Shylock in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice Essay
Works Cited Missing At the time the play was set Jews were considered 'second class' citizens in Venice despite the fact that Venice was famous for its quality of justice.
There was a lot of prejudice against the Jewish minority and they were even forced by the Venetian government to obey special laws. These consisted of wearing distinctive clothing such as coloured arm bands, not being able to be involved in trades such as the military, the government and guilds and most of all they were forbidden to retaliate in any …show more content…
Attitudes to Shylock have changed dramatically over time, a seventeenth century audience would feel almost no sympathy towards Shylock as they were used to prejudice against Jews and probably took part in it themselves. However in today's society people are more inclined to feel sorry for this naïve, misguided soul driven to revenge by mindless persecution.
I am going to explore both sides of Shylock's diverse character then come to a conclusion as to whether he is a victim or a villain.
In the very first scene Shylock features in (Act 1 scene 3) Shakespeare presents his as a victim of the society he lives in. Shakespeare gives the audience an insight into the effect such