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Through dialogue the two characters tell us that Antonio’s ship has been lost at sea, and while doing so reinforce what a good man he is. This provides intensity to the next piece of information they offer, which concerns Shylock, whom they introduce as the “devil” as he walks on stage. They then taunt the man with the fact that his daughter has run away from his house, aggravating his hurt over this, and then proceed to cause more trouble by saying “do you hear whether Antonio have had any loss at sea or no” (46). Of course Shylock responds with anger, saying “let him look to his bond.” It seems as though they unwittingly make a bad situation worse, heightening the dramatic tension in the process.
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