Shylock from Merchant of Venice. Villain or Victim

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Waliid
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#1
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What you think about the character. Is he villain or victim.
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charleave
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Both.
He is a villain because he is a victim of anti-Semitism (and the whole thing about him lending money for interest, which Catholics were not allowed to do, if I remember correctly - don't quote me on that), which makes him bitter and wanting revenge.
However, he is also a victim because he is a villain - i.e. his punishment of being converted to a Christian is because he was going to kill Antonio and claim his pound of flesh.
The way others treated him who he was, but who he was made others treat him the way they did.
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MrKmas508
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Both I suppose.
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Jelkin
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(Original post by charleave)
Both.
He is a villain because he is a victim of anti-Semitism (and the whole thing about him lending money for interest, which Catholics were not allowed to do, if I remember correctly - don't quote me on that), which makes him bitter and wanting revenge.
However, he is also a victim because he is a villain - i.e. his punishment of being converted to a Christian is because he was going to kill Antonio and claim his pound of flesh.
The way others treated him who he was, but who he was made others treat him the way they did.
Yeah, this - although I'd say the victim part came first myself. It's sort of a vicious cycle.
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Waliid
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I agree. I believe he's both. Christians(Antonio) treat him badly and spit at his face. He had to change religion. His daughter left him for Christian and also his servant left him. All he wants is revenge and the pound of the flesh.


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charleave
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(Original post by Jelkin)
Yeah, this - although I'd say the victim part came first myself. It's sort of a vicious cycle.
Exactly!
It could be argued both ways about whether he was first victim or villain - he may have been simply a victim of anti-Semitism first (which turned him bitter and made him into a villain), or he may just have been a really nasty person, even as a child, and therefore people treated him awfully. It's a chicken-and-the-egg situation - we'll just never know. :rolleyes:
(Although it is more likely that he was a victim first tbh...)
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