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Merchant Of Venice Portia Outwits Shylock In Act Iv Scene I

1029 words - 5 pages

Merchant of Venice - Portia Outwits Shylock in Act IV Scene I



"Portia: Have by some surgeon, Shylock, on your charge

To stop his wound, lest he do bleed to death.


Shylock: Is it nominated in the bond?" Act 4 Scene 1 lines 255-257


This is the time that Portia traps Shylock into a corner and saves the life of Antonio at the same instance. Portia builds up her defences as Shylock lets his down as he believes that he is going to gain his pound of flesh from Antonio's breast nearest the heart.


As soon as Portia enters the court room she applies herself to try to cunningly outwit Shylock. When she initially enters the court room she ...view middle of the document...

This gives Portia a fall back and also allows her to later reinforce her point that the Jew showed no consideration for the victim and also that he expresses his want for his bond and forfeiture many times over.


As Portia continually gains the trust of the Jew by stating that his bond is and how lawfully he may claim his forfeit, she is still building Shylock up for the gradual fall of his confidence and eventual cut of his possessions. Shylocks eagerness at this point as he believes that he is going to be able to collect what he wants allows him to express feelings that later Portia will use against him. This eagerness plays to Portia's plan and allows her yet further entrapment Shylock.


At this point Portia's overall strategy is working as she hopes and this co-operation from Shylock to willingly stab himself in the back and then leave with nothing allows the strategy to work out properly and well.


At this instant Antonio makes an arousing speech to his friends, especially Bassanio. Even this speech doesn't hinder Shylock in his greed for his forfeiture and he eagerly waits ready to pounce.


This is the pivotal point in Portia's plan. She states to Shylock what he is allowed, pound of flesh cut from the breast nearest the heart. Then Portia suddenly turns Shylock's trust and reliance on the judge and his own personal greed for the forfeiture.


"Portia: This bond doth give thee here not a jot of blood." Act 4 Scene 1 line 304


At this Shylock's whole ideal is shattered. If there is no blood then how can he collect his forfeiture? If he isn't able to spill a single drop then how will he transfer the pound of flesh to the scales? His whole dream in pieces before his eyes. Through Portia's planning she had trapped him by making sure that he...

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