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Word Count: 929
The character of Shylock was written to be acted in a certain way in which Shakespeare himself would have been on hand in order to instruct the particular actor on how to play the part However modern actors and readers do not have this luxury and thus are forced to determine the true nature of the character of Shylock It is extremely important to fully understand the Elizabethan attitudes towards Jews for this determination to be made correctly These Elizabethans held the view that Jews were vicious killers well poisoners inhumane monsters who could never be trusted This view dominated Shakespeares time period and is reflected in his writing It is certain that Shakespeares Shylock is a villainous well poisoning Jew and not a heroic respectable defender of a persecuted race In this play Shylock is not just a dreadful usurer but also a conspiring and resentful character who plots revenge against Antonio It is evident that this is the case from the onse t of the play when Shylock demonstrates his villainous nature from the moment he is introduced as he converses with Bassanio Shylock is a wealthy man as a usurer and is less interested in collecting Antonios money than in the probability of Antonio failing to repay his loan Shylock is an embittered person resentful of the ways he has been treated in the past by Antonio and other Christians upon the Rialto and around the streets of Venice He is intrigued at the idea of Antonio a Christian who has verbally abused him in the past being contractually obligated to him and one is able to recognize his scheme for revenge from the very beginning Three thousand ducats for three months and Antonio bound I39-10 He continues to declare that Antonio is a good man he is sufficientI 312 1617 meaning that Antonio has the means with which o repay him However Shylock then doubts
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