english “the merchant of Venice”


After much talk of mercy in Act 4, we arrive at the fairly severe punishment of Shylock in this play: he is forced to surrender half of his wealth to the state and bequeath the other half to Jessica and Lorenzo on his death. He is also forced to convert to Christianity. Does this punishment fit his crime? And IS this a merciful punishment? Why or why not? In at least a paragraph, make your case using evidence to support your opinion.

In your response, you must provide specific textual examples to support your ideas (from the original, not the translated, version of the text), and you must cite the correct Act, Scene, and Line numbers for those examples. For instance, if you wished to cite lines 17-19 from Act 2, Scene 1, you would parenthetically cite them like this: (Merchant, 2.1, 17-19).

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