Merchant of Venice Chapter Titles Act 4

An inhuman wretch, / Uncapable of pity, void of mercy Duke;Speaking to Antonio. Antonio has come to defend himself against Shylock. “an inhuman wretch incapable of pity, without any feelings of mercy.” The Duke, officially in charge of trying the case, is obviously on Antonio’s side, sympathizing him by saying this. The duke of Venice greets Antonio and expresses pity for him, calling Shylock an inhuman monster who can summon neither pity nor mercy.
A lodged hate and a certain loathing Shylock;Speaking to Bassanio. lodged: deep down, stuck in him. Expressing his feelings towards Antonio “other than the simple hate and loathing I feel for Antonio.” Shylock offers no explanation for his insistence other than to say that certain hatreds, like certain passions, are lodged deep within a person’s heart. Shylock hates Antonio, and for him that is reason enough.
How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend’ring none? Duke;Speaking with Shylock. Saying to treat others as you would like to be treated. “An eye for an eye.” Saying he should be willing to give out mercy. “How can you ever hope for mercy for yourself, when you don’t give any now?”
Live still and write mine epitaph Antonio;Speaking to Bassanio. “Bassanio, the best thing you can do is to keep living and write an epitaph for my gravestone.” Shows how much Antonio trusts Bassanio and how much he is putting into his hands. Antonio is filled with melancholy, he is a depressed and sick man. In this quote, he presents us with a sadness that could be perceived as suicidal. None-the-less, he is ready to sacrifice himself for his best friend without reservation.
Not on thy sole but on thy soul Gratiano;Responding to Shylock as he sharpens his knife on the sole of his shoe. Play on words. Represents the hardness of his heart. Shylock whets his knife, anticipating a judgment in his favor, and Gratiano accuses him of having the soul of a wolf. Gratiano is talking about Shylock’s “harsh” soul and his lack of mercy.
We do pray for mercy, and the same prayer doth teach us Portia (as Balthazar);4.1e. Speaking to Shylock with Bassanio. Saying to treat others as you would like to be treated because that is what everyone wants and that is what prayer gets us to. Reference to the Lord’s Prayer. Because mercy is an attribute of God, Portia reasons, humans approach the divine when they exercise it. Portia says that mercy is a blessing to both those who provide and receive it.
A Daniel come to judgement Shylock;Speaking to Balthazar, the young Daniel found in the Apocrypha judged the elders who spied on and accused Susanna. His wisdom saved her from death. “Someone who makes a wise judgement about something that has previously proven difficult to resolve.” Shylock’s mistake is that he is premature in calling Portia a Daniel, because he is the one who represents the Elders, and Antonio signifies Susanna. This inversion comes only a few lines later, when Portia not only frees Antonio, but convicts Shylock of attempted murder.
Are there balance here to weigh the flesh? Portia (as Balthazar);Speaking to Shylock. “Is there a scale here to weigh the flesh?”
If thou dost shed / One drop of Christian blood Portia (as Balthazar);Speaking to Shylock and with Gratiano. Portia as Balthazar stops Shylock. She tells Shylock that he can take a pound of flesh as Antonio has failed to return his debtwithin a time. She further comments that Shylock should take a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body without spilling the drop of blood, but if he spills a drop of Christian blood, then he will be guilty of plotting to murder a Venetian Christian. The penalty for such crime is that he has to give all of his wealth to the State of Venice. Shylock declares that he will just leave. Portia stops him and says since he conspired to kill a Venetian, he actually has to forfeit everything he owns.
Take my life and all Shylock;speaking with Balthazar, Duke, Gratiano and Antonio “No, go ahead and take my life. Don’t pardon that.” He says that he will just stop as he is accused for his plan.
She made me vow / That I should neither sell, nor give nor lose it Bassanio;Speaking with Balthazar who is convincing him to let go of the ring. He held his ground and stood strong about not letting the ring go because of the promise he made but as soon as Antonio recommends to just let it go he does so. it shows that Bassanio values Antonio over Portia and the previous promise that he had just made about what the ring signifies.
I’ll see if I can get my husband’s ring Nerissa (as Clerk);Speaking directly to Portia. After Gratiano enters with Bassanios ring that he broke his promise to give, Portia accepts it and Nerissa says that Gratiano would probably do the same

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