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The Merchant of Venice

Act 4
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on 4 January 2013

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Transcript of The Merchant of Venice

Setting Courtroom Conflicts Character vs. Society Character Development Dynamic Characters : The Merchant of Venice Act 4 Analysis Symbolism & Imagery Relevance to Our World Theme Devolving Characters 1. Portia -First portrayed as loyal and generous
-Devolves in Act 4 merciless

hypocritical 2. Shylock -Devolves even further than in the beginning villain

vengeful Pound of Flesh Reasoning So can I give no reason, nor I will not/
More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing/
I bear Antonio (IV, i, 60-62) Shylock vs. Society - Stage Directions

- The Duke's Statement

- Judaism vs. Christianity "We all expect a gentle answer, Jew." (IV, i, 35) “But in cutting it, if thou dost shed/ One drop of Christian blood...”(IV, i, 322-323) Portia vs. Bassanio - Trial incident

-The ring incident But life itself, my wife, and all the world/Are not with me esteemed above thy life. (IV, i, 296-297) "The Jew shall have all justice. Soft, no haste./
He shall have nothing but the penalty" (IV, i, 335-336) Character vs. Character Character Development 1. Bassanio “I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all here to this devil, to deliver you”(IV, i, 85-86) 2. Antonio Conflicts Character vs. Character Character vs. Character Antonio vs. Shylock Portia vs. Shylock “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 humor”. (IV, i, 40-42) “This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood; the words expressly are a pound of flesh” (IV, i, 104-105) 1. Women vs. Men – Gender Roles -Shakespeare empowers the female characters in The Merchant of Venice in a time when woman had very little power and influence in their societies. 2. Trust -Portia’s trust in Bassanio is broken when he gives the ring that he promised to always keep away to the lawyer who saved his dear friend Antonio, not knowing that the lawyer was in fact Portia herself -“My Lord Bassanio, let him have the ring,/Let his deservings and my love withal/Be valued ‘gainst your wife’s commandment.”(IV,ii, 467) -Shylock questions his trust in the justice of the court when the judge attempts to pressure Shylock into taking money over the pound of flesh he was promised in the bond -“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:/There is no force in the decrees of Venice./I stand for judgement.” 3. Vengeance 4. Religion vs. Religion •Shylock desires vengeance against Antonio for failing to pay the bond he made with Shylock as well as the prejudice Antonio has shown towards Shylock.
•To carry out this vengeance, Shylock desires a pound of Antonio’s flesh
•Shylock is blinded by anger; he does not realize that Portia is setting him up to be punished by the law
•The pound of flesh will do nothing for Shylock, but he wants it so that he can inflict pain on Antonio
•This scene shows that anger does not have a positive impact on people and will only lead to misery, whereas mercy does. •The courtroom scene in Act IV highlights the religious conflict throughout the Merchant of Venice between Christians and Jews

•Throughout the scene there is constant conflict between the Christian court and Shylock the Jew

•The religious conflict parallels the same religious conflict during Shakespeare’s time

•Although Shylock is made out to be the antagonist, the real antagonist is the religious conflict between Christians and Jews. Works Cited Associated Press. "Merchant of Venice Banned in Toronto." Reading Eagle 25 July 1986: 7. Print.

Shakespeare, William. The Merchant of Venice. New York, United States: A Washington Square Press, 1992. Print.

Shakespeare, William. Merchant of Venice. Toronto, Canada: Coles Notes, 2006. Print.

Smith, Rob. The Merchant of Venice. Cambridge, United Kingdom: Cambridge University Press, 2002. Print.

"Bible Statistics". Statistics Brain: Bible Statistics. Np. Nd. Web. 15 Dec 2012 Merchant of Venice banned in Toronto Questions! 1) Was Shylock treated fairly, and is his charge a result of his actions or the court's?

2) Why do you think Shylock wanted the pound of flesh rather than the money? Could you give some evidence from the text?

3)Why does Portia want Bassanio's ring so badly? Why is Bassanio so reluctant to give the ring up? "Thou'lt show thy mercy and remorse, more strange. Than is thy strange apparent cruelty; And where thou now exacts the penalty, Which is a pound of this poor merchant's flesh, Thou wilt not only loose the forfeiture, But, touch'd with human gentleness and love, Forgive a moiety of the principal." (IV,i,17-34). Relevance To Our World
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