Some people only value tangible items while others find them rather useless. Some people may also be rich in money, but not rich in happiness and love. Throughout the book, The Merchant of Venice, a Venetian merchant, Antonio, borrows money from a Jewish moneylender, Shylock, but Shylock plans to get revenge on Antonio because of how he use to treat Shylock. Shylock is viewed as an unhappy character that really isn’t content with anything. In the book, The Merchant of Venice, written by William Shakespeare portrays the ideas that having an abundance of money does not make someone rich in happiness and love.
Sometimes, so much attention is channeled towards what you think you want, that it distracts someone from what is really important. For example, Shylock says, “…two thousand/ ducats in that, and other precious, precious, precious jewels. I would/ my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear! (3. 1. 72-74.)” In this scene, Shylock’s daughter, Jessica runs away with one of his father’s servants, while also taking some of Shylock’s riches. It is obvious that Shylock values nothing more than his jewels and money. He will eventually become very unhappy because his riches could be taken away, and jewels aren’t like people where they have feelings, where they could take care of you, and where they could come back to you if they wanted. If and once Shylock loses his money or valuables, he won’t be rich in happiness at all because he will lose the only thing he valued.
In most cases, it would be easy to tell if someone has experienced an abundance of love and happiness in their life if they have more of a content feeling with their life rather than an unsatisfied one. For example, while Antonio and Shylock are at court, Antonio says, “As seek to soften that - than which what’s harder? - / His Jewish heart. Therefore, i do beseech you, / Make no more offers, use no farther means, … (4. 1. 79-81.)” During this scene while both are at court, Antonio’s friends are trying to persuade Shylock to not hurt Antonio, but Antonio tells them to stop trying. If he wasn’t happy with the life that he has been living, then there would be hesitance, and he would portray more of a sad feeling. Antonio has been receiving a lot of love from his friends like Bassanio, and all of these other people that care for him. It’s safe to say that because of all this love and kindness that he has received and given, he would be okay with his life coming to an early end. Antonio can be considered rich even though he does not have the most money or most valuable items in the world.
Revenge has to be a big factor in determining whether an individual is rich in life or not. For example, Shylock says, “The pound of flesh which I demand of him/Is dearly bought, ’tis mine, and I will have it:/ If you deny me, fie upon your law! (4. 1. 99-101).” Throughout the whole book, Shylock’s energy is focused on getting his one pound of flesh from Antonio, because Antonio use to kick Shylock and call him names in the past. Because Shylock’s attention was so focused on nothing but hurting Antonio, he ended up becoming really poor. He lost his only daughter Jessica, his jewels and riches, and he lost the pound of flesh that was promised by Antonio if he couldn’t carry out his end of a deal. Shylock could have been trying to live a normal, happy and productive life, but he chose to focus his energy on the wrong things. Doing things with bad intentions will always turn out to be a bad outcome.
When someone is of high class or has countless tangible items, it does not mean they are rich. Some of the poorest people are the ones with the utmost amount of money and while everyone might not have the potential to be rich in money, everyone has the potential to be rich in life, while encountering a lot of love and happiness in their life.