The Merchant of Venice Wealth Quotes
How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton Shakespeare edition.
"My daughter, O my ducats, O my daughter!
Fled with a Christian! O my Christian ducats!
Justice, the law, my ducats, and my daughter," (2.8.15-17)
Here Solanio says that Shylock flipped out when he learned that Jessica ran away with a Christian and helped herself to a bunch of his ducats. Solanio claims that Shylock is not sure which is more upsetting—the fact that his daughter is gone or that his money has been stolen. This makes Shylock out to be an insensitive, money-grubbing jerk, but later in the play, Shakespeare offers an alternative point of view (see 3.1.14).
P.S. Even if Shylock did confuse his daughter and his ducats, as Solanio suggests, is this really any different from the way Bassanio goes after Portia for her money? In both cases, human relationships are indistinguishable from monetary wealth.
Out upon her! Thou torturest me, Tubal. It
was my turquoise! I had it of Leah when I was a
bachelor. I would not have given it for a wilderness
of monkeys. (3.1.14)
In the previous passage Shylock was made out to be a jerk who cares more about money than his own family. Here, however, we see Shylock in a different light as he responds to the news that Jessica has traded a family heirloom for a pet monkey.
The turquoise ring Jessica discarded is important to Shylock because it was a gift from his dead wife, not because it's worth a lot of money. So here we can see that Shylock isn't exactly the money-grubbing villain he's been made out to be. His pained response to Jessica's actions reveals that he is human and loved his wife very deeply.
I'll have my bond. Speak not against my bond.
I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond. (3.3.5-6)
Shylock is often portrayed as a money-grubber, but here we can see that he's not at all interested in profiting off of Antonio and Bassanio. Shylock wants to collect his pound of flesh and even refuses to accept triple the amount of money he's owed, which suggests that money isn't everything to him.