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According to the terms of the bond, the Jew has now the right to cut a pound of flesh from near the heart of Antonio. Shylock insists on his right, and so comes to the court that his right be granted to him.
The drama of The Merchant of Venice is a legendary comedy, whose main action is so nearly tragical that the play barely escapes becoming a tragedy. It may be further classified as external, since its conflict lies in the realm of reality and is developed by natural rather than supernatural means. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, written in deals with themes such as anti-semitism, love, hatred, Christianity, Judaism, mercy and justice all of which were . The present paper is devoted to the discussion of The Merchant of Venice and the problem of law and justice that Shakespeare discusses in it. The Merchant of Venice is one the most famous Shakespearian works, where the theme of law is carefully discussed and it seen through the whole play, either implicitly oк openly.
Antonio is tried in the open court and the money is offered to him several times over. However, shylock remains adamant on his claim, and insists hat his pound of flesh be granted to him. Portia acts as the advocate, and pleads with him to show mercy but all in vain. Then ultimately she sprang a surprise upon him.
She tells him that he may cut the pound of flesh, but he must not shed even a single drop of blood as it is not in the bond, and that he should take neither less nor more than one pound. The tables are thus turned upon the Merchant of venice justice vs mercy, he is defeated, and as penalty for plotting against the life of a Venetian, he is made to change his religion and become a Christian, and all his property is confiscated by the state.
He leaves the court a broken down old man; most probably he totters to his death-bed. It can be said that it is just legal quibbles with which shylock is defeated and beaten. The legal position taken by Portia is unjust, absurd and a mere word-jugglery. It is a complete travesty of law.
If shylock has a right to the pound of flesh, his right to shed blood in taking it goes without saying. The Venitians of the play seem to be strangely ignorant of the nature of flesh and blood.
As for the second objection raised by Portia, there is nothing to prevent shylock from cutting off less than a poundsince every creditor may, if he chooses, remit a part of his dues and discharge a debtor.
After all, we need not labor the point so much.
Now it is a familiar rule of law that the right to a certain act confers the right to the necessary incidence of that act. It may also be said that the trial scene illustrates the truth that a right becomes a wrong by too much insistence on the letter of the law.
Shylock certainly had the law on his side; he had the right to cut the pound of flesh. But he insisted on the letter of the law, refused to accept money several times over offered to him, and even refused to call the doctor, because it was not in the bond.
Such insistence on the letter of the law makes his right a wrong, and, therefore, it is in the fitness of things that the same letter of the law is brought against him, and strictly enforced.
Looked at from this angle, the trial scene does not seem a mere piece of nonsense; it becomes an illustration of an essential truth. Portia provides in-depth conception Shakespearean justice in the following lines; The quality of mercy is not strained.
Therefore, Jew, Though justice be thy plea, consider this: In the age of Shakespeare the honor of women and her virginity were the most important things for a woman and when her character is called into question and proven false her whole social standing and thus her life become ruined.
When fingers were raised and allegations made on the chastity of a woman then either the blood spilled in duels of honor or the marriages dissolved.
It is only their male companions who can fight on their account to won their reputation back. Now even though Hero is ultimately washed out of the accusation but her public shaming and insult at the wedding ceremony is too much to be ignored and forgiven.
In a way this sort of humiliation heaps more filth and insult to her honor and to the proud name of her family than if she would have actually committed an unchaste act. The Merchant of Venice. Retrieved on 22 July The Jew and Shylock.In The Merchant of Venice, mercy and justice are the continuing predominant themes.
Situations occur, that doing the just act does not seem to be correct or the right thing to do.
Technically, the correct thing to do is to follow and abide by justice and the law. In The Merchant of Venice, the central themes are Justice and Mercy, Love and Hate, Appearance and Reality and Value and Worth. Together, they help us to learn about the characters and understand why they act as they do.
The Merchant of Venice is built around a series of decisive structural conflicts - Old Law vs. New Law, Justice vs. Mercy, Revenge vs. Love, Calculation vs. Recklessness, Thrift vs. Prodigality - all of which are focused upon the central dramatic conflict of Jew and Gentile or, more precisely, of Jewish fiscalism and Gentile mercantilism.
Explain the theme of mercy vs. justice as presented in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. The inspired writers of the Bible recorded a remarkable amount of material about two characteristics of God: mercy and justice. These two qualities, at first glance, might seem contradictory.
Explain the theme of mercy vs. justice as presented in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice.