Why does Shylock demand Antonio’s flesh instead of money?

Bassanio offers large sums of money to Shylock in exchange for Shylock’s forfeit of the original conditions of his bond. Shylock refuses to accept this offer, and he also refuses to justify his decision. As Shylock explains, “You’ll ask me why I rather choose to have / A weight of carrion flesh than to receive / Three thousand ducats. I’ll not answer that / But say it is my humour” (IV.i.40-43). Shylock argues that he does not have to explain or justify his decision because he has the force of law on his side. However, some of his extreme insistence on Antonio’s flesh likely comes from his desire to have revenge against a member of the Christian community that he blames for discriminating against him and stealing his daughter. As he tells Salarino in Act III, Scene i, “If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge.”

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