Mercy Vs Justice


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Same thing, hope this helps

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Mercy Vs Justice

  1. 1. Mercy vs Justice
  2. 2. What does it mean? <ul><li>Mercy : leniency, compassion, kindness or forgiveness given to somebody you have authority over </li></ul><ul><li>Justice : fairness, impartiality/validity in law/with sound reasoning, people get what they deserve. </li></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>Why the conflict? </li></ul><ul><li>They cannot be simultaneously applied. If one shows justice towards, eg. a murderer, he/she would be sentenced. But if one were to show mercy, then one would naturally let him/her off, and would that be justice to the victim? </li></ul>
  4. 4. What does it mean in MoV? <ul><li>The law in Venice does not leave space for mercy. </li></ul><ul><li>Portia: as a mutual benefit (‘him that gives and him that takes’), divine (‘an attribute…god himself’), redeeming </li></ul><ul><li>Shylock: considers retribution as important, a choice, goes by the book (perhaps only because it benefits him) </li></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><li>Antonio, as a Christian, is expected to exercise mercy towards Shylock </li></ul><ul><li>Shylock, as a Jew, is thought to be unable to show compassion. </li></ul><ul><li>But that is not what happens in the ending, when Antonio and Portia, despite speaking at length of the importance of mercy, do not show it to Shylock. </li></ul>
  6. 6. When is this theme displayed? <ul><li>Most importantly, ACT 4 </li></ul><ul><li>-Shylock refuses to show mercy to Antonio </li></ul><ul><li>-Portia’s mercy vs justice speech </li></ul><ul><li>-Everyone (duke, portia, etc.)in the end does not show mercy to Shylock, despite all that was said before </li></ul><ul><li>the prejudice between the Christians and the Jews—Antonio and Shylock (mercy and fairness is not shown in both words, actions and mentality) </li></ul><ul><li>(eg. Act2scene8, Venetians mock Shylock but sympathise with Antonio </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><li>Portia and Nerissa are merciless in their criticism of suitors (not fair to them)—prejudice & lack of mercy/justice. Casket scene(no second chance)—no mercy once choice is made? </li></ul><ul><li>Not fair in the first place for Shylock to insist on the bond regarding a pound of flesh? Does not understand Antonio’s situation </li></ul><ul><li>No mercy between Jessica/Shylock (actions and comments)—also no fairness, no right to make her choice? </li></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><li>However, the other instances show either justice/mercy. </li></ul><ul><li>ACT 4 sharply contrasts both of them, thus bringing out this theme very well. </li></ul><ul><li>The outcome of Act 4 would most probably not turn out any other way, as the prejudice is deeply etched in Venetian society. </li></ul>
  9. 9. What do the characters think of it? <ul><li>Most of characters have one-sided views on this, blinded by prejudice. </li></ul><ul><li>Portia—sees mercy as ‘mightiest in the mightiest’, and urges Shylock that ‘in the course of justice none of us should see salvation’, but goes with what Antonio suggests </li></ul><ul><li>Antonio—appears merciful, however demands his entire fortune, to ‘become a Christian’, and gives all his possessions to Jessica and Lorenzo. People are biased, thus think it’s not much </li></ul><ul><li>Gratiano—not merciful: ‘a halter gratis!’ for Shylock </li></ul><ul><li>Duke—represents justice, follows word of law </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><li>It is also influenced by the point-of-view. </li></ul><ul><li>Eg. Christians might think they are giving justice to Antonio, while Jews think they are letting Antonio off, being merciful, based on how they view each other as higher/lower. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Our reflections! <ul><li>Entire story was written slanted to Christians, so things are seen from their point of view, thus also affecting whether justice/mercy is given. In fact, the Jew’s opinions are understandable, and Christians would certainly not be persecuted the way Jews are. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s sometimes a very difficult situation we have to grapple with, subjective. </li></ul><ul><li>We believe this theme also allows the conflict between the Christians and Jews to be expressed well, and we can tell a lot about their character from this. </li></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><li>THANK YOU! </li></ul>