Shylock Character Essay Template

Shylock in Merchant of Venice

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The Character of Shylock in Merchant of Venice   

    Few characters created by Shakespeare embodies pure evil like the character of Shylock in The Merchant of Venice. Shylock is a usurer and a malevolent, blood-thirsty old man consumed with plotting the downfall of his enemies. He is a malignant, vengeful character, consumed with venomous malice1; a picture of callous, unmitigated villainy, deaf to every appeal of humanity2. Shylock is the antagonist opposite the naive, essentially good Antonio, the protagonist; who must defend himself against the "devil" Shylock. The evil he represents is one of the reasons Shakespeare chose to characterize Shylock as a Jew, as Jews of his time were seen as the children of the Devil, the crucifiers of Christ and stubborn rejecters of God's wisdom and Christianity.

However, when Shakespeare created Shylock, he did not insert him in as a purely flat character, consumed only with the villainy of his plot. One of the great talents that Shakespeare possessed, remarks Shakespeare analyst Harrold R. Walley, was his ability to make each key character act like a real, rational person. Walley said of all of Shakespeare's characters, hero or villain, that "Their conduct is always presented as logical and justifiable from their point of view3." To maintain the literary integrity of the play, "Shakespeare is under the necessity of making clear why a man like Shylock should be wrought to such a pitch of vindictive hatred as to contemplate murder4." His evil must have some profound motivation, and that motivation is the evil done to him. Shylock is not an ogre, letting lose harm and disaster without reason. He was wronged first; the fact that his revenge far outweighs that initial evil is what makes him a villain. Beneath Shylock' villainy, the concept of evil for evil runs as a significant theme through the play.

In order to understand the concept of evil for evil, one must examine the initial evil, aimed at Shylock, through Shylock's own eyes. Some may see the discrimination aimed at Shylock as justified, as he is a malicious usurer; certainly the Venetians thought so. However, the discrimination took its toll on Shylock, until he began to hate all Christians. Shylock saw himself as an outsider, alienated by his society. The evil he saw done to him took three major forms: hatred from Antonio, discrimination from Christian Venetians, and the marriage to a Christian of his daughter Jessica.

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Shylock's main reason for making the bond was, of course, his hatred of Antonio. Antonio, a "good" Christian who lends without interest, constantly preaches about the sin of usury and publicly denounces Shylock for practicing it. In addition, Shylock hate Antonio for an economic, even petty reason, and remarks that

He lends out money gratis and brings down
The rate of usance here with us in Venice. [I. iii. 44-45].
Antonio also spit on him in public and called him a "cut-throat dog."

Shylock also recognizes Antonio's anti-Semitism, calling him an enemy of "our sacred nation" [I. iii. 48]. Antonio was always trying to coerce Shylock to convert to Christianity, he even remarks to that effect to Bassanio after the bond is made, and Shylock can sense this and it further fuels his hatred. Shakespearean critic D.A. Traversi finds an additional thought plaguing Shylock. Tied in with his anti-Semitism is an apparent supremacy Antonio feels over Shylock, expressed in his ruthlessly complacent expression of superiority,

I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too; [I. iii. 130-131]

so that we may even feel that, when he explicitly tells Shylock:

If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemy; [I. iii. 132-33, 135]

he puts down Shylock as someone who can never be his friend or equal5. In addition to evil from Antonio, Shylock is despised by the Christians. He himself attributes his woes to the fact that "[He is] a Jew" [III. i. 58]6. He says he hates Antonio because "he is a Christian" [I. iii. 42], and he sees Christians as his oppressors. His thrift is condemned as miserly blood-sucking7, when it is just his own means of survival, based on his own separate standards8. His own insistence on the pound of flesh becomes the direct result of renewed insult9.

The final insult Shylock receives at the hands of Christians is the marriage of his daughter Jessica to a Christian. Walley examines Shylock's feelings at that moment, that "[Shylock] has been betrayed by his own flesh and blood, and robbed to boot. He now takes on the dual roles of grief-stricken father and duped-miser, though it is almost entirely the latter10." Either way, Shylock has once again been dealt evil by the Christians who segregate him.  While it is clear that he was an oppressed man, no reader of Shakespeare would shed a single tear for poor Shylock. The evil he returns far outweighs the measure received, even if one would judge the Christians' discrimination by today's standards. Shylock is the villain of the play, and he is far from innocent.

