| Quote #7
Antonio's sarcasm is pretty blatant here – he cannot fathom the possibility that Shylock the Jew is just being "kind." We also notice Antonio's use of the word "gentle," a term that shows up quite a bit in this play. For Antonio and many of the other characters, "gentle" means a few things: 1) considerate behavior, 2) aristocratic heritage, and 3) gentile (Christian). In other words, Antonio is saying that Shylock will never be "gentle" (considerate or upper class) because he's not a Christian.
| Quote #8
PRINCE OF MOROCCO
It's interesting that an African Prince should have to apologize for his complexion to a woman who is lower in stature than he is. Even though Portia is disdainful of the prince, his graciousness is impressive. At the same time, however, the prince's speech stands out as being more formal and eloquent than the speech of other characters in the play, which makes him even more of an outsider. In fact, this reminds us of how Shylock's repetitious style of speech also differentiates him from the Christian characters. What's up with that?
| Quote #9
Alack, what heinous sin is it in me
Jessica is ashamed to be her father's "child" because 1) Shylock is Jewish, which makes her Jewish, and 2) Shylock's has rude "manners" (read: he's not gentle or gentile). We also notice that, in Jessica's mind, marrying a gentile (a non-Jew) is synonymous with her own conversion from Jew to Christian. (This concept is from 1 Corinthians 7:14: "The unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband.")