Act 4

In: English and Literature

Submitted By Badman20
Words 5345
Pages 22
ACT IV, SCENE 1
Summary
The court in Venice is in session. The Duke of Venice expresses sympathy for Antonio, who thanks the Duke for the efforts he has made in dissuading Shylock from claiming his bond. Antonio holds no grudges, for he recognizes that the law must be followed. The Duke thinks that Shylock may have brought events to this stage to torment Antonio and feels that Shylock does not really intend to have his pound of flesh. The Duke asks for Shylock to be brought in. In a final attempt to dissuade Shylock, the Duke tells him that everyone expects mercy to be shown Antonio at the last moment. He also says that Antonio has been tormented enough and should now be released. It is also hoped that Shylock will reduce the amount Antonio owes him, taking pity on his reduced circumstance. Shylock, however, has sworn to collect his due and nothing will dissuade him. He could have three thousand ducats instead of flesh, but he has refused this offer consistently. He maintains that his stubbornness is the result of the loathing that he bears for Antonio.
Bassanio and Shylock argue about killing Antonio. Antonio interrupts and says that there is no point in trying to dissuade Shylock. Bassanio offers more and more of Portia's money to the Jew without any result. The Duke again asks Shylock to show mercy, reminding him that sometime he may need some mercy himself. Shylock's reply is that he will not seek pity since he does nothing wrong. He reminds the Christians that they are not guiltless, especially since they keep slaves whom they abuse. When asked to free their slaves, the Christians always refuse, saying that they have purchased them legally. In a like manner, Shylock feels justified in asking for his bond. | |
As the Duke prepares the final judgment, Bassanio tries to cheer Antonio and offers to die in his place. Just then, Salarino announces the…...

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