THE BRUTALITY OF PORTIA’S PLEA

An iconic argument in law and literature comes from Shakespeare’s wise arbitrator in disguise, Portia. A character clearly not free of any conflicts of interest who assumes the role of savior for her fiancé Bassanio’s friend, Antonio. The Merchant of Venice has many wonderful themes and ideas to explore. The residue of the play however generally revolves around the unconscionability of the contract bond, the infamous “pound of flesh.” One message often lost in the thoughts about the play is why Shylock requests such a bond. At the time of the play there were no Jews in England. Why then would Shakespeare pick such a theme? From the mind of the arm chair rookie writing this blog, it woul