How did Portia talk about mercy? Was there any effect of it on Shylock? If so, give reasons?  

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pohnpei397 eNotes educator| Certified Educator

In Act IV, Scene 1 of "The Merchant of Venice," Shylock is attempting to get "his pound of flesh" from Antonio.  Antonio owes him the pound of flesh because he put it up as collateral for some money he borrowed from Shylock.  Portia asks Shylock to forgive the debt, telling him that

The quality of mercy is not strain'd,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes.

In this case, "strain'd" means forced, so she's telling him that he has to give it freely, because it's the right thing to do and it helps everyone.

It apparently does not have any effect on Shylock because he does not choose to forgive the debt and instead insists that Antonio repay the money.


parama9000 | Student

She was pleading that Shylock be merciful but it does not impact Shylock at all.

khurramshaikh | Student

portia who disguises as a lawer says to shylockwhile taking 1pound flash from the body if 1 drop fells so you will have to face the that is why shylock leave the loan on the antonio.

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The Merchant of Venice

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