Shakespeare Themes - Mercy
It is in the play Merchant of Venice that Shakespeare most accurately reflects on the nature of mercy - it is God-like, it has a good effect on the giver and the receiver, without it we could never enter Heaven because of our sins.
In Hamlet Claudius knows he will receive God's mercy, but only if he gives up his ill-gotten gains, which he is not prepared to do.
Macbeth has put himself beyond mercy - he is merciless to others and doesn't even think of repenting. He is so far stepped in blood that "returning were as tedious as go o'er".

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