Justice and Mercy in the Merchant of Venice Essay Sample
In the tribunal room scene of The Merchant of Venice. justness is handed back and Forth between the Christians and Shylock. unlike clemency. Shylock is unable to experience any compunction for Antonio and the Christians because of the hatred he has for them. Stubbornness and hatred can do bad luck ; the morally superior have a right to justness.
As the test scene begins. the Duke speaks approximately Shylock as an cold wretch. incapable of clemency ( 4. 1 3-6 ) . The Christians think of Shylock as obstinate and cruel and will merely mention to him as “the Jew” . Shylock does non have regard and has ne’er received regard from the Christians. so hence. Shylock is non merciful toward the Christians. Despite what the Duke had merely said about Shylock. when Shylock enters the tribunal the Duke tells him that everyone expects Shylock to demo clemency and non take Antonio’s flesh ( 15-34 ) . But. Shylock went to tribunal ready to take Antonio’s flesh that he is entitled to harmonizing to the contract. Usurer does non desire to be paid with ducats. non even three times every bit much as what he lent to Antonio. Shylock merely wants from the Christians what was promised to him by jurisprudence.
Bassanio offers Shylock six thousand ducats on top of the three 1000 ducats. so that Shylock does non travel through with taking a lb of Antonio’s flesh. Bassanio is seeking to protect Antonio and convey him to justness because Antonio had no control over the crashing of his ships. Bassanio said that he is willing to pay ten times what he already offered and put his manus. caput and bosom on the line as collateral ( 204-07 ) . Although the Christians do non talk respectfully to Shylock. they are vulnerable and wholly at his clemency. But Shylock does non experience any ground to demo clemency.
In response to Shylock’s refusal of Bassanio’s offer. The Duke asks Shylock “How shalt 1000s hope for clemency. rendering none” ( 87 ) ? Shylock does non believe he is making anything incorrect. He is merely taking what is truly his. what is legal. Shylock compares supporting his contract with the Christians supporting their right to handle slaves nevertheless manner they feel. Shylock said: what if he were to state the Christians non to work their slaves so hard and allow them get married their girls and allow them eat the same nutrient. what would the Christians say? Shylock said that they would state “the slaves are ours” . significance that the Christians believe that they are free to handle the slaves nevertheless manner they feel because they own them. Shylock feels as though he has the same right to hold his contract with Antonio and said that if he is refused his right so the Torahs of Venice have no authorization ( 88-102 ) .
The Duke sends for a justice from Padua for farther penetration on the instance of this contract. Steping in for that justice is a recent visitant of his. Balthazar. who is really Portia disguised as a adult male to seek to assist Antonio. However. even though she is on Antonio’s side. it appears as though she is being just to Shylock. When Bassanio asks the Duke to flex the jurisprudence so that Shylock does non acquire his manner. Portia interjects. stating that that is non possible because a edict can non be changed because that would take to many bad legal determinations. To this Shylock responds “A Daniel semen to opinion. yea. a Daniel! O wise immature justice. how I do honor thee” ( 218-19 ) ! Shylock is mentioning to a wise justice named Daniel from the Bible and he means that the justice comes with justness.
Portia besides entitles Shylock to the lb of Antonio’s flesh because the money was non payed back in clip but she insists that Shylock show clemency and to take the money alternatively.
Shylock will non demo clemency. he merely wants his contract to be fulfilled. “By my psyche I swear there is no power in the lingua of adult male to change me. I stay here on my bond” ( 235-37 ) . In response to Shylock’s obstinacy. Portia warrants him to take a lb of flesh from Antonio’s bosom. and Shylock’s reactions to her finding of facts are infantile because he gloats as if the justice is on his side stating such things as: “ So says the bond. doth it non. baronial justice? ‘Nearest his heart’—those are the really words” ( 248-49 ) . He clearly expresses his hatred for Antonio.
Shylock even inquiries Portia’s order to hold a sawbones return attention of Antonio’s lesion so that he does non shed blood to decease request does the contract call for a sawbones? Portia merely believes it to be human decency. so that Antonio does non decease but Shylock merely responds with. he can’t happen it in the bond ( 252-257 ) . Shylock is really pleased with how the instance is traveling in his favor and although on the other side of the knife. Antonio is managing the finding of fact laudably.
