Stop hand

Click to help Cruella!
This scum Shylock
is driving Cruella insane!
So sayeth the great Lord of Darkness Sauron:
or he will send Darth Vader to terminate you.
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If you prick us do we not bleed? If you tickle us do we not laugh? If you poison us do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?
~ Shylock, The Merchant of Venice, Act III, Scene I

Shylock is the main villain of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice.

Shylock is a rich Jewish money lender, who hates Antonio, the main character of the play. Due to Shylock being a Jew and Antonio a Christian, Antonio has shown his hatred for Shylock in the past by spitting on him and treating him horribly due to him being a Jew, as Jews were hated by Christians at the time. Bassanio, Antonio's closest friend, wishes for Shylock to pay Antonio money and despite having a severe hatred for Antonio, Shylock agrees. However, should Antonio fail to pay him back, Shylock will extract a pound of flesh from Antonio's body, with Shylock hoping this would happen.

Shylock ends up getting more aggressive which leads to him losing his daughter (then wanting her dead) and unmerciful and obsessed with revenge. But he's defeated when Portia, the woman whom Bassanio in in love with, dresses herself up as a lawyer and brings up that Shylock is forbidden to spill the blood of a Christian. Therefore Shylock is now accused of planning to cause harm to a Christian. He is forgiven on the condition that he converts to Christianity. Forced to accept, Shylock leaves the court, a broken man.

Some have portrayed Shylock as an anti-semitic representation of Jews, and a representative of the stereotype of the greedy, scheming old Jew. However, it can be alternatively be argued that Shylock is a victim of prejudice, and hates Antonio because he himself is discriminated against. He mentions in the play that Christians are expected to take revenge on Jews for crimes, so he has the right to take revenge on Antonio. In this sense, Shylock becomes a more tragic villain.