Merchant of Venice, Shylock: a Victim

Shylock: A Victim of Venice
“The victim mindset dilutes the human potential. By not accepting personal responsibility for our circumstances, we greatly reduce our power to change them.” - (Dr. Steve Maraboli). In The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare, Shylock, a Jewish money-lender, is the victim of the story because of how he is mistreated throughout the play. In the early 1600s, the discrimination towards Jews was seen as funny. Shylock loses his daughter when she runs away with his money and go marries a Christian, and Shylock is forced to either become a Christian or die, while giving half of his wealth to Antonio and the other half to Lorenzo and Jessica.
  * Although Shakespeare’s audience would have seen the humour in the play, today if there were discrimination between a Christian and a Jew it would be known as anti-Semitism and it would not be funny to anyone. Shylock is treated poorly by Antonio because he is a Jew. He is bringing back a moment when he is mistreated by Antonio for being Jewish:
  * Signor Antonio, many a time and oft
  * In the Rialto you have rated me
  * About my moneys and my usance
  * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .  
  * You call me misbelieve, cut-throat dog,
  * And spit upon my Jewish gabardine,
  * And all for use of that which is mine own.
  * . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
  * You, that did void your rheum upon my beard,
  * And foot me as you spurn a stranger cur
  * Over your threshold. (I.iii.102-115)
  * Shylock brings up how he is disrespected by Antonio in the past. Shylock mentions that Antonio has insults his money and the way he does business. Antonio calls Shylock many names, spits on him and even kicks him like he is a stray mutt. Antonio’s actions towards Shylock at the Rialto demonstrates examples of how poorly Shylock is treated. Previously in the play, Shylock remembers how Antonio treats him and how he has previously...