Antonio does non kick or talk with hatred to Shylock. He even thinks of his decease as fortunate because he does non hold to populate the remainder of his yearss in poorness like most luckless work forces do after losing their wealth ( 261-67 ) . Antonio even tries to soothe Bassanio so that he does non experience guilty for Antonio deceasing for being unable to pay back a debt on Bassanio’s behalf. Antonio said that he does non repent paying for Bassanio’s debt. he said. “For if the Jew do cut but deep plenty. I’ll wage it immediately. with all my heart” ( 275-76 ) . Fortunately for Antonio. his humbleness will honor him.
Portia tells Shylock that he will acquire more justness than what he hoped for. “Thyself shalt see the act ; for as 1000 urgest justness. be assured thou shalt have justness more than 1000 desir’st” ( 310-12 ) . Portia said this to Shylock after stating Shylock that the contract does non allow Shylock to hold any of Antonio’s blood. So if Shylock were to cast any blood. his land would be taken from him by the province of Venice ( 305-07 ) . If this be the jurisprudence. Shylock submits to taking the money ( three times the loan ) and allowing Antonio travel. Bassanio agrees with giving the money but Portia tells Shylock that he is non entitled to the money any longer because he had already refused it publically ( 333-34 ) . Shylock is told that he must now travel through with the contract and roll up the flesh. but he can merely take one lb precisely. no less. no more. non even a fraction of an ounce or Shylock will be killed and his land taken ( 319-327 ) . So justness has turned in the favor of Antonio and Bassanio now.
Portia besides tells Shylock that since he had purpose to kill Antonio. Antonio’s obligated to half of Shylock’s belongings. while the other half will travel to the province and Shylock’s life is in the custodies of the Duke ( 342-58 ) . The Duke. contrary to Shylock’s deficiency of clemency. forgivenesss Shylock’s life and depending on Shylock’s co-operation. he will cut down the sentence of giving the province half of Shylock’s belongings to merely a all right ( 363-67 ) . Antonio besides shows clemency.
Antonio is willing non to take half of the belongings. alternatively give his half of Shylock’s belongings to Shylock’s son-in-law and girl. As portion of Antonio’s trade Shylock must go Christian and put his son-in-law in his will to possess Shylock’s belongings when Shylock dies ( 375- 85 ) . Antonio has no job demoing clemency. Beforehand. Portia even asks of Antonio if he will demo any mercy towards Shylock. The Christians do look morally superior to Shylock. but what Portia had done may non hold been honest.
Portia could hold been doing up the jurisprudence about Shylock non being able to cast a bead of Antonio’s blood. How else would you take flesh without casting blood. The tribunal and Portia was traveling to let Shylock to cut Antonio before Antonio spoke bravely and Humbly ( 259-76 ) . around the clip when Portia said acquire a sawbones to do certain Antonio didn’t dice. So Portia could hold really good made casting no blood up. every bit good as the jurisprudence about giving up land because of purpose to kill. She might hold made up the jurisprudence that Shylock will decease if he takes any less or more of a lb of flesh. The jurisprudence that Shylock must follow through with the contract because he already refused the money might hold besides been made up. Anyone would hold done the same thing if they had Portia’s speedy humor but it is still non moral. She cheated Shylock’s justness for Antonio’s.
Usurer ended up acquiring nil in the terminal. he was merely able to maintain his life and half of his land. so long as he got baptized a Christian and gave over his belongings to person he would non desire to give it to. He could hold gotten three times the loan in the beginning but his obstinacy and hatred kept him from giving in. Alternatively Portia disguised as a attorney fooled Shylock into acquiring nil. The Christians did demo Shylock clemency when Shylock showed none but there is non honesty in their actions. So they are non morally superior to Shylock. merely merciful.
Greenblatt. Stephen. Cohen. Walter. Howard. Jean E. . Maus. Katharine Eisaman. The Merchant
of Venice ( 4. 1 ) . 2008. The Norton Shakespeare. ( Based on the Oxford Edition ) . Second
Edition. New York & A ; London: W. W Norton & A ; Company. 2008. 1159-68. Print.