The most outright demonstration of evil by Shylock is his insistence on the pound of flesh at the trial scene. Shylock had in the past been seen as evil for his miserly love of money, but now he insists on much more. He is willing to give up three times the loan in exchange for a pound of Antonio's flesh. This tenacious pursuit of homicidal intentions toward Antonio is representative of Shylock's character. He is completely devoid of mercy; that and other positive virtues are beyond his comprehension11. Traversi characterizes Shylock's personality as being full of "blind spots," basic human limitations, that when persisted in, "make a balanced human life unattainable12." The evil Shylock commits is further compounded by the helplessness of Antonio's situation.

When one examines the signing of the bond, further duplicitous treachery on Shylock's part becomes evident. Shylock puts Antonio in a situation where he cannot say no to the apparently innocuous but potentially dangerous bond. When Antonio approaches Shylock, he asks for the money, yet insists that Shylock lend it "to thine enemy," an implicit, unstated rebuke of usury. Shylock then pounces on this opportunity, and offers a proposal that seems to act upon Antonio's teaching, slipping in his seemingly ridiculous contingency of a pound of flesh, which Antonio would never dream could be taken seriously. This puts Antonio in a precarious position: he must agree, as to reject reformation is to nullify censure13. Further duplicity on Shylock's part is seen in the fact that he himself acts as if he does not take the pound of flesh seriously, when he imparts to Antonio the perfectly reasonable contention, "If he should break this day, what should I gain?" [I. iii. 163]14.

Literary critic James E. Siemon, finds further evidence to point out the profound evil Shylock exudes in Shakespeare's setup of the trial scene. By that point it is obvious to all that Shylock is consumed with evil and will stop at nothing to have his revenge, and the trial is both a condemnation of Shylock and a hope of reform for him. The Duke, a figure of authority and supreme judgement, speaks true when he calls Shylock a "stony adversary, an inhuman wretch / Uncapable of pity" [IV, i. 4-5]15. The audience is meant to realize, if they have not already, that a man cannot live without the qualities of mercy and pity, and it is the lack of these that makes him commit evil deeds. Siemon remarks that  Portia's plea is essentially a plea for Shylock rather than for Antonio. She is pleading with him to throw off his stony, inhuman nature and to take his place as a man among men, to acknowledge...that he is a man and that all men live by mercy.16

The audience is meant to understand that Shylock must change his very nature in order to be a member of society. The fact that Shylock does not respond to Portia is further proof that Shylock is a complete villain. Siemon opens his essay on The Merchant of Venice with the following statement: "The Merchant of Venice is the first of Shakespeare's comedies to attempt a full-scale depiction of evil.17" Indeed, evil is a major theme of the play, and certainly one of the most profound characteristics of Shylock. He represents the tormented receiver of evil from society, the evil villain plotting to destroy the hero, and most importantly, a man fueled by others' evil to exhibit his own.

Works Cited

Kerr, Walter, 1960, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991), volume 12

Siemon, James E., 1970, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991), volume 4

Shakespeare, William, The Merchant of Venice

Traversi, D.A., 1968, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991), volume 4

Walley, Harrold R., 1935, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991),
volume 4
1Harrold R. Walley, 1935, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991),
v. 4, p. 244
2 Ibid., p. 245
3 Ibid., p. 245
4Ibid., p. 245
5 D. A. Traversi, 1968, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991), v.
4, pp. 316-317
6Walley, p. 247
7 Ibid., p. 247
8Traversi, p. 316
9 Walter Kerr, 1960, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991), v.
12, p. 124
10 Walley., p. 247
11 Traversi, p. 316
12 Ibid., p. 316
13 Walley, p. 245
14 Ibid., p. 245
15 James E. Siemon, 1970, from Shakespeare Criticism, Sandra L. Williamson and James E. Person, Jr., editors, (Detroit, Michigan: Gale Research, 1991),
v. 4, p. 320
16 Ibid., p. 320
17 Ibid., p. 319

This article is about the literary character. For other uses, see Shylock (disambiguation).

"Pound of flesh" redirects here. For other uses, see Pound of Flesh (disambiguation).

Shylock is a character in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice. A VenetianJewish moneylender, Shylock is the play's principal antagonist. His defeat and conversion to Christianity form the climax of the story.


