What is basically Shylock's character in The Merchant of Venice?  

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, a Jewish merchant and father of the heroine Portia, acts as antagonist to the sympathetic young romantic characters. Shylock is portrayed as a moneylender, obsessively concerned with wealth, and not having any other human values. He is mocked because he is Jewish, and in some ways, has created a negative stereotype of Judaism for English readers. On the other hand, in the play, it is obvious that Shylock is victim of religious and ethnic prejudice and discrimination, and his bitter and vengeful character can be seen as a response to Christian oppression of Jews during this period.