merchant of venice quotes

‘The villainy you teach me I will execute, and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction’ – Shylock justice and mercy: – Shylock is determined to get revenge on Antonio – desires justice and feels the injustice of racial segregation
‘The quality of mercy is not strained, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven’ – Portia justice and mercy: – being merciful is a natural thing (just like the rain) and it is not a hard thing to do
‘It is enthronèd in the hearts of kings, It is an attribute to God himself’ – Portia justice and mercy:- A merciful king is the most impressive and is greater than power, majesty or law- Humans should also be merciful as God is merciful – this is based on the New Testament ‘forgive and forget’ and offering salvation- Shylock believes in the old testament ‘an eye for an eye’ therefore this reasoning does not work with him
‘If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his humility be by Christian example? Why, revenge!’ – Shylock justice and mercy:- Shylock believes that Christians are hypocritical about their mercy and want revenge as much as Shylock does- Shylock believes that both religions should be treated the same way and Antonio should get the punishment he deserves, not getting away with it just because he is a Christian
‘He shall have merely justice and his bond’ – Portia justice and mercy:- Portia comes back to Shylock with the full force of the Venetian justice, stripping away his wealth and religion – the quality of mercy here can be questioned- Elizabethan audience would’ve enjoyed it
‘An inhuman wretch, incapable of pity, void and empty from any dram of mercy’ – Duke justice and mercy:- Used to describe Shylock before the trial starts, showing that the judge is sympathetic towards Antonio and Shylock is unlikely to get a fair hearing- They are trialled by a Christian court – this isn’t really fair towards Shylock- Shylock is meant to die according to the Venetian law, but gets to keep half his wealth and becomes Christian but is this truly mercy?
‘Such is the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of her dead father’ – Portia love (family love):- Strongly wants to find her own husband but still obeys her father’s will and goes through with the lottery of the caskets
‘Since this fortune fall to you, be content and seek no new’ – Portia’s father in the lead casket note love (family love): – her father loves her dearly and wants the best for her
‘I’m his daughter in blood, not his daughter in manners’ – Jessica love (family love): – rejects her father’s religion and runs away from him, taking with her his wealth
‘O my ducats! O my daughter! O my ducats!’ – Shylock love (family love):- Shylock cares about money at least as much as he cares about Jessica and doesn’t truly treasure her
‘Our house is hell’ – Jessica love (family love): – has a rocky relationship with her father and hates her house. Shylock is also quite controlling of Jessica but is also trying to protect his jewels by doing this
‘I shall be saved by my husband, he hath made me Christian’ – Jessica love (family/romantic love):- Jessica is glad that she is no longer a Jew and loves Lorenzo a lot for saving her from that life- their marriage might still not work out due to the prejudice against Jews and their differing religions
‘I would my daughter were dead at my foot, and the jewels in her ear’ – Shylock love (family love): – Shylock cares about money more than Jessica – would rather have her dead with the jewels than have her alive and back home- adds to Shylock’s cold, villainy side as he doesn’t show love towards his daughter, making us think of him negatively- might simply have said that due to anger and shockwealth and money:- Shylock prioritises money over his daughter
‘When we are both accoutred like young men I’ll prove the prettier fellow of the two’ – Portia (talking with Nerissa) love (friendship):- Portia speaks freely with Nerissa and confides in her (talks about the suitors)
‘My purse, my person, my extremest means lie unlock’d to your occasions’ – Antonio love (friendship/romantic):- Antonio would literally sacrifice everything for Bassanio and loves him deeply, looking after him- causes Antonio to make the bond with Shylock and kickstarts the plot
‘To you, Antonio, I owe the most in money and in love’ – Bassanio love (friendship/romantic):- Bassanio know that Antonio loves him and takes advantage of it, constantly coming to him to ask for money- Shows that Bassanio has already asked for money multiple times in the past
‘Life itself, my wife, and all the world, Are not with me esteemed above thy life’ – Bassanio love (friendship/romantic):- Bassanio also loves Antonio dearly, saying that he would give everything to save Antonio- Says he would even give up Portia – maybe his doesn’t truly love Portia
‘In Belmont is a lady richly left, and she is fair’ – Bassanio love (romantic):- The first description that Bassanio gives of Portia is that she is rich – mainly wants to marry Portia for money- They might have a shaky marriage in the future
