The Merchant of Venice

by William Shakespeare

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Conclusion Of Merchant Of Venice

What's the conclusion in The Merchant of Venice, and how does it relate to Shylock?

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Portia, disguised as a doctor, cleverly manipulates the law to show that Shylock isn't entitled to spill any of Antonio's blood although he's entitled to Antonio's flesh. If he does, his land and goods could be confiscated by Venice. Shylock sees no way to get Antonio's flesh without bloodshed, so he asks for the money instead. Portia then points out that Shylock will be subject to execution if he takes the money. Knowing he's been beaten, Shylock tries to leave with the original 3,000 ducats, but Portia won't allow it as he has already "refused it in open court". Shylock resigns to leaving empty-handed, but Portia cites another law that says if any foreigner "by direct or indirect attempts/[s] the life of a citizen," he loses half his goods to the citizen and the other half to the state. Now Shylock's life depends on the mercy of the Duke, and he spares Shylock's life even though the Duke takes his wealth. Shylock wants to die, but Antonio suggests to the Duke to pardon the state's part of the fine if Shylock agrees to the following: Antonio will get half of Shylock's goods to be put in trust for Lorenzo and Jessica, Shylock must become a Christian, and Shylock must leave all his goods to Jessica and Lorenzo upon his death. Shylock leaves, a broken man, stripped of all his financial and spiritual supports.

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