Presentation on theme: "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."— Presentation transcript:
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.
Character He’s a ‘Jew’ He’s a money-loving userer His daughter hates him His servant hates him
Evidence 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.’ (I:iii:36-42)
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.’ (I:iii:15-22)
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 ‘interest’: ‘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 time Bassanio’s reaction: ‘I like not fair terms and a villain’s mind.’ (I:iii:175)
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.’ (III:i:92,94,103)
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.’ (IV:i:85f)
Confirmation He’s a ‘Jew’ … ‘Ritual murder’
Note All the bad stuff that happens to him … Well, that’s how it should be … He’s a ‘Jew’
But … 21 st 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 …’ (III:i:59f)
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 conversion)
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 ‘16 th century’ or ‘modern’