How is other people's treatment of their slaves comparable to Shylock’s treatment of his “pound of flesh,” according to Shylock? How does this argument test Venetian law? Why is it significant, given Shylock’s Jewish faith and heritage?

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In Act IV, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock argues in court that the law supports his claim to a pound of flesh to satisfy the terms of his contract with Antonio and Bassanio . The latter offers him money, and when Shylock refuses, doubles the amount of his offer. The Duke then asks him how he might hope for mercy if he does not offer it himself. Shylock counters that since he has not done anything wrong, why should he fear...

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