The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare

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What are some examples of hypocrisy in the play?

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Being a hypocrite is pretending to have morals or virtues one does not, in reality, possess.

Portia, even if unwittingly, displays hypocrisy when she tries to persuade Shylock to show mercy towards Antonio. She tells him that mercy is "an attribute of God himself," but does not in the end lean toward mercy for Shylock or try to persuade Antonio to practice mercy. Christians, according to Portia's speech, are implicitly superior to Jews because they put mercy ahead of justice. However, the Christians in the courtroom are willing to treat Shylock quite harshly. Portia is willing to have Shylock forfeit all the money Antonio owes him, and Antonio is hardly less harsh,...

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