He even goes as far as calling his ducats his daughter, suggesting that he values money as much as his own child.Hence in Shylock’s case, greed overpowers compassion.Unlike them, on the other hand, Shylock is heavily invested in material gain.
He even goes as far as calling his ducats his daughter, suggesting that he values money as much as his own child.Hence in Shylock’s case, greed overpowers compassion.
However, when we inspect closely, this difference between the two opposite characters breaks down.
In Act III, Scene I, Shylock’s dissatisfaction is not due to the monetary loss of the ring, rather the fact that his daughter sold the token of love from his dead wife.
Shylock refuses to eat with the Christians: Yes, to smell pork, to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazerite conjured the devil into!
I will buy with you, sell with you, talk to you, walk with you, and so following, but I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you. A modern audience would surely consider his religion to be of no consequence in terms of his status as a villain, he could be considered a reprehensible character who also happens to be a Jewish man.
To an extent, we feel sorry for Shylock’s victimization based solely on his Jewishness.
Apart from Jessica who converts to Christianity, he is the only Jewish character and it feels he is somewhat ganged up on by all of the other characters.This main theme drives the plot and moves the play forward, influencing the action of the central characters.Other themes include greed, the cyclic increase of hatred, mercy, prejudice and the opposites- playing versus perception.One of the major Merchant of Venice themes being love versus money, we do see some materialistic views in the apparently ‘good’ characters too.Even though Bassanio and Portia grow to love each other, it was not the case of pure love initially.Hence, we can conclude that Shylock’s resentment is much deeper rooted than his monetary greed.Equally complicated is the case of the Christian characters of The Merchant of Venice.I think it would be difficult not to feel some sympathy for Shylock as all the characters celebrate at the end while he is all alone.It would be interesting to revisit Shylock in the years following and find out what he did next.Even though the latter likes to lend money solely out of a moral responsibility, Bassanio seems eager to view their correspondence as a business matter.One of the highlights of The Merchant of Venice themes was Shylock’s argument.