How does Shakespeare make this passage in the play dramatic and powerful for the audience?
Shakespeare creates a very powerful and dramatic for the audience in this passage. By using repetition, tri-colons and rhetorical question Shakespeare is able to make this passage both striking and intense for the audience. Shakespeare is able to convey Shylock’s emotions about what he is feeling when he is abused by Salarino and Solanio but also is able to show the first showings of his feelings about his daughter’s elopement and the destruction of Antonio’s fleet.
The opening to the passage immediately begins with a deadly and angry serious point made by Shylock which immediately draws the attention of the audience and creates the beginnings of a build-up to Shylock’s dramatic speech by using repetition to reinforce Shylocks anger.
“I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood” and Salarino in response to this says, “There is more difference between thy flesh and hers than between jet and ivory; more between your bloods that there is between red wine and Rhenish.”
Shylock here argues that “flesh and blood” are the true measure of kinship. Shakespeare emphasises the word “my” and repeats it three times in this short section again to try to reinforce the ownership Shylock has over her but also perhaps the feelings of love and dependence Shylock has for her as well.
However Salarino and Solanio next reply with an insult, that says Shylock is completely unlike Jessica by comparing them by using the metaphor “red wine and Rhenish (white). It indicates that the two Christians believe that one’s manners, or ones willingness to be Christian, define relatedness instead of “flesh and blood”. It shows the audience again the attitude Salarino and Solanio have towards Jews and gives the audience a further insight into the relationship between Jews and Christians. Shakespeare here uses Solanio and Salarino as a way of provoking and further enraging Shylock; the audience is able to see Shylocks fury through the use of repetition, creating a dramatic and powerful start for the audience.