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.