Development of The Play in Act 3 Scene 1 How do you think Act 3 Scene 1 affected the development of the play in ways such as plot, setting, Character devlopment, theme or imagery?

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The plot if The Merchant of Venice is certainly advanced as Antonio learns in the first scene of Act III that not one, but two of his ships have met with ruin. With these tremendous financial loses, Antonio will not be able to repay his debt to "the Jew."  So, much of the tension of the play lies in Shylock's famous speech with its forceful rhetoric and its purpose of justifying Shylock's brutal violence against Antonio in exacting a pound of flesh from Antonio. 

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