Analysis of 'The Merchant of Venice'

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare uses its protagonist, Shylock to emphasize the evils of avarice, wrath, and greed. The merchant lives his life consumed by hate and greed. Want of revenge and riches fuel his actions though out the play. He makes life harder for everyone he knows and is hated by many. In the end, his immorality causes him to lose his daughter, his fortunes, and his religion. By observing Shylock͛s motives and actions in the play, readers will see a man who is completely consumed by avarice, wrath, and greed. In the beginning of the book, it becomes apparent that Shylock͛s avarice is a huge part of his moral decay. While Shylock speaks to Antonio about loaning him funds, readers learn that Shylock is guilty of usury, the avaricious act of charging high interest when he loans money. This allows him to gain wealth unfairly from whoever he lends to. Later in the book, after his daughter runs away with a Christian man, it becomes apparent that he cares more for his money than his own daughter. After he learns of his daughter running away with his money, he runs the streets yelling about his money being stolen. Not only does he commit acts of avarice, but the want of money also affects his way of thinking. He dreams of money-bags1 and judges Antonio͛s character by his ability to handle money.2 It is obvious that his wealth is the only thing that Shylock thinks about. The misfortune of others brings Shylock as much happiness as money does, making him envious of those who are happy and successful. He revels in the thought of his daughter͛s elopement ending in her dead at his feet. When it becomes apparent that Antonio will not be able to uphold his end of the deal, Shylock becomes giddy. He holds hatred for Antonio not only because he is a Christian, but because he steals Shylocks business by lending out money without

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