This malevolent side of Shylock is often brought about through thought of his money being lost, and is not a pleasant side at all. In this statement he is clearly a villain, because of his quite blatant racism.
There is enough evidence to argue either way, so it comes down to the personal opinion of the student at the end of the day. On the one hand, Shylock certainly seems like a villain. He deliberately pursues vengeance, hoping to kill Antonio by claiming his pound of flesh and therefore becoming a hero of Judaism against his Christian persecutor.
This is a question that literature students have grappled with for a long time. He says that he would rather have his wealth back than his daughter, even going as far as to say that he would rather have his daughter dead and his wealth back.
All of these points strongly suggest that Shylock is more of a villain than a victim. However, at the same time, the reader is struck by the way that Shylock has been used and abused by those around him. Antonio spat in his face and insulted him and is quite open about his hatred of Shylock to his face.
His eventual fate, in being forced to see all of his wealth go to a gentile and having to abandon his beloved faith and become a Christian, strikes the audience as being cruel beyond measure.
The treatment he receives at the hands of his daughter, Jessica, who steals her fathers wealth only to squander it, adds insult to injury. I would not have given it for a wilderness of monkeys. These points strongly suggest that Shylock is a villain.Shylock, with Antonio is the major character in the play, at times referred to as a villain and sometimes a victim.
The dictionary defines a villain as “a cruelly malicious person” and a victim as “a person who is deceived or cheated”. Shylock: Villain or Victim? The character of Shylock has fascinated actors, audiences and scholars for generations. On the one hand he exhibits stereotypical characteristics of the villainous "Jew": he is obsessed with money, he is an implacable enemy of his Christian neighbors, and he insists on following the law even when common sense dictates mercy and pity.
Tubal counters Shylock’s sorrow with better news. “But Antonio is certainly undone.” And it does the trick. “Nay, that’s true, that’s very true,” Shylock answers. “Go, Tubal, fee me an officer ” So it’s back to the cruel business of making Antonio pay.
The play will have its action and Shylock will have his pound of . Shylock is solely a victim.
While it is easy to perceive Shylock as a villain, with the time period the play was written in and the way that he speaks about his bond, it is only because he is being victimized.
Not only is he a victim but also he is a fully developed Jewish character. All of these points strongly suggest that Shylock is more of a villain than a victim.
However, at the same time, the reader is struck by the way that Shylock has been used and abused by those. Villain or victim, Shakespeare’s Shylock is a character to celebrate In his contemporary revision of The Merchant of Venice, Howard Jacobson set out to explore Shylock’s enduring appeal, not.