i think I know what Shakespeare expected for Portia to be saying once he composed this dialog between Shylock and also Portia, and also I discovered a decent discussion on the net here.

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What I desire to understand is, what do people mean, when they quote this figure-of-speech by itself. It appears to have gained a an interpretation of its own, a proverb the in the end, embodies some meaning which probably is an alleged to be clean to everybody, yet which is no clear to me.

Is it provided by those who quote it, because that example, meant as a rejoinder or insult versus someone who appears stubborn, recalcitrant, and uninterested in the mores the the bigger society? has actually anyone seen a cataloging of other areas in literature where this quote is used, or is the quote greatly used in conversation only?


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"Strained" is a Shakesperean-era term for "forced or constrained"; it way mercy must be freely given. You can grasp this by seeing the quote in context:

The top quality of mercy is not strain"d, that droppeth together the gentle rain from sky Upon the location beneath. It is twice blest: that blesseth him the gives and also him that takes.

Portia is importuning Shylock to display mercy, however recognizing the she cannot need it. Shylock declines, of course, and this proves his undoing, for currently Portia offers his "letter that the law" attitude versus him.

A modern-day identical would be something like

Look, ns can"t force you to offer me a rest here, yet it would benefit us both if friend did.


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I think the situation where this quotation is most generally used today is quite the obverse the Portia"s plea. She was questioning for mercy however making the quite obvious allude that she can not pressure the plantiff to grant it. (Strained here an interpretation forced). The normal context today, ns believe, is come refute another persons claim to have behaved mercifully or generously by discussing that castle actually had no an option other 보다 to carry out as castle did. Example:

Well, I gave two thousand pounds to charity critical year. Only due to the fact that your accountant told you to salary it to avoid surtax. TQOMINS.


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I can"t say why world use the phrase today. Maybe it is occasionally used together a subtly sarcastic rebuff towards someone that is not demonstrating real mercy or kindnesses, but a self-serving figure of largesse.

But I believe the phrase in the Shakespeare text is tenderness imploring because that mercy towards the asker by recall the human implored the it prices nothing to display mercy — the to do so, in fact, blesses every concerned.

The "gentle rain" an allegory demonstrates this: the holy bible says (as Shakespeare well knew) that "God sends the rain to loss on the just and also the unjust"; the is no that God is ultimately not also in a position to pass judgment, but that that is merciful, generally giving better than we deserve, and also is quick to forgive those the truly seek the same with a bowed heart.

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It "straineth" not to it is in merciful, but overall makes one richer in character. It expenses one nothing to forgive, except one"s very own pettiness. To pardon is no petty, nor is it to it is in brushed aside together a casual thing, yet is ultimately large.