Scene i: This is the climax of the play. Although every character in the room, except Antonio, attempts to persuade Shylock to be merciful, the treatment of Shylock is no better than it has been throughout the entire play. Gratiano constantly insults him, Bassanio criticizes him, the Duke constantly refers to him as "Jew," and even Antonio, who needs Shylock's mercy, calls him hard-hearted. In fact, the only character in the scene that treats Shylock in a respectful manner is Portia.
Respectful or not, Shylock is determined to have his bond. When Shylock explains why, he...
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