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The Personality of Shylock in The Product owner of Venice Sufferer or villain. These two words are the total opposites of each other. A sufferer is usually somebody that 'we' generally should, or may, experience bad for and attempt to sympathise or empathise with. But a villain is usually the one person that individuals like to hate. The greatest example of this I experience is normally pantomime. The characters or victims are clear-cut and the viewers willingly regards them. But as soon as the villain walks on stage he is booed and hissed, sadly it is not as simple as this in 'The Merchant of Venice' and how the audience react to the characters is all important in making the distinction between villain or victim. Although the title of the play: 'The Merchant of Venice', implies Antonio is the central character, I think that Shylock is the most important, when he is off-stage often, in the expressed words and phrases and activities of others. There is a debate over whether Shylock is wholly villainous still, or whether his circumstances and life force him to a specific extent in his actions. This difference in interpretations can be highlighted in the real way audiences would have reacted when the play was written, and how this compares to a more modern insight into the play. In particular, this response to Shylock can be crucial to the big issue, sufferer or villain. In Elizabethan situations, Shylock would have got been pictured as a villain through-and-through. When he tells the viewers how he offers been treated, spat upon, and how the Christians insult him, phoning him, "cut-throat pet" and"cur", there would become no compassion for him; on the opposite the market might well have got believed that this was a great and company...