Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

830 WordsJun 20, 20184 Pages
William Shakespeare’s Merchant of Venice is a story about man seeking justice for the forfeiture of his bond. Shylock the Jew created a bond loaning three thousand ducats to his rival Antonio. In the event that the loan could not be paid back, Shylock was entitled to a “pound of flesh from the breast” of Antonio. Antonio’s invested the money in his merchant ships hoping to gain profit. Unfortunately he loses his ships at sea, losing everything Shylock had loaned him. Shylock happily takes Antonio to court in hopes of receiving that pound of flesh as a result of the forfeiture of his bond. However due to manipulation of the court by an illegitimate lawyer, Shylock is ruled as the guilty party of the case. Shylocks’ sentencing from the court…show more content…
The impartial Duke once again tries to bend the law by persuading Shylock to take Bassanio’s offer of six thousand ducats to compensate for the three thousand Antonio owes him. Shylock counters with a key point arguing that the Duke and other higher position authorities own slaves and no one could not tell them how to treat them because they own them:”You have among you many a purchased slave…you use in abject and in slavish parts, Because you bought them. Shall I say to you, ‘Let them be free!’…You will answer ‘The Slaves are ours’.” (4.1-90-9) According to the laws of Venice, which all should abide by, Shylock owns that flesh and no person, not even the judge, has the right to tell him what to do with it. Once again the court is showing bias towards Shylock, further displaying the corruption of this court. The final point in conveying the aggressiveness of this court to go against Shylock occurs during the closing argument from Portia, disguised as a lawyer named Balthazar. Portia argues that Shylock was in fact legally justified in obtaining a pound of Antonio’s flesh. However she then points out that if he sheds one drop of blood when he cuts it, Venice will then have the right to confiscate his lands and property. Portia shows her conflict of interest against Shylock by then saying “Thou shalt have justice more than thou desir’st.” (4-1.315) This quote means
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