In the trial scene (act 4 scene 1), Shakespeare uses many different dramatic techniques to make the tension in the court room rise and build. He also uses dramatic irony and many other techniques to engage an audience in this particular scene in the play. These techniques would work have worked on an Elizabethan audience or a modern day audience. Although, these two eras do not share the same views on some of the things Shakespeare wrote about, the same mood and ideas are given across through Shakespeare's use of dramatic techniques.
The previous knowledge which the audience holds about the previous acts and scenes makes the tension build because the audience knows of the bond which is held between Antonio and Shylock. This fear of the bond is even stronger when we enter the trial scene because the audience can see just how determined Shylock is to receive his pound of carrion flesh. Shylock is persistent to get his bond from Antonio. Shylock's determination to get his flesh from Antonio makes him seem even more villainous and evil than the audience previously though.
Another thing which the audience previously knows is the fact that Antonio has called out Bassanio to tell him his final words; this indicates to the audience that Antonio is expecting himself to be killed by Shylock. This builds the tension because the audience is unsure when Shylock will kill Antonio, or if he will have mercy on him and spare his life.
We already know from our precious knowledge that Venice's legal system is strong and cannot be altered. Shylock uses this as an advantage to himself because he understands that he will be allowed to take his bond. If they do not let him, then others will see a flaw in Venice's legal system and they too will try to find ways of escaping their punishments.
The trial scene is set in a court in Venice, a male dominated... [continues]
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