Shylock is a Jewish fictional character in the William Shakespeare play The Merchant of Venice. The character is thought to have been inspired by The Jew of Malta a play by Christopher Marlowe. In the play Shylock is a Jewish usurer, who lends money to a Christian merchant from Venice named Antonio. When Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock demands a pound of flesh be cut from the man. His revanchism is further compounded by his daughter Jessica eloping with Antonio's friend Lorenzo and becoming a Christian. In the Anglosphere, the word Shylock is used as an epithet to describe a cruel or merciless Jew, particularly in matters of finance.