The first scene in Act III is the only scene where Shylock's friend Tubal appears. Why does Shakespeare include the character of Tubal? What purpose does he serve to the story?
On one level, Tubal's purpose in this play is to convey information. He delivers news about Jessica's activities and Antonio's likely forfeit.
More significantly, Tubal's role in the play is important because he is literally the only character in the whole play who is Shylock's friend. Every other character regards him with animosity or contempt.
Since Tubal is the only friend to Shylock we meet, his conversation with Tubal is the only time when we see Shylock talking openly and honestly with...
Join Now to View Premium Content
GradeSaver provides access to 1049 study guide PDFs and quizzes, 8144 literature essays, 2279 sample college application essays, 354 lesson plans, and ad-free surfing in this premium content, “Members Only” section of the site! Membership includes a 10% discount on all editing orders.