I need another example from Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice that shows another character gaining freedom from other people. To make it easier to understand what I mean, here are my other two examples:1. In Jessica's case, she stole her father, Shylock's, ducats and jewels before running away with her love, Lorenzo, to Belmont. “Here, catch this casket; it is worth the pains” (2.6.33). Apart from the rebelling of running away, Jessica adds to it by stealing all of her father's riches. This could be her way of showing freedom and space between her and her father, because it also validates that there appears to be no respect, especially looking at Jessica's side.2. Also, Bassanio was unattached from Antonio for a while. After he had married Portia, the wealthy heiress, he forgot all about Antonio and the money he still owed to him.It wasn't until the letter came that he realized that he still had to go back and aid his friend. “Here are a few of the unpleasant'st words that ever blotted paper” (3.2.251-252).Thanks!  

Expert Answers

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Shylock's serving man Launcelot Gobbo also desires and gains his freedom from Shylock.  However, it unfolds for him in a slightly different way than he first anticipates.

In Act II, scene ii, Launcelot has a soliloquy in which he goes back and forth between his conscience and "the fiend at [his] elbow."  The fiend encourages him to simply flee Shylock and "run away."  His conscience, however, suggests that he stay in his service with the Jew (Shylock).

He meets with his father, however, before he can completely decide whether to follow the advice of the fiend or his conscience.  He explains to his father that he runs from the Jew because:

I am famished in his service.  You may tell every finger I have with my ribs.  Father, I am glad you are come.  Give me your present to one Master Bassanio, who, indeed, gives rare new liveries.  If I serve him not, I will run as far as God has any ground.

And upon that, Bassanio enters.  He counsels Launcelot to return to Shylock and take his leave of him and then to enter into service with him.  Launcelot agrees, saying, "I'll take leave of the Jew in the twinkling of an eye."

For more on this scene and Launcelot, please follow the links below.

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