Act IV, scene i of The Merchant of Venice not only provides the climax of the play but also encapsulates all of its major themes. In this scene, the concepts of racism and justice combine to create the play's final results and to reinforce the points made through previous scenes.
Racism is apparent in the scene from its inception. The duke, who is in pretrial conversation with Antonio, calls Shylock "a stony adversary, an inhuman wretch,/Uncapable of pity, void and empty/From any dram of mercy" (ll. 4-6). Shylock's inhumanity stems from his religion, and the implication...
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