The Merchant of Venice Act IV, Scenes 1-2: Summary and Analysis

William Shakespeare

Act IV, Scenes 1-2: Summary and Analysis

Act IV, Scene 1
New Character:
The Duke of Venice: highest authority in Venice

Bassanio and his attendants are back in Venice and wait with Antonio in the presence of the Duke to discover the fate of the merchant of Venice. Shylock enters the court, and the Duke makes a personal appeal to him to not only spare Antonio’s life but also, in light of the merchant’s recent losses at sea, to reduce the amount of the debt. But Shylock will have none of it, demanding that the bond be executed. When questioned on his motives, Shylock responds that he simply hates Antonio and is not obliged to have any particular justification. Bassanio offers Shylock twice the amount of Antonio’s...

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