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In Act I, Scene iii of The Merchant of Venice, explain Shylock's words, " Yes, to smell...

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bobbyroychoud... | Salutatorian

Posted September 2, 2013 at 11:18 AM via web

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In Act I, Scene iii of The Merchant of Venice, explain Shylock's words, " Yes, to smell pork; to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into! I will buy with you ....nor pray with you."

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durbanville | High School Teacher | (Level 1) Educator Emeritus

Posted September 2, 2013 at 1:18 PM (Answer #1)

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In The Merchant of Venice, Shylock agrees to loan Antonio money, on behalf of Bassanio. Bassanio has done the negotiating and now that Shylock has agreed he wants to talk to Antonio. Bassanio invites him to "dine with us." Shylock and Antonio have a huge dislike for each other and there is an animosity between the Christians and the Jews, a lack of trust.

Shylock will not therefore dine with Antonio and Bassanio as they show no respect for his religion serving pork, such as "the Nazarite, conjured the devil into." He will not be tricked by them. He confirms that he will trade and do business "and so following" but the most important functions of eating, drinking and praying, he will not do with Christians. 

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