Merchant of Venice: Mercy and Justice Essay

1104 Words Dec 2nd, 2010 5 Pages
The Merchant of Venice
Ever been in a situation where you do not know whether to be fair or bend the rules a bit? 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. For in this case, justice means the taking of a man’s life for the greed and sick revenge of another man. One of the true morals in this play is to be careful for what you wish for. Just as Shylock asked for justice, and in the end, justice was served. Throughout The Merchant of Venice, the themes of mercy and justice are continuously contradicting when it comes to
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This meant that for the trial to be fair, the bond will need to be satisfied. It looked bad for Antonio, until Portia came dressed as Balthazar, a lawyer. Portia’s first approach was to ask Shylock to be merciful. Shylock however was disgusted by the idea like proven before. Portia talks of God and how Christians beg for mercy to reach salvation. She said that, “Therefore, Jew, / Through justice be thy plea, consider this: / That in the course of justice none of us / Should see salvation. We do pray for mercy, / And that same prayer doth teach us all to render / The deeds of mercy,” (IV.1.203-208). Being as deliberate and stubborn as he is he said that “My deeds upon my head! I crave the law, / The penalty and forfeit of my bond,” (IV.1.212-213).
After that plan fails, Portia tells Shylock that Bassanio is offering nine thousand ducats. Portia tells Shylock, “there’s thrice thy money offered thee,” (IV.1.235). The stubborn and immovable Shylock insists on his bond even after three times the original three-thousand ducats are offered to him. Finally, Portia agrees to Shylock’s demands and tells him to cut and retrieve his one pound of flesh. Just before he starts the process she brought up a very significant point to be noticed that changes the fate of the whole trial let alone Antonio’s life. She said, “This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood / The words are

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