The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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The law which Shylock has trusted to provide him with a simple solution turns out to be less reliable and more deceptive than he had imagined. Discuss. My deeds upon my head! i crave the law,the...

The law which Shylock has trusted to provide him with a simple solution turns out to be less reliable and more deceptive than he had imagined. Discuss.

My deeds upon my head! i crave the law,the penalty and forfeit my bond
act 4 scene 1 201-2

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gbeatty eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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This statement seems a fairly straightforward observation: yes, it is true. There's not that much to be said about it directly.

However, it can tell us a lot about Shylock, and about Shakespeare. Look at the gap between words and emotion at other places in the play, including those spoken by Shylock. He should know that there is a gap between words and meaning, but here he seems not to. This may indicate a gap between how he sees spoken words and how he sees written words.

It also shows that Shylock has a kind of reverence for the written word....

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janeyb eNotes educator | Certified Educator

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