quotes, notes, timelines & more

Home » Shakespeare's Works » Elements » Characters » Shylock

Shylock

Merchant of Venice

Christians and Jews

Read the Note

Despite the sarcasm, the audience as well as father Abram are led to consider Shylock’s exclamation:

–what these Christians are,
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others!

Shylock more than implies the old adage that it takes one to know one.
… continue reading this note

Blood and Humanity

Read the Note

In the Merchant of Venice, the Prince of Morocco’s “And let us make incision for your love To prove whose blood is reddest, his or mine,” introduces the theme of superficial differences masking intrinsic similarities, the most intrinsic being that we share a common humanity. It foreshadows Shylock’s “If you prick us, do we not bleed” 
… continue reading this note

Appearance and Prejudice

Read the Note

One of Shakespeare’s most frequent themes is appearance versus reality. This theme manifests itself in different ways for different purposes. In Merchant of Venice (2.2.181), Bassanio says to Gratiano:

Thou art too wild, too rude and bold of voice—
Parts that become thee happily enough,
And in such eyes as ours appear not faults.
… continue reading this note

Christians and Jews

Read the Note

The first exchange between Antonio and Shylock in The Merchant of Venice (1.3.116) reveals much about their characters, their motivations and the themes of the play. For example, Shylock is clearly less motivated by money and greed, the typical ingredients of antisemitic prejudice, than by anger at having been personally and publicly insulted by Antonio. And Antonio, who was previously shown to be a generous,
… continue reading this note

Signior Antonio, many a time and oft

Read the Quote

Shylock
Signior Antonio, many a time and oftHendiadys
In the Rialto you have rated me
About my moneys and my usances.
Still have I borne it with a patient shrug
(For suff’rance is the badge of all our tribe).
You call me misbeliever, cutthroat dog,
And spet upon my Jewish gaberdine,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 116

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Figures of Speech:
, , , , , ,

Connected Notes:
Christians and Jews

O father Abram, what these Christians are

Read the Quote

O father Abram, what these Christians are,
Whose own hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others! Pray you tell me this:
If he should break his day, what should I gain
By the exaction of the forfeiture?
A pound of man’s flesh taken from a man
Is not so estimable, profitable neither,
As flesh of muttons,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 1
Scene 3
Line 172

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Figures of Speech:

Connected Notes:
Christians and Jews

Why, I am sure if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his flesh!

Read the Quote

Salarino
Why, I am sure if he forfeit, thou wilt not take his flesh! What’s that good for?
Shylock
To bait fish withal; if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 3
Scene 1
Line 50

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

Connected Notes:
Blood and Humanity

I have possessed your Grace of what I purpose

Read the Quote

Shylock
I have possessed your Grace of what I purpose,
And by our holy Sabbath have I sworn
To have the due and forfeit of my bond.
If you deny it, let the danger light
Upon your charter and your city’s freedom!
You’ll ask me why I rather choose to have
A weight of carrion flesh than to receive
Three thousand ducats.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 36

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?

Read the Quote

What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts
Because you bought them. Shall I say to you
“Let them be free! Marry them to your heirs!
Why sweat they under burdens? Let their beds
Be made as soft as yours,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 90

Source Type:

Spoken by:

Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?

Read the Quote

Gratiano
Why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?
Shylock
To cut the forfeiture from that bankrout there.
Gratiano
Not on thy sole but on thy soul, harsh Jew,
Thou mak’st thy knife keen. But no metal can,
No, not the hangman’s axe, bear half the keenness
Of thy sharp envy.
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 123

Source Type:

Spoken by:
,

My deeds upon my head! I crave the law

Read the Quote

Shylock
My deeds upon my head! I crave the law,

The penalty and forfeit of my bond.
Portiaas Balthazar
Is he not able to discharge the money?
Bassanio 
Yes. Here I tender it for him in the court,
… continue reading this quote

Source:
Act 4
Scene 1
Line 212

Source Type:

Spoken by:
, ,