Lippincott Company, Philadelphia, p. 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.
Sure sounds like Shylock is more concerned about his money than his daughter, right? Shylock and antisemitism Shylock and Jessica by Maurycy Gottlieb Since Shakespeare's time, the character's name has become a synonym for loan sharkand as a verb to shylock means to lend money at exorbitant rates.
The Shylocks of sixteenth-century London included "goldsmiths, mercers, and, most visibly of all, scriveners",  according to prominent scholar Stephen Orgel, a Stanford professor who serves with A. Thou torturest me, Tubal. Historically, money lending had been a fairly common occupation among Jews, in part because Christians were not permitted to practise usurythen considered to mean charging interest of any kind on loans, and Jews were excluded from other fields of work.
Edwin Booth was a notable exception, playing him as a simple villain, although his father Junius Brutus Booth had portrayed the character sympathetically.
As literary critic Ann Barton points out in The Riverside Shakespeare, "Shylock has sometimes been presented as the devil incarnate, sometimes as a comic villain gabbling absurdly about ducats and daughters.
Shakespeare's intention was not to make Shylock a tragic figure; instead, Shylock was meant to function as a man who could be vividly realized as the epitome of selfishness; he must be defeated in this romantic comedy.
Even granting that he obtains it, a pound of Antonio's flesh will never outweigh, in the scales of reprisal, the millions of corpses heaped in the Christian shambles by a butchery  of thirteen centuries.
The sympathy which, notwithstanding, is aroused, is in truth merely the adventitious result of the unconscious tact with which the poet humanized the character. We know Shylock has been abused in the past he's been trash-talked, spit upon, called a dog, and worseand it seems like there's not a scene that goes by in which some character isn't hurling anti-Semitic insults.
I could have told him something that would have pleased him - namely, that his cousin, Herr von Shylock in Paris, had become the mightiest baron in Christendom, invested by her Catholic Majesty with that Order of Isabella which was founded to celebrate the expulsion of the Jews and Moors from Spain.