Is the trial in act 4 of The Merchant of Venice considered fair? Why or why not?

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The trial in act 4 of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice regarding the "pound of flesh" loan contract between Shylock and Antonio is a farce. The court's ruling against Shylock should be rendered invalid and unenforceable, and Shylock should be given a new trial.

Portia perpetrates a fraud on the court, Shylock, Antonio, and everyone else involved with the case or present at the trial by falsely impersonating a Doctor of Law, and she likely violates Venetian law by practicing law without a license, which is to say without a Doctor of Law degree.

Portia's uncle, Bellario, a true Doctor of Law, perpetrates a fraud on the court with the letter he writes to the Duke claiming to be ill and by presenting Portia (in the guise of Balthasar) as "a young doctor of Rome," meaning a qualified lawyer, which she is not. Bellario also conspires with Portia to defraud the court and aides and abets Portia's false personation of a Doctor or Law by means of his letter.

Nerissa falsely impersonates a law clerk (if...

(The entire section contains 775 words.)

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