Shylock is not a Jewish name. However, some scholars believe it probably derives from the biblical name Shalah, which is 'Shelach' (שלח) in Hebrew. Shalah is the grandson of Shem and the father of Eber, biblical progenitor of Hebrew peoples. All the names of Jewish characters in the play derive from minor figures listed in genealogies in the Book of Genesis. It is possible that Shakespeare originally intended the name to be pronounced with a short "i", as rather than a long one. The modern pronunciation has changed because the standard spelling with a "y" signifies to readers a long 'i' pronunciation.[1] Other scholars emphasise that, although the name echoes some Hebrew names, "Shylock" was a common sixteenth-century English name that would have been familiar to Shakespeare's fellow Londoners, and the name is notable for its Saxon origin, meaning "white-haired." The Shylocks of sixteenth-century London included "goldsmiths, mercers, and, most visibly of all, scriveners,"[2] According to prominent scholar Stephen Orgel, a Stanford professor who serves (with A.R. Braunmuller) as general editor of The Pelican Shakespeare series from Penguin.

In the play

Shylock is a Jew who lends money to his Christian rival Antonio, setting the security at a pound of Antonio's flesh. When a bankrupt Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock demands the pound of flesh. This decision is fuelled by his sense of revenge, for Antonio had previously insulted, physically assaulted and spat on him in the Rialto (stock exchange of Venice) dozens of times, defiled the "sacred" Jewish religion and had also inflicted massive financial losses on him. Meanwhile, Shylock's daughter, Jessica, falls in love with Antonio's friend Lorenzo and converts to Christianity, leaves Shylock's house and steals vast riches from him, which adds to Shylock's rage and hardens his resolve for revenge. In the end – due to the efforts of Antonio's well-wisher, Portia – Shylock is charged with attempted murder of a Christian, carrying a possible death penalty, and Antonio is freed without punishment. Shylock is then ordered to surrender half of his wealth and property to the state and the other half to Antonio. However, as an act of "mercy", Antonio modifies the verdict, asking Shylock to hand over only one-half of his wealth – to him (Antonio) for his own as well as Lorenzo's need – provided that he keeps two promises. First, Shylock has to sign an agreement bequeathing all his remaining property to Lorenzo and Jessica, which is to become effective after his demise, and second, he is to immediately convert to Christianity. Shylock is forced to agree to these terms, and he exits citing illness.

Historical background

In Shakespeare's time, no Jews had been legally present in England for several hundred years (since the Edict of Expulsion in 1290). However, stereotypes of Jews as money lenders remained from the Middle Ages. Historically, money lending had been a fairly common occupation among Jews, in part because Christians were not permitted to practise usury, then considered to mean charging interest of any kind on loans, and Jews were excluded from other fields of work. At the same time, most Christian kings forbade Jews to own land for farming or to serve in the government, and craft guilds usually refused to admit Jews as artisans.[4] Thus money lending was one of the few occupations still open to Jews.

Hyam Maccoby argues that the play is based on medieval morality plays, exemplum, in which the Virgin Mary (here represented by Portia) argues for the forgiveness of human souls, as against the implacable accusations of the Devil (Shylock).[5]


Shylock on stage

Jacob Adler and others report that the tradition of playing Shylock sympathetically began in the first half of the 19th century with Edmund Kean.[6] Previously the role had been played "by a comedian as a repulsive clown or, alternatively, as a monster of unrelieved evil." Kean's Shylock established his reputation as an actor.[7]

Since Kean's time, many other actors who have played the role have chosen a sympathetic approach to the character. Edwin Booth was a notable exception, playing him as a simple villain, although his father Junius Brutus Booth had portrayed the character sympathetically. Henry Irving's portrayal of an aristocratic, proud Shylock (first seen at the Lyceum in 1879, with Portia played by Ellen Terry) has been called "the summit of his career".[8]Jacob Adler was the most notable of the early 20th century actors in this role, speaking in Yiddish in an otherwise English-language production.[9]

