Act 3 Scene 1. Michael and Kayle. Summary of the Action. Salarino and Solanio are discussing recent news of Antonio’s ship sinking. They hope it is a rumour being spread.
Act 3 Scene 1
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Salarino and Solanio are discussing recent news of Antonio’s ship sinking. They hope it is a rumour being spread.
Shylock walks into the scene, and accuses Salarino and Solanio of being accomplices of Jessica during her flight. They respond by saying that all children leave, and Jessica is allowed to leave, and that she is much better than Shylock – as she has given up her Jewish faith.
Shylock doesn’t know if the Antontio’s ships have crashed, but hopes they do. This is followed by Shylock’s famous speech about Antonio thwarting Shylock – ‘He has hindered me half a million’ and ‘Hath not a Jew eyes?’
A serving man from Antonio calls Salarino and Solanio away, they see Tubal coming and leave
Tubal enters and has a discussion with Shylock – he was out searching for Jessica, but he couldn’t find her. He does return with the knowledge that Antonio’s ships have crashed and he will be bankrupt, and that Jessica is recklessly spending money
Foreshadowing of slightly later in the scene – at the start they’re talking about the ships crashing, which foreshadows the later information that the audience is given by Tubal. Salarino and Solanio says ‘Yet it lives there unchecked that Antonio hath a ship of rich lading wrecked on the Narrow Seas;’
Literary and Dramatic Devices – Rhetorical Questions
Rhetorical questions are used to great effect in Shylocks speech, for example ‘Hath a Jew not eyes?. This creates some sympathy for Shylock, and also reveals that he can be quite an eloquent speaker, both positive traits where previously he was almost exclusively presented negatively
Monologues are used by Shylock in his most famous quote from the play – ‘He has hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends’ is a classic example of a monologue. This places a heavy emphasis on his point, and also reveals important information about his character. This is repeated a little later in the scene with a monologue about the value of the things Jessica is losing, with the same effect
Literary and Dramatic Devices – Inter-textual Links
Intertexual links – there are links to the Bible throughout the scene. One quote is ‘The curse never full upon our nation till now’, a reference to the prophesy of the destruction of Jerusalem by Jesus Christ. Another is ‘the devil himself turn Jew’, referencing to the devil. Both of these are used because they are (or were at the time) well-known stories which can convey a powerful message quickly.
‘There is more difference between thy flesh and hers than between jet and ivory; more between yours bloods than there is between red wine and Rhenish;’ is one example, where he repeats the same message to emphasize the point, in this case demeaning Shylock.
It is also used in Shylock’s monologue, where he repeats the same point; effectively that Jews are also human. ‘Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?’ This is also used to emphasize the point, but here the emphasis creates sympathy for Shylock.