A rich Jewish moneylender in Venice, Shylock is the villain of The Merchant of Venice in that the problem he initiates causes great concern in the Christian community of that city. He insists that Antonio keep his bond and forfeit a "pound of flesh" since he has failed to make good the three thousand ducats Shylock has loaned to Bassanio on Antonio's guarantee. When the case goes to trial, it presents a problem for the government of Venice. The duke, along with Antonio's friends, asks Shylock to drop the case and demonstrate mercy toward Antonio. Shylock will not do so, and we...
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