‘Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear’ – Bassanio love (romantic):- Shows that Bassanio loves Portia for her wealth
‘Her gentle spirit commits itself to yours to be directed as from her lord, her governor, her king’ – Portia love (romantic):- Shows that Portia really loves Bassanio and is willingly submitting herself to him, contrasted with the start of the play when she expresses her dislike at the caskets
‘Yes, to smell pork, to eat the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into’ – Shylock’I will not eat with you, drink with you, nor pray with you’ – Shylock hate:- there is a strong hate between the Christians and the Jews as they are often insulted by the Chistians
‘Prodigal Christian’ – Shylock (talking to Jessica) hate:- Shylock really hates Christians and believes that they are too proud and up themselves, using money extravagantly
‘Cut-throat dog’ and ‘cur’ – Shylock (commenting on Christians’ names for him) hate:- Christians think that Jews are beneath them and constantly insult them due to their religion- phrase also used sarcastically to emphasise Shylock’s ridicule at the idea of lending Antonio money – doesn’t really want to be involved with him but he likes money
‘Ancient grudge’ – Shylock hate:- Shylock is determined to get his revenge from Antonio and the ongoing feud between Christians and the Jews adds to Shylock’s desire
‘Why, all the boys in Venice follow him, Crying his stones, his daughter, and his ducats’ – Salarino hate (religion):- all the citizens of Venice mock Jews, even the children and this adds to Shylock’s hate for Christians- he is being treated cruelly leads to Shylock becoming a cruel man and making him determined to have his bondfriendship:- Gratiano, Lorenzo, Salarino and Solanio create an atmosphere of a Christian society as they mock Shylock together
‘How much I have disabled mine estate By something showing a more swelling port’ – Bassanio deception:- Bassanio appears to be a very rich man but is actually highly indebted to Antonio- appears to be sophisticated but actually spends his borrowed money frivolously
‘In Belmont is a lady richly left’ – Bassanio deception (relationship):- Bassanio appears to quite like Portia but in reality he mainly wants her money first and loves her second- this causes Antonio to make the bond with Shylock which is the integral part of the plot
‘That they shall think we are accomplishèd with that we lack’ – Portia deception (physical):- Portia dresses up as a man to go to court as women were not allowed to enter court at the time- Allows Portia to express her true intellectual and shows how she is a strong, quick-witted woman
‘All that glisters is not gold’ – note in gold casket deception (physical):- Prince of Morroco chooses the gold casket which does not contain Portia’s portrait- suggests that the appearance of something does not necessarily determine its true value- Morroco’s superficial reasoning leads to failure – thinks that only the gold casket is as beautiful as Portia
‘So may the outward shows be least themselves’ – Bassanio’Those crispèd snaky golden locks… to be the dowry of a second head’ – Bassanio’Thus ornament is but the guilèd shore to a most dangerous sea’ – Bassanio deception (physical):- Bassanio knows that appearances can be deceptive drawing him away from gold and to the lead casket as it has a humble appearance – uses many metaphors to describe the deceptive nature in humans and nature, showing that he is a wise man and knows that looks can be decieving- is rewarded with Portia’s portrait in the casket
venice deception (physical):- appears to be a prosperous city, bustling with trade and tourism, but has many underlying problems to it- the Jews are outcasted from society, having to live in ghettos with curfews. They are constantly mocked by Venetians
‘An unlessoned girl, unschooled, unpractised’ – Portia deception (personality):- Portia uses those words to describe herself but we can see that she is actually very strong and smart from the trial scene where she cleverly controls the flow of the court- She is also able to cleverly manipulate language and make jokes – Her freedom is constricted as women during those times cannot show their true potential
‘Let all of his complexion choose me so’ – Portia deception (personality):- Portia appears to be a ‘fair’ girl, seeming very polite and educated- Actually makes racist comments about the Prince of Morroco behind his back- Racism was common during those days – the slave trade supported the British economy
‘A villain with a smiling cheek’ – Antonio deception (personality):- Shylock appears to be kind to Antonio and Bassanio for once, lending them money without interest but still asks for the pound of flesh in the end- might also be due to the prejudice against Jews at the time leading him to think that they are evil
‘In sooth I know not why I am so sad’ – Antonio wealth and money:- having wealth doesn’t equal to happiness

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