The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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I was wondering, do you think Shylock is jealous of Antonio and Bassanios friendship? Is this why he is being cruel?

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Gretchen Mussey eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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According to the evidence presented in the play, Shylock's hatred toward Antonio is based on the fact that Antonio is a Christian who treats him poorly and lends money without charging people interest. In Act One, Scene 3, Bassanio assures Shylock that Antonio will pay back his loan of three thousand ducats. When Antonio enters the scene, Shylock says to himself,

"I hate him for he is a Christian,
But more for that in low simplicity
He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice.
If I can catch him once upon the hip,
I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him.
He...

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No, there was other reasons for his anger towards Antonio. He hates Antonio for lending out money to people without charging any single interest, bringing down interest rates on loans in Venice, which is quite inappropriate in business industry. He also detests him for being a "Christian", but I think the main motive behind the sudden outrage against him was actually due to the hatred that Antonio show towards him, which he was being spat upon and treated like a dog, a servant by him, laughing at his failures and mocking against his victories, seemingly to taunt his every actions, trying to put him down, shame him in front of people, so he was trying to seek out vengeance for the disgrace that he had suffered and it was payback time.

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