In The Merchant of Venice what is the picture that the play draws of Shylock beyond the different opinions about him?

Expert Answers
Karen P.L. Hardison eNotes educator| Certified Educator

One of the pictures the play The Merchant of Venice draws of Shylock is that of a man who loves and values his daughter and home even though he isn't a sentimental or demonstrative man. The play also draws the picture of a law abiding financier who is horribly treated by Antonio and whom Antonio tries to get others to think ill of, after all, there was no law against money lending for interest. The play also draws the picture of a man who is committed to his religion and its lifestyle system and who is shocked and devastated by what he sees as his daughter's betrayal of him. She not only ran off to be married against her will, she renounced her native religion, abandoned her father, stole his valuables and working capital and keepsakes, and she forces with the Christians who persecute him. One has to wonder why she hated him so much, was it just because he disapproved of her love choice or was there a deeper reason not mentioned in the play.