Merchant of Venice

Outline the dukes attitude towards Antonio and Shylock at the beginning of the trial scene

Act 4 scene 1

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The Duke is very sympathetic to Antonio. We need to remember that the court is pretty much a Christian boys' club. Antonio is a respected man of business and likely to be thought well of by the Duke. The Duke disparages Shylock calling him inhuman and incapable of pity,

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.