A Comparison of Justice in The Tempest and Merchant of Venice
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Justice in The Tempest and Merchant of Venice
In both Merchant of Venice and The Tempest, Shakespeare proposes ideas of justice and mercy that hold true in both plays. In order to see if the actions taken were just and/or merciful, definitions of these words must be set up. If we were to assume that Shakespeare's definition of mercy was what Portia espoused in act four, scene one, specifically lines 205 - 206, the definition of mercy must be viewed in a biblical sense. Thus, in order to judge if something is merciful, one must look to see if it fulfills the qualifications of mercy in the New Testament. However, the idea of justice is quite different, for my definition of justice, I will turn to Charles Mill's definition, for, in the plays it applies the most. Mill's espoused that justice for the Europeans meant "just us," implying different standards for white Christians that for any other race or religion. Now that we have firm definitions on what mercy and justice are in the context of Shakespeare's time, it is possible to see how each of these played a role in these ...