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I am having a bit of trouble with the ''Trial Scene'' in The Merchant of Venice. I...

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kittyyusss | Student, Grade 9 | eNotes Newbie

Posted May 31, 2012 at 8:32 PM via web

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I am having a bit of trouble with the ''Trial Scene'' in The Merchant of Venice. I would like a few pointers on how shylock rebels against Antonio in the scene?

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gracious15 | Student, Grade 11 | (Level 1) Salutatorian

Posted June 1, 2012 at 12:18 AM (Answer #1)

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1.3: Shylock discusses the possibility of lending Bassanio 3,000 ducats for three months. He seems to be thinking out loud to himself about whether he's willing to trade on Antonio's credit, but then announces Antonio is a good man.
1.3: Shylock hears Bassanio take this the wrong way. He explains that all he meant by "good" is that Antonio is financially reliable. Shylock goes over all the ships Antonio will potentially have coming in soon and decides that, though it's on Antonio's credit, he'll lend Bassanio the money. Still, he wishes to speak with Antonio.
1.3: Shylock rudely refuses Bassanio's invitation to dinner. He says he'll buy, sell, and talk with Christians, but he won't eat, drink, or pray with them.
1.3: As Antonio approaches, Shylock delivers an aside explaining why he hates him. First, he says it's because Antonio is a Christian, but he goes on to explain that Antonio hurts him in his business by lending money free of interest. He also says Antonio hates Jewish people and never spares an opportunity to criticize Shylock and his method of lending with interest.
1.3: Shylock continues in his aside. He doesn't have all the money to lend right now, but he can borrow it from his Jewish friend Tubal. When Antonio shows up, Shylock stops talking to himself and greets him politely.
1.3: Shylock says he's willing to lend the money but brings up the fact that Antonio has always said he's against borrowing or lending with interest.
1.3: Shylock tells the biblical story of Jacob and his Uncle Laban's sheep, where Jacob's thrift brought him a blessing of extra income. He says this illustrates that profit through shrewd business dealings is not a sin but rather a blessing, so long as one isn't stealing.
1.3: Shylock begins to calculate what the interest would be on the sum but is cut off by Antonio.
1.3: Shylock points out that the whole situation (that is, Antonio asking for a favor of sorts) is a little absurd. After all, Antonio has constantly berated him in the Rialto (where business is done) because of his method of lending with interest, though he has always borne the harassment patiently. Shylock then brings up the all the times Antonio has scorned him, spit on him, and even called him a dog. He finds it odd that Antonio would now come to borrow money from him. He wonders (facetiously) whether he should bend down and thank Antonio for all of his meanness. Should he not consider all past wrongdoings now that Antonio wants something from him?

i hope this helped.

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