Sun 27 Mar, 2022 12:16 am
Shylock behaves as a human would. He wants what is his by law, he had every right to revenge having been abused terribly in the past, constantly spat on.
If you want a villain look at Barabas, the central character in Christopher Marlowe's The Jew Of Malta, now he really is a villain.
Only a villain would seek revenge by attempting to kill Antonio by making a deal which would kill him if it was the deal was not met
Antonio spat in his face and treated him like ****.
Not only is Shylock not the villain, there are no heroes. Everybody is compromised at some points, lots of lies, deception and cheating.
Shylock is consistent, he wants what was his by law, because the law is the only protection he has.
Venice is a symbol of the modern age with all these different cultures and traditions rubbing up against one another. In many ways it wax what London would become.
There were no Jewish people in England, they had all been expelled by Edward I centuries earlier, and didn't come back until Oliver Cromwell was in charge.
They were like the Big Bad Wolf in storytales, a fictionalised version of the real thing that bore no resemblance to truth whatsoever. That's why Marlowe's Barabax is such a pantomime villain withno redeeming features at all.
Shylock is nothing like that. He behaves like a human being, he wants his rights in law because that is all he has, and he has suffered awful abuse and prejudice.
And those in power cheat him of what was his by right, which is the true moral of the play, those in power will always prevail by any means necessary.