The Merchant of Venice: Quotes 51-60

51 How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend’ring none? -Duke
52 Not on thy sole, but on thy soul, harsh Jew. -Gratiano (pun: Shylock is sharpening his knife on the sole of his shoe. But Gratiano is talking about Shylock’s “harsh” soul and his lack of mercy.)
53 Can no prayers pierce thee? -Gratiano
54 (Explain) “For I never knew so young a body with so old a head.” -Duke (reading Bellario’s letter) ‘Though this doctor (Portia) may look young, (s)he is very wise, beyond his (her) age.’
55 According to Shakespeare, what is mercy? The quality of mercy is not strained.It droppeth as the gentle rain from heavenUpon the place beneath. It is twice blestIt blesseth him that gives and him that takes. -Portia (as Balthazar)
56 (Explain) “Take then thy bond, take thou pound of flesh, But in the cutting it, if thou dost shedOne drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods Are by the laws of Venice confiscate.” -Portia (as Balthazar) The bond only promised Shylock one pound of flesh if Antonio failed to pay the ducats, so Portia intelligently points out that if Shylock sheds any blood, he will be breaking the bond, and therefore the law as well.
57 (Explain) “This ring, good sir? Alas it is a trifle.I will not shame myself to give you this.” -Bassanio As an excuse to not give Balthazar (Portia) the ring, Bassanio says that the ring is just a cheap thing, and that (s)he deserves much more.
58 How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a naughty world. -Portia
59 (Explain) “Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way of starvĂ©d people.” -Lorenzo Lorenzo is thanking the women for his newfound fortune/inheritance from Shylock because they were the ones who won the court case.
60 (Explain) “Well, while I live, I’ll fear no other thingSo sore as keeping safe Nerissa’s ring.” -Gratiano ‘I hope I’ll be able to remain faithful to Nerissa, and that she’ll stay with me.’