Kean and Irving presented a Shylock justified in wanting his revenge. Adler's Shylock evolved over the years he played the role, first as a stock Shakespearean villain, then as a man whose better nature was overcome by a desire for revenge, and finally as a man who operated not from revenge but from pride. In a 1902 interview with Theater magazine, Adler pointed out that Shylock is a wealthy man, "rich enough to forgo the interest on three thousand ducats" and that Antonio is "far from the chivalrous gentleman he is made to appear. He has insulted the Jew and spat on him, yet he comes with hypocritical politeness to borrow money of him." Shylock's fatal flaw is to depend on the law, but "would he not walk out of that courtroom head erect, the very apotheosis of defiant hatred and scorn?"[10]

Some modern productions explore the justification of Shylock's thirst for vengeance. For instance, in the 2004 film adaptation directed by Michael Radford and starring Al Pacino as Shylock, the film begins with text and a montage of how the Jewish community is abused by the Christian population of the city. One of the last shots of the film also highlights that, as a convert, Shylock would have been cast out of the Jewish community in Venice, no longer allowed to live in the ghetto. But he would likely not have been fully accepted by the Christians, as they would remember his Jewish birth. Another interpretation of Shylock and a vision of how "must he be acted" appears at the conclusion of the autobiography of Alexander Granach, a noted Jewish stage and film actor in Weimar Germany (and later in Hollywood and on Broadway).[11]

Other representations

Elmore Leonard's book Get Shorty was later made into the movie Get Shorty starring John Travolta, wherein Travolta's character Ernest "Chilli" Palmer is a shylock, or loan shark. Throughout the movie Travolta pitches an idea for a movie about an actual shylock.

St. John Ervine's play The Lady of Belmont (1924) is a sequel to The Merchant of Venice where the characters meet again some years later. All of the marriages that ended The Merchant of Venice are unhappy, Antonio is an obsessive bore reminiscing about his escape from death, but Shylock, freed from religious prejudice, is richer than before and a close friend and confidante of the Doge.

Arnold Wesker's play The Merchant (1977) dramatises the same plot from Shylock's point of view. In this retelling, Shylock and Antonio are friends bound by a mutual love of books and culture and a disdain for the anti-Semitism of the Christian community's laws. They make the bond in defiant mockery of the Christian establishment, never anticipating that the bond might become forfeit. When it does, the play argues, Shylock must carry through on the letter of the law or jeopardise the scant legal security of the entire Jewish community. He is, therefore, quite as grateful as Antonio when Portia, as in Shakespeare's play, shows the legal way out. The play received its American premiere on 16 November 1977 at New York's Plymouth Theatre with Joseph Leon as Shylock, Marian Seldes as Shylock's sister Rivka and Roberta Maxwell as Portia. This production had a challenging history in previews on the road. The Broadway star Zero Mostel, who was initially cast as Shylock, died after the play's opening night in Philadelphia. The play's author, Arnold Wesker, wrote a book chronicling the out-of-town tribulations that beset the play and Mostel's death called The Birth of Shylock and the Death of Zero Mostel.

The award-winning monologue Shylock (1996) by Canadian playwright Mark Leiren-Young, focuses on a Jewish actor named Jon Davies, who is featured as Shylock in a production of The Merchant of Venice.[12] Jon addresses his audience at a "talk back" session, after the play is closed abruptly due to controversy over the play's alleged antisemitism. Davies is portrayed both in and out of character, presenting and stripping down the layers between character and actor. Composed in one 80-minute act, it premiered at Bard on the Beach on 5 August 1996, where it was directed by John Juliani and starred popular Canadian radio host, David Berner. Its American debut was in 1998 at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre where it was directed by Deborah Block, starred William Leach and was "Barrymore Recommended". It has since been produced at theatres, Shakespeare Festivals and Fringes throughout Canada and the US (including the San Diego Repertory Theatre where it was staged opposite a controversial production of The Merchant of Venice), was translated for a production in Denmark and has been staged twice by the original actor, Berner, in Venice.

Notable portrayals

Notable actors who have portrayed Shylock include Richard Burbage in the 16th century, Charles Macklin in 1741, Edmund Kean in 1814, William Charles Macready in 1840, Edwin Booth in 1861, Henry Irving in 1880, George Arliss in 1928, and John Gielgud in 1937. Under Nazi rule in 1943, the Vienna Burgtheater presented a notoriously extreme production of The Merchant of Venice with Werner Krauss as an evil Shylock.

