“I am sorry for thee. Thou art come to answer
A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch
Uncapable of pity, void and empty
From any dram of mercy” (Shakespeare 162).
Throughout the quote, the duke takes pity on Antonio. Shylock and Antonio’s deal is an example of an external conflict it involves two people in a struggle. Recently, Antonio suffered losses from another external conflict with nature. Adding to his pain, Shylock chooses to go through with exacting his payment, presumably in retaliation for his loss of his daughter and money, which is another incident of an external conflict. Considering what has transpired between Antonio and Shylock, one could interpret their relationship as an ongoing external conflict.
2. Internal Conflict: A struggle inside a character’s mind involving conflicting emotions or ideas
“Good sir, this ring was given me by my wife.
And when she put it on, she made me vow
That I should neither sell nor give nor lose it.
That ’scuse serves many men to save their gifts.
An if your wife be not a madwoman,
And know how well I have deserved the ring,
She would not hold out enemy forever
For giving it to me. Well, peace be with you”
In the quote, Bassanio faces an internal conflict about his wedding ring. Obediently, Bassanio tells “Balthazar” that the reason why the ring cannot be a gift is because Bassanio promised his wife to never part with it. However, when Balthazar argues that the young lawyer has done a significant service to Bassanio and Antonio, Bassanio feels conflicted and reluctant to give the lawyer his ring. Torn, Bassanio weighs the deed of saving Antonio’s life ...
... middle of paper ...
..., Nerissa comments on Gratiano’s statement about his own wife. Though Gratiano’s reason behind his statement is his deep friendship with Antonio, Nerissa is understandably displeased with his priority of Antonio over herself. Having just been married, Gratiano and Bassanio’s priority of Antonio over their wives does not necessarily provide an example of a weak relationship in their marriage, but a close friendship with Antonio, whom Gratiano and Bassanio have known for much longer than their wives. However, this part of the scene may have placed doubts about Gratiano and Bassanio’s loyalty to their wives in Nerissa and Portia’s heads. Later, Portia and Nerissa test Bassanio and Gratiano with their rings, which both had sworn to their wives to never part with, further cementing the idea that this part of the scene planted seeds of doubt in Portia and Nerissa’s minds.
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