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The Merchant of Venice Isolation Quotes

How we cite our quotes: (Act.Scene.Line). Line numbers correspond to the Norton Shakespeare edition.

Quote #4

Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you, and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain'd me with,
Supply your present wants, and take no doit
Of usance for my moneys, and you'll not hear me.
This is kind I offer. (1.3.18)

Shylock's offer seems too generous not to come with a catch. Still, perhaps he's trying to be the bigger man of the two. He might be offering up his friendship, and seeking Antonio's, because he sees these unusual circumstances as a chance for the two to break their cultural isolation from each other.

Quote #5

Alack, what heinous sin is it in me
To be asham'd to be my father's child!
But though I am a daughter to his blood,
I am not to his manners. O Lorenzo,
If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife,
Become a Christian and thy loving wife. (2.3.2)

Jessica is isolated. She neither fits in with her father (and implicitly her Jewish background) nor is she a Christian. This tension causes her distress. She's willing to abandon her father and her religion to resolve it and join a community she can relate with more.

Quote #6

Why, all the boys in Venice follow him,
Crying, his stones, his daughter, and his ducats. (2.8.3)

Rather than look on Shylock with pity, the boys of the town make a mockery of him. This will likely make him even more enraged. Shylock was isolated before, but now that he's lost Jessica, he needs mercy more than ever. Not getting it, he'll turn his wrath against the people who have mocked him and his religion.

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