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Main Character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”

The perception of who plays the protagonist’s role in Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice may differ from one reader to the other. In essence, a protagonist is a character who draws attention or acts as the center of focus. The hero can also be known as the main character or the one whose fate makes the reader follow everything in a play or a narrative. Although there are several potential characters in the play, Shylock would be the leading protagonist in this comical performance.

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Shylock pulls the attention of the reader, acting as the focal character in the play. He sets the stage for action and influences others in the story to make decisions and respond the way they do. There is an entire story with a sub-plot built around Shylock, including his role in Bassanio’s courtship with Portia in a scene to settle Antonio’s debt. Notably, without Shylock in the comic, there would be no story because he plays a central role in creating numerous scenes for other characters.

Likewise, Shylock presents deep self-reflection and intuition scenarios that help the reader mirror the contemporary issues and themes in the story. His love for the daughter is unmatchable, and his profound boldness showcases the place of a lead character. For example, he is extremely excited and anxious about the news of his daughter’s flight. Therefore, he claims, “I say, my daughter is my flesh and blood” (A III, s i) in response to Salanio’s assertion of betrayal. Shylock seems to draw concerns across the entire play as he demeans the things he hates in life. He denounces certain religions such as Christianity, for instance, he confirms his hatred of Antonio’s religion “How like a fawning publican he looks! I hate him for he is a Christian, (A I, s iii)” Thus, Shylock portrays some of the major attributes of a protagonist in critical scenes of the play.

Work Cited

Shakespeare, William, and Gertrude Lawler. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Toronto: Morang, 2018.

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StudyCorgi. (2022, April 24). Main Character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. Retrieved from https://studycorgi.com/main-character-in-shakespeares-the-merchant-of-venice/

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StudyCorgi. (2022, April 24). Main Character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”. https://studycorgi.com/main-character-in-shakespeares-the-merchant-of-venice/

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StudyCorgi. "Main Character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”." April 24, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/main-character-in-shakespeares-the-merchant-of-venice/.

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StudyCorgi. 2022. "Main Character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”." April 24, 2022. https://studycorgi.com/main-character-in-shakespeares-the-merchant-of-venice/.

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StudyCorgi. (2022) 'Main Character in Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice”'. 24 April.

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