After World War II, productions were sometimes featured on TV and in film as well as on stage. Laurence Olivier at the Royal National Theatre in 1972 and on TV in 1973, Patrick Stewart in 1965 at the Theatre Royal, Bristol and 1978. In addition, Stewart developed a one-man show Shylock: Shakespeare's Alien and produced it while acting in the role in 1987 and 2001. Al Pacino acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film version as well as in Central Park in 2010. F. Murray Abraham played this character at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2006. In 2015 and 2016, David Serero plays Shylock in New York at the Center for Jewish History.[13]Jonathan Pryce played the role in the Globe theatre in the summer of 2015. This was followed by a touring production in 2016. Pryce's daughter performs the role of Jessica (Shylock's daughter) in the production.

Shylock and antisemitism

Since Shakespeare's time, the character's name has become a synonym for loan shark, and as a verb to shylock means to lend money at exorbitant rates. In addition, the phrase "pound of flesh" has also entered the lexicon as slang for a particularly onerous or unpleasant obligation.

Anti-semitic reading

English society in the Elizabethan era has been described as antisemitic.[14]English Jews had been expelled in 1290; Jews were not allowed to settle in the country until the rule of Oliver Cromwell. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, Jews were often presented on the Elizabethan stage in hideous caricature, with hooked noses and bright red wigs. They were usually depicted as avaricious usurers; an example is Christopher Marlowe's play The Jew of Malta, which features a comically wicked Jewish villain called Barabas. They were usually characterised as evil, deceptive, and greedy.

During the 1600s in Venice and in other places, Jews were required to wear a red hat at all times in public to ensure that they were easily identified. If they did not comply with this rule, they could face the death penalty. In Venice, Jews had to live in a ghetto protected by Christians which was probably for their own safety. The Jews were expected to pay their guards.[15]

Shakespeare's play reflected the anti-semitic tradition. The title page of the Quarto indicates that the play was sometimes known as The Jew of Venice in its day, which suggests that it was seen as similar to Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. One interpretation of the play's structure is that Shakespeare meant to contrast the mercy of the main Christian characters with the vengeful Shylock, who lacks the religious grace to comprehend mercy. Similarly, it is possible that Shakespeare meant Shylock's forced conversion to Christianity to be a "happy ending" for the character, as it 'redeems' Shylock both from his unbelief and his specific sin of wanting to kill Antonio. This reading of the play would certainly fit with the anti-semitic trends present in Elizabethan England.

Sympathetic reading

Many modern readers and audiences have read the play as a plea for tolerance, with Shylock as a sympathetic character. Shylock's 'trial' at the end of the play is a mockery of justice, with Portia acting as a judge when she has no real right to do so. Shakespeare does not question Shylock's intentions, but that the very people who berated Shylock for being dishonest have resorted to trickery in order to win. Shakespeare gives Shylock one of his most eloquent speeches:

Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? 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? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

— Act III, scene I

Alexander Granach, who played Shylock in Germany in the 1920s, writes,

[H]ow does it happen that Shylock's defense becomes an accusation? ... The answer must be a perfectly simple one. God and Shakespeare did not create beings of paper, they gave them flesh and blood! Even if the poet did not know Shylock and did not like him, the justice of his genius took the part of his black obstacle [Shylock, the obstacle to the plans of the young lovers] and, out of its prodigal and endless wealth, gave Shylock human greatness and spiritual strength and a great loneliness—things that turn Antonio's gay, singing, sponging, money-borrowing, girl-stealing, marriage-contriving circle into petty idlers and sneak thieves.[16]

Influence on antisemitism

Antisemites have used the play to support their views throughout its history. The 1619 edition has a subtitle of "With the Extreme Cruelty of Shylock the Jew…" The Nazis used Shylock for their propaganda.[17] Shortly after Kristallnacht in 1938, the German radio had broadcast a production of The Merchant of Venice to reinforce stereotypes. Productions of the play followed in Lübeck (1938), Berlin (1940), and elsewhere within Nazi-occupied territory.[18]

The depiction of Jews in the literature of England and other English-speaking countries throughout the centuries was influenced by the character of Shylock from The Merchant of Venice and similar stereotypes. With slight variations much of English literature up until the 20th century depicts the Jew as "a monied, cruel, lecherous, avaricious outsider tolerated only because of his golden hoard".[19]


