Dont make it sound like your opinion.
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People in high power show very little mercy to their subjects. In Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice", it becomes evident that people in positions of social prestige do not show mercy to those whom they view as subordinate. This is how you get to a good analytical thesis:. If you can write a good thesis, the rest of the paper will come easily and be much stronger than trying to force something vague to work--that will inevitably lead to a paper that is not worth your time or your instructor's. Think of how certain elements function in the text, and how seemingly unconventional things are juxtaposed.
Teaching William Shakespeare's "The Merchant of Venice"
That is where the reader and writer's interest lies, and it is how you can come to a better understanding of what you are writing about, and engage your audience. All times are Eastern To what extent is Shylock defined by his Jewishness? To what extent is he defined by his profession? How does she compare to the men around her? Is Bassanio a worthy husband for her? Discuss how the trial scene reveals a conflict between justice and mercy.
Is the conflict resolved? During the final trial, Shylock asks the disguised Portia what might possibly force him to become merciful. Portia stresses that the quality of mercy is never strained, clarifying what remains at stake in the argument.
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As God is merciful and it is an attribute of the almighty himself, humans should also exhibit mercy. We can trace this understanding of mercy, as narrated by Portia, as the manner in which the difference between the Old and New Testament was understood by the Christians of Elizabethan period.
Hence, the spirit of the law gets more precendence over the letter of the law. God is a forgiver in the New Testament. Rather than outright punishment, God offers salvation to those who want to be forgiven, actively seeking mercy.
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Hence, his character was written to fit into the theme of good versus evil. Shylock is therefore, unable to show compassion to his adversaries by default.
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The audience of the sixteenth century would not expect a character like Shylock to show any mercy, therefore, it was up to the Christian actors to play this role. Yet, she corners Shylock, strips him of the bond, his money, estate and dignity. She is the one who forces him to kneel and beg.
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The question remains whether it was right to return Shylock only half of his goods, taking away what might be more valuable to him- his profession and religion. The characters force Shylock to convert, and thus disable him from his moneylending profession. Hence, we see that it is self-interst that gives rise to this act of mercy, not from his concern for the fellow man. Contrary to how Portia presents, the play Merhant of Venice does not manage to incorporate mercy is such a sweet, gracefull and selfless theme.
Shylock claims throughout that he is only applying whatever lessons he has learnt from his Christian neighbours. This claim of his becomes an essential part of his argument during the trial as well as his character.
However, this resentment of his is inspired by the injuries and insults that Antonio subjected to him in the past. One could argue that Antonio fully realizes his culpability in this situation when he was nearly executed. When the trial ends, Antonio still remains unfair to Shylock, demanding that he convert to their religion. However, he inflicts upon him no other punishment.
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