College Papers

No she justifies how mercy affects society too.

No Wait…Please! Have Mercy!    Mercy is not as freely given as it is taken. In Shakespeare’s Play, The Merchant of Venice Portia portrays mercy to how it is not forced upon for the reason that it is natural and should be perceived as such. She illustrates what is mercy and correlates it through religion, politics, and society to prove how being merciful helps the person you extend mercy to as well as yourself to better outline its importance and self-benefits to Shylock. Portia explains mercy through religion about how “that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy”  (4.1.207-208), and as such, is displayed between both Christians and Jews. Additionally, she references how “it is an attribute to God himself” (4.1.201) depicting that those who act out of mercy are displaying abilities above that of normal men. But, Portia best explains this through how “We do pray for mercy” (4.1.206), stating that we ask for mercy along with the fact that it is the same prayer that instructs us to display it among others as well. There are other examples to further backup her claim as she justifies how mercy affects society too. Portia connects mercy to society through how it is in those of the most tenacious men and that it displays godly attributes to himself and others. She announced that mercy is “‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest” (4.1.194) explaining that it’s the strongest trait in the strongest people. This quote I believe portrays the events leading up to this moment on the grounds that the play revolves around society and relationships and that despite the fact that Antonio has done Shylock wrong in the past the events leading up to this moment from Antonio settling their agreement to Antonio not following up on said agreement will prove Shylock the bigger man if he chooses to show mercy not vengeance. In addition to comparing mercy to religion and society, Portia decides to make another comparison to politics.Politics and mercy interlock with one another as “it is enthroned in the heart of kings” (4.1.200), which is that kings are a symbol of power and rule their country with an iron fist, so when you are expressing mercy you are expressing the power of a king. Along with how she illustrates mercy as “the throned monarch better than his crown” (4.1.197) as well. Furthermore, she goes on to say that “mercy is above the sceptered sway” (4.1.199) and that it is an “earthly power doth then show likest God’s when mercy seasons justice” (4.1.202-203). Ultimately asserting that mercy stands taller than the scepter, which represents the king’s power and authority, and that it views superior inside the king than what his crown exhibits on the outside. Moreover explaining how a king’s power resembles that of God’s when he accompanies mercy with justice as well. Climatically, Portia defines and explains mercy to Shylock by conveying the idea that mercy is a blessing to both those who give and receive it. But, she notices that he is in pursuit of one goal, to exact revenge upon Antonio. So she presently states that if he will not show mercy he shall receive punishment for his actions since everyone needs mercy from God. Conclusively, she advises Shylock to understand that whether Christian or Jew, to give mercy benefits not only others but also one’s self and that God shall reward you for this.