We feel sympathy for Shylock in act 3 scene 1 as he describes what it feels like to be a Jew. He expresses anger at Antonio for his discrimination against him. Shylock says that Antonio has criticized him for lending money for interest and then has had to nerve to ask him for loans. He says that Antonio also lends money at no interest to other Christians, cutting into his business.
Shylock, in a long speech, details that Antonio has done the following: insulted him, hindered him from making profits, laughed at him when he lost money, made fun of him when he made money, turned his friends against him, and made his enemies even more angry at him. Antonio, Shylock says, has done all of this because he, Shylock, is a Jew:
He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies—and what’s his reason? I am a Jew.
Shylock goes on to grow impassioned and say that a Jew is just as...
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