Merchant of Venice Themes - Mercy
This is one of the most famous descriptions of mercy. As it makes its point in a general way it is often found in poetry books, losing little of its impact by being separated from its Merchant of Venice context. And what do we learn of mercy in the extract? - mercy is gentle, ("as the gentle rain from heaen"), it has a good effect on those who give it and on those who receive it ("It blesseth him that gives and him that takes"), it is particularly impressive in those who have power over others ("'Tis mightiest in the mightiest"), it comes ultimatley from God ("an attribute to GOd himself"), it can soften strict justice ("mercy seasons justice"), it is something we can pray for ("we do pray for mercy").

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