The Merchant of Venice - Act 4, Scene 1 Summary & Analysis

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Act 4, Scene 1 Summary

The Duke calls Shylock into the courtroom and tells him that everyone is expecting him to relent at the last moment and show Antonio mercy, as Antonio has already lost so much. However, Shylock tells the Duke that he expects the Duke to honor the contract and allow him to take a pound of Antonio's flesh. Shylock reminds the Duke that if he rules otherwise, Venice's charter could be endangered. Bassanio calls Shylock hard-hearted, and the two argue. Antonio tells him that arguing is useless, so Bassanio offers Shylock double the amount of the debt if he will drop the case against Antonio. Shylock turns him down, telling Bassanio that he would not even take ten times the dollar amount in lieu of the pound of flesh. The Duke asks Shylock how he thinks he will ever be shown mercy if he offers none himself...

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This section contains 969 words
(approx. 3 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy The Merchant of Venice Study Guide
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The Merchant of Venice from Shakespeare for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.