  1. ^Jay L. Halio ;llmcn.,c;, The Merchant of Venice, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1994, p.23/
  2. ^quoted from Shylock is Shakespeare by Kenneth Gross, 2006, University of Chicago Press.
  3. ^Baron, Salo, Kahan, Arcadius; et al., Economic History of the Jews, Nachum Gross (Ed.), Schocken Books, 1975, p. 257
  4. ^Maccoby, Hyam (2006). Antisemitism and Modernity: Innovation and Continuity. London: Routledge. pp. 86–90. ISBN 9780415311731. 
  5. ^Adler erroneously dates this from 1847 (at which time Kean was already dead); the Cambridge Student Guide to The Merchant of Venice dates Kean's performance to a more likely 1814.
  6. ^Adler 1999, 341.
  7. ^Wells and Dobson, p. 290.
  8. ^Adler 1999, 342–44.
  9. ^Adler 1999, 344–350
  10. ^Granach 1945; 2010, 275–279.
  11. ^Charlesbois, Gaetan. "Shylock". Canadian Theatre Encyclopedia. 18 June 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2013
  12. ^BWW News Desk. "David Serero to Star in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Center for Jewish History This June". 
  13. ^Philipe Burrin, Nazi Anti-Semitism: From Prejudice to Holocaust. The New Press, 2005, ISBN 1-56584-969-8, p. 17.

    It was not until the twelfth century that in northern Europe (England, Germany, and France), a region until then peripheral but at this point expanding fast, a form of Judeophobia developed that was considerably more violent because of a new dimension of imagined behaviors, including accusations that Jews engaged in ritual murder, profanation of the host, and the poisoning of wells. With the prejudices of the day against Jews, atheists and non-Christians in general, Jews found it hard to fit in with society. Some say that these attitudes provided the foundations of anti-semitism in the 20th century."

  14. ^"Venice, Italy Jewish History Tour – Jewish Virtual Library". 
  15. ^Granach 1945, 2010: 276–77
  16. ^Gross, John (4 April 1993). "THEATER; Shylock and Nazi Propaganda". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 22 February 2016. 
  17. ^Lecture by James Shapiro: "Shakespeare and the Jews"
  18. ^David Mirsky, "The Fictive Jew in the Literature of England 1890–1920, in the Samuel K. Mirsky Memorial Volume.


  • Adler, Jacob, A Life on the Stage: A Memoir, translated and with commentary by Lulla Rosenfeld, Knopf, New York, 1999, ISBN 0-679-41351-0.
  • Ferguson, Niall (2009). The Ascent of Money: A Financial History of the World. New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780143116172. 
  • Granach, Alexander, "There Goes an Actor," tr. Willard Trask, Doubleday, Doran, Garden City, NY, 1945. Also Granach, Alexander, "From the Shtetl to the Stage: The Odyssey of a Wandering Actor," with new Introduction by Herbert S., Lewis, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, 2010, ISBN 978-1-4128-1347-1.
  • Smith, Rob: Cambridge Student Guide to The Merchant of Venice. ISBN 0-521-00816-6.

Further reading

Look up shylock in Wiktionary, the free dictionary.
  • Bronstein, Herbert (1969). "Shakespeare, the Jews, and The Merchant of Venice". Shakespeare Quarterly. Folger Shakespeare Library. 20 (1): 3–10. doi:10.2307/2868968. eISSN 1538-3555. ISSN 0037-3222. JSTOR 2868968 – via JSTOR. (Subscription required (help)). 
  • John Gross, Shylock: A Legend and Its Legacy. Touchstone: 1994. ISBN 0-671-88386-0.
  • Kenneth Gross, Shylock Is Shakespeare. University of Chicago Press: 2006. ISBN 0-226-30977-0.
  • S.L. Lee, "The Original of Shylock," The Gentleman's Magazine, Vol. CCXLVI, January/June 1880.
  • James Shapiro, Shakespeare and the Jews. Columbia University Press: 1997. ISBN 0-231-10345-X.
  • Joseph Shatzmiller, Shylock Reconsidered: Jews, Moneylending, and Medieval Society. University of California Press: 1990. ISBN 0-520-06635-9.
  • Martin Yaffe, Shylock and the Jewish Question. Johns Hopkins University Press: 1997. ISBN 0-8018-5648-5.
1911 Italian-French film.

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