Merchant of Venice

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  • Topic: The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, Portia
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The Merchant of Venice Act IV Reading Questions

1. The duke opinionated what he thinks of Shylock by referring to him as “inhuman” and “uncapable of pity, void, and empty.” The Duke is not happy about Shylock wanting a pound of Antonio’s flesh and the Duke feels that Shylock will not feel bad for Antonio. 2. Antonio wants to “make no offers and use no farther means.” Antonio is grateful for what everyone has done for him, but he wants to move on with the trial so he can “have judgement” and so Shylock may get “his will”, Antonio’s flesh. 3. The Duke thinks that Shylock is doing this just to be cruel, so he thinks that regardless of anything, Shylock will accept nothing but “a pound of this poor merchant’s flesh.” 4. Shylock says “he’ll not answer” why he prefers Antonio’s flesh over three thousand ducats except that he has sworn on having “the due and the forfeit of his bond.” 5. When Bassanio tried to argue with Shylock, he says that shylock is being cruel and that even though he hates him, there is no reason to kill him. Antonio tells Bassanio that his efforts are useless, saying, “You may as well do anything almost as hard as to seek to soften that- than what’s harder?- His jewish heart: so, I beg you, make no more offers, use no farther means.” 6. Shylock uses the analogy of having slaves to make a point because he points that once you buy a slave, its property. Same case with Shylock he gave Antonio three thousand ducats so the pound of flesh is his. He says, “The slaves are ous: --- so do I answer you. The pound of flesh, which I deman if him, is dearly bought; ‘til mine, and I will have it.” He will refuse to set human property free. 7. Antonio responds to Bassanio’s words that he will not shed a drop of blood for his sakes by saying, “I am a poisoned, castrated ram of the flock, most ready for death; the weakest kind of fruit.” Antonio means that he is a weak man that’s probably not worth saving. 8. As Shylock resists the...
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