Merchant Of Venice Trial Scene Essay

The trial scene in The Merchant of Venice is an integral part of the play because it is through this scene that situations are set up for the characters with major importance to the plot. The results of this trial cause several important events in The Merchant of Venice, such as Shylock’s demand and Antonio’s injuries and death. The two main characters of The Merchant of Venice, Shylock, and Antonio, find themselves together in a court for the first time to negotiate a contract.

The scene is very complex due to its complexity, which is why it has been summarized here to understand the main points. The trial scene begins with a discussion between Shylock and Antonio. The Jew argues that he has been wronged by Antonio because he was forced into an agreement against his will when he lent money to Antonio, who was unable to repay him on time. In this trial scene, Shylock insists on being paid back in the flesh if he does not receive what is owed to him according to the contract drawn up in Venice.

The Duke’s arrival interrupts their discussion, and a trial scene takes place in which both Shylock and Antonio give their statements. The Duke protects the rights of Antonio by demanding that Shylock accept three times the value of what he claims from Antonio if he does not want to be banished from Venice. The Duke believes that part of Shylock’s motivation for making such a claim is because he hates Antonio as a Christian. To put an end to this conflict, the Duke offers Shylock another option: take Venice as his property if he cannot have flesh without spilling blood.

The Duke also gives Shylock permission to kill anyone who may offer him violence in this situation, which prompts Portia, one of the main characters in The Merchant of Venice, to tell Shylock that he cannot kill someone who offers him violence. The Duke is unaware of the fact that Portia is a prominent lawyer and gives her permission to speak if she wants to protect Antonio from being killed. The trial scene finishes with a speech by Portia, which causes Shylock’s bond to be nullified based on a legal technicality that invalidates all contracts drawn up by Jews in Venice.

The verdict forces Shylock to accept the choices given to him by the Duke, one of which is killing Antonio without spilling his blood. The result of this situation is that Shylock has the right to take the flesh but not spill any blood while doing so. To add insult to injury, Bassanio who is Antonio’s friend offers Shylock any pound of flesh in his own body to which Shylock agrees on the condition that he be given until the next day to make this choice.

The trial scene ends with people celebrating because they believe that Portia has saved the life of Antonio by making Shylock accept these new conditions. The trial scene helps not only to set up some situations for characters that are important for The Merchant of Venice but also concludes some other events started before. The trial scene deals with conflicts between different social classes – The Duke defends the rights of a merchant (Antonio) against someone who belongs to a lower class (Shylock) while Portia uses her legality expertise and knowledge to protect the rights of Antonio.

The legal implications of The Merchant of Venice are highlighted in this scene. The trial scene also focuses on Shylock’s character, which is very complex and considered by many to be one of the evilest sinners in The Merchant of Venice. The trial scene increases the tension between Jewish and Christian characters like Shylock and Antonio, but also helps convince other characters such as Portia that even though they come from different social classes, they have enough things in common to work together when needed.

The trial scene also foreshadows future events such as Bassanio becoming a wealthy man after marrying Portia and Shylock accepting money for his own daughter’s dowry because he has been forced into poverty because he was banished from Venice. The trial scene manages to bring many different characters together within one scene which explains The Merchant of Venice’s overall success. The trial scene in The Merchant of Venice is known as the turning point of the play because after this, things are starting to become more complicated for all main characters involved.

The trial scene is also important because it helps the reader understand how much Shylock hates Antonio just by listening to his words. The Jews were persecuted during the period The Merchant of Venice was set in and therefore Shylock’s speech reflects some underlying anti-Semitic tones present throughout The Merchant of Venice. It should not come as a surprise that Jewish people would be treated badly at some points during these periods due to The Merchant of Venice’s negative portrayal of Shylock.

The trial scene starts with the type of language that is generally used throughout The Merchant of Venice because it sets up a specific mood for The Merchant of Venice as a whole and because The Merchant of Venice has been criticized for its anti-Semitic language. The Duke appears to be just and well informed, but at the same time, he ignores Portia’s presence and gives her permission to speak only if she wants to defend Antonio, which portrays The Duke as not being very fair towards women in general. The Duke also seems ignorant about the legal proceedings even though he is supposed to know everything happening within his dukedom.

The reader should not be surprised by this particular situation since The Duke seems like a weak character in The Merchant of Venice who is quite easily manipulated by the other main characters. The trial scene also includes three different witnesses who all provide information that is supposed to help Antonio but instead leads to his death because The Duke and Portia manipulate the situation and ask them questions to portray Antonio in a bad manner in front of everyone despite knowing that this will lead to Shylock’s victory at the end.

The trial scene begins with The Duke pointing out that Antonio has breached his contract with Shylock which makes The Duke seem like someone who does not tolerate lawbreaking. The reader should take into account that throughout The Merchant of Venice, The Duke has often been portrayed as someone who likes money, so people should not be surprised about The Duke’s eagerness to punish Antonio for his debt instead of seeing the actual situation from a different perspective.

The Duke also states that Shylock is entitled to have a pound of Antonio’s flesh, which demonstrates The Duke as someone who has no choice but to punish Antonio because The Duke wants Shylock off his back. The trial scene portrays The Duke as a weak leader and manipulator who does not mind sending people he knows nothing about to their death to simply refrain from dealing with the situation directly.

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