up leaving her father Shylock for a Christian guy she loves. Lastly , Shylock is convicted in the court for everything to be taken from him. But Antonio gets away with having a pound of flesh taken. It took away his pride. Throughout the novel the role Shylock plays can be seen as cruel and bitter. Shylock as anything other than a devious, bloodthirsty and heartless villain in the majority of the play. There are a few points in the story where he can be viewed as victimized, as most Jews were at that time, but Shakespeare has purposely portrayed Shylock as a stereotypical Jew, greedy, and obsessed with money. Shylock has been written to be very inflated and exaggerated. Even when Shylock makes his first appearance in the play, his first words are “Three thousand ducats” . (1.3.10) towards Antonio. He's disgracefully treated by the Christians: they mock his religion, refuse to trade with him, spit on him in the street. Shylock states to Antonio saying, " You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my jewish gaberdine, and all for use of that which Ellis 2 is mine own" (1.3.109-111). The final conclusion must be that Shylock is the guy left with nothing and should suffer in pain and no mercy. In the play we see that betrayal by others puts shylock as a victim . Jessica shylock's daughter ends up leaving him for a Christian
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