Why didn’t Shakespeare stage Shylock’s reaction to his daughter’s elopement rather than having Solanio report it?Act 2

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amy-lepore eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Keep in mind, too, that Shakespeare often has important events "reported" as opposed to staged in front of the audience so that each of us has to imagine that event.  In our minds, the event will be scarier, sadder, happier, etc. than what we may see on the stage since the scene itself rarely affects each watcher in exactly the same way.  So, the playwright leaves it up to us individually to imagine the outcome, therefore solidifying the correct response in the heart of each audience member.

sagetrieb eNotes educator| Certified Educator

Shakespeare structured the event this way because what is most significant about it is the way Salarino and Solanio mercilessly taunt Shylock about this and, even more important than that, Shylock's response:  he grieves, and they make fun of him. Furthermore, at this same moment everyone discovers Antonio's ship was lost at sea, putting Antonio at the mercy of an enraged Shylock, mocked by his daughter as well as by the Christians.

dk3006 | Student

It shows the christains contempt for shylock in the way the imitate him with the "my daughter,my ducats" speech.

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The Merchant of Venice

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