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Merchant Of Venice - How is Act 4 Scene 1 dramatically effective?

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Introduction

Hayley Kelly Merchant Of Venice Task How is Act 4 Scene 1 dramatically effective? This play centres on two main characters, Antonio who is an extremely wealthy merchant and Shylock a very wealthy Jew. The main reason of hatred between Antonio and Shylock is that they both lend out money to people but Antonio wouldn't charge interest and therefore would be making much more money than him. They also didn't see eye to eye because they were both brought up in different lifestyles and religions 'I Hate him for he is a Christian'. When Antonio borrows money off Shylock he then at this time came up with the bond and Antonio was therefore humiliated 'Laughed at my losses...mocked at my gains'. The court scene is the climax of the play; the tension created between Antonio and Shylock is one thing that makes this scene dramatically effective, also injustice is shown because of the fact that Antonio is seated and Shylock is standing before the Duke, this gives the impression that Shylock is the one on trail. ...read more.

Middle

Portia's speech is very poetic; it shows mercy and a form of power, 'mercy seasons justice' this represents the qualities that kings have it scares them, mercy is more important as it is in the heart of the king. Another example of dramatic irony would be the fact that Portia and Nerissa are in disguise, in Shakespeare's time a young man would play the part of a women dressed as a man. After Portia's speech shylock seems to change and becomes very sarcastic and he thinks the difference mercy and justice is 'I stand here for law'. At the beginning of the play Portia seems an evil character, a very pushy person, and not happy with what she has got but throughout the scene she proves herself to be very clever. Portia changes her mind about justice and mercy. She seems to be very taunting towards Shylock, we as the audience seem to feel different towards her, as we know that she is in disguise, we now realise what her intention is and why she is doing this, it starts to show quite a lot throughout her speech. ...read more.

Conclusion

Shakespeare uses a variety of language in this scene, which adds to the drama. For example he refers to shylock as 'the Jew' and often uses animal language, they are seeing him as inferior and he has no individuality in the court. He is a complicated character, he can use elegant language but also uses coarse language because he's angry with the Christians and he wants revenge another example of this would be his long speech referring to animals 'gaping pig,' he says this because he thinks there is no point in explaining himself because there is no need to in his opinion. An example of his elegant language would be 'When it is paid, according to the tenour'. Portia uses sophisticated language as well as elegant language she's shows it when talking about Shylock and his bond, she uses legal terminology when she pursues the case, she seems to make herself clear and her speech about mercy is persuasive. Gratiano mimics Shylock in a nasty way, he seems to take the mick out of him, 'Are wolfish, bloody, starved, and ravenous.' ...read more.

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