shylock presentation

Shylock as Villain
• He cunningly agrees to make the loan on
condition of a ‘pound of flesh’, pretending not
to be serious, while fully intending to exact
the penalty if the chance arises.
He’s a ‘Jew’
He’s a money-loving userer
His daughter hates him
His servant hates him
1) When Antonio appears, Shylock reveals his
feelings in an ‘aside’ to the audience:
‘I hate him … Christian / … /
He lends out money gratis, and brings down /
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.’
2) He is clearly aware there is a possibility
Antonio might fail to repay the loan:
‘Yet his means are in supposition …
… But ships are but boards …
… there is the peril of waters, winds, and rocks.’
3) He uses obvious bargaining tactics:
‘I cannot instantly raise up the gross
Tubal …
Will furnish me.’ (I:iii:50-53)
4a) Raises the subject of Antonio’s rejection of
‘Methoughts you said you neither lend nor
borrow / Upon advantage.’ (I:iii:64f)
4b) … thus providing himself with a reason for
attaching a ‘non-financial’ penalty:
‘an equal pound / of you fair flesh’ (I:iii:145f)
Villainous intention recognised at the
Bassanio’s reaction:
‘I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.’
Expresses joy at news that Antonio
cannot pay
‘I thank God, I thank God. Is it true, is it true?’
‘ … good news, good news!’
‘I am very glad of it. I’ll plague him, I’ll torture
him. I am glad of it.’
When challenged regarding intentions:
1) … by Salarino:
‘… if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my
revenge.’ (III:i:47f)
2) … by Antonio:
‘… Tell not me of mercy.
This is the fool that lent out money gratis.’ (III:iii:1f)
3) … by the Duke:
‘So can I give no reason, nor I will not,
More than a lodg’d hate and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio …’ (IV:i:59f)
Rejects financial compensation equal
to double the amount loaned
‘If every ducat in six thousand ducats
Were in six parts, and every part a ducat,
I would not draw them; I would have my bond.’
He’s a ‘Jew’ …
• ‘Ritual murder’
• All the bad stuff that happens to him …
• Well, that’s how it should be …
• He’s a ‘Jew’
But … 21st Century view:
1) We can’t view Shylock as a ‘villain’ just
because he’s a Jew.
Shakespeare even puts the alternative
view, that Jews are the same as everyone else,
into Shylock’s mouth: ‘… we are like you …’
2) The bad things that happen to him seem a
little harsh and not necessarily deserved:
• Legal constraints
• Personal and general verbal abuse
• Loss of daughter (money & ring)
• Legal penalty (loss of money & forced
In fact, the bad things that happen to him can
be seen actually to contribute to his willingness
to do bad things
• In particular, the loss of his daughter and his
ring seem to have a significant effect on his
attitude to Antonio.
Shylock now becomes a much
more complicated character, much
more human.
Oral Commentary
1) Context
• General
• Immediate
2) Significance for development of:
• Plot
• Character
• Theme
3) Contrast significance depending on whether ‘16th
century’ or ‘modern’

similar documents