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The Merchant of Venice

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Some men there are love not a gaping pig,
Some that are mad if they behold a cat,
And others, when the bagpipe sings i' th' nose,
Cannot contain their urine. For affection,
Mistress of passion, sways it to the mood
Of what it likes or loathes. Now, for your answer:
As there is no firm reason to be rendered
Why he cannot abide a gaping pig;
Why he, a harmless necessary cat;
Why he, a woollen bagpipe, but of force
Must yield to such inevitable shame
As to offend, himself being offended—
So can I give no reason, nor I will not
(More than a lodged hate and a certain loathing
I bear Antonio), that I follow thus
A losing suit against him. Are you answered?
Some men don’t like roast pig, others go crazy if they see a cat, and others can’t help urinating when they hear bagpipes. There’s no sense trying to explain people’s likes and dislikes. So, to answer your question. Just as there’s no clear reason why one man doesn’t want a roast pig, or why another man can’t stand a harmless and useful cat, or another can’t tolerate bagpipes, so I can’t give a reason, and I won’t give a reason (other than the simple hate and loathing I feel for Antonio) why I’m pursuing this unprofitable case against him. Does that answer your question?


BASSANIO
This is no answer, thou unfeeling man,
To excuse the current of thy cruelty.
BASSANIO
That’s no answer, you heartless man. It doesn’t excuse your cruel behavior.

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SHYLOCK
I am not bound to please thee with my answers.
SHYLOCK
I don’t have to give you answers that you like.

BASSANIO
Do all men kill the things they do not love?
BASSANIO
Does everyone kill what they don’t love?

SHYLOCK
Hates any man the thing he would not kill?
SHYLOCK
Does anyone hate something and not want to kill it?

BASSANIO
Every offense is not a hate at first.
BASSANIO
Disliking something isn’t the same thing as hating it.

SHYLOCK
What, wouldst thou have a serpent sting thee twice?
SHYLOCK
What, would you let a snake bite you twice?

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ANTONIO
(to BASSANIO)
I pray you, think you question with the Jew?
You may as well go stand upon the beach
And bid the main flood bate his usual height.
You may as well use question with the wolf
Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb.
ANTONIO
(to BASSANIO) Please don’t bother arguing with the Jew. You might as well go stand on the beach and ask the ocean to get smaller. You might as well ask a wolf why he killed the lamb and made its mother cry.

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