This story revolves around the very human trait of deception. The theme of the story depicts the presence of evil in one form or another. All of us have to face cruelty at some time in our lives. Fakes and frauds are prevalent throughout history, even to this day. Evidence of deception is all around us. The world is full of phonies, pretenders, and cheaters who engulf the weak. Even though most often associated with a heart of malice, deception varies in its motives as much as its practitioners demonstrated in The Merchant of Venice by the character of Shylock. Shylock, the Jew, lived at Venice. He was a gold digger, who had amassed an enormous fortune by lending money at great interest rates to merchants. Shylock, being a hard-hearted man, proclaimed the payment of the money he lent with much severity. Kahn, Coppelia. "The Cuckoo's Note." In Shakespeare's "Rough Magic." Newark: Delaware UP, 1985, p 11.
Signior Antonio, many a time and oft In the Rialto you have rated me About my moneys and my usances: Still have I borne it with a patient shrug.
Antonio, a young merchant of Venice, disliked him as all noble men did. Shylock as much hated Antonio because of his nobleness and great character. Antonio used to lend money to people in adversity, and would never take any interest for the money he lent. Due to this reason there was great enmity between the selfish Shylock and the generous merchant Antonio. Antonio's friend Bassanio was in need of money, but due to business constraints he was not able to give the money to his friend. So he asked Shylock for the money.
Shylock had an idea to disgrace him with his usuries and hard dealings. As Antonio asked for money Shylock struck a deal. The terms and conditions were that if Antonio failed to pay the prescribed amount of money, Shylock would cut a pound of flesh. He was so blind in taking revenge from Antonio that he did not care of hurting a human being. A pound of flesh is a lot for an unpaid loan, even a substantial one. But that is Shylock's price. Antonio, the merchant of Venice, fully expects to payback the debt incurred for his friend Bassanio. But when he can't, it is Bassanio's beloved Portia who saves the day.Shylock is the ...