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Shylock is a rich Jewish money lender of Venice who lends money on interest. One needs to keep in mind here that being a Jew living in an alien Christian world he was ostracized, victimized in that society.
Moreover, the medieval Christian tradition does not allow the Christians to do money lending & as the Jews cannot participate in any profession apart from money-lending therefore Shylock is left with no other profession to pursue.
His hatred from the Christian society & his love for money and wealth ( as that is the only security he has in an alien society) is therefore justified.
But when he plots against the life of Antonio, it shows his villainous mind which is motivated only by hatred & revenge. Therefore, his daughter, Jessica abhors him & elopes with Christian Lorenzo. At the trial scene, her villainy becomes evident when he whets the knife to take his due – a pound of Antonio’s flesh, though Portia’s eloquence & legal expertise makes him fall in that pit he had dug for Antonio to fall.
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Shylock is a Jewish merchant ( a money lender ) who has been presented as a stereotypical seventeenth century Jew - crafty, unscrupulus and cruel. He is a man with hatred and vengeance him a cut -throat dog . Shylock is one of the most controversial characters in Shakespeare as critics range between the extremes of calling him a villian , while some think he is a victim of oppression.
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