Merchant of Venice

What is the conflict between Antonio and Shylock? Does it have any roots in religion?

Please give complete and explained answers.

Asked by
Last updated by Aslan
Answers 1
Add Yours

Both Antonio and Shylock have had business dealings in the past. Shylock claims that Antonio has spit on him, called him a dog, and insulted him for lending money for profit.

He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies—and what’s his reason?

Shylock says his famous lines about how a Jew is no different than a Christian,

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?

We can surmise that much of this antagonism is rooted in religion. Antonio feels that Jews are inferior while Shylock feels persecuted by Christians.