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  • Several of Antonio's friends reognize him for his generosity. It is said that he has on several occasions lent or given money to friends and neighbors, particularly those who have found themselves debtors to Shylock and his colleagues. So, why exctly does Antonio need to go to Shylock in the first place? Is there nobody in his community that would be able and/or willing to help him out?
    • One theory (just putting this out there): Antonio does not feel comfortable asking his friends for assistance, whether or not he has done anything to earn their respect or their friendship. He would rather go to a career moneylender, despite his disdain towards them, simply because he will not have to plead or justify himself.
    • It's because all his ships are out at sea going to sell his merchandise -- until they return with a profit, he doesn't have any cash to give. This is why the sinking of his ships was such a big deal.
  • Okay, this is kind of silly to be the only thing that bugged at a cursory glance: I get the whole "you can have his flesh but can't take any blood" deal, but didn't anyone realize that by way of a process similar to flaying you can extract a pound of flesh... after an untold number of weeks/months/years. It would be slow and painful, but possible until the very second that the accuracy of the knife is (inadvertently?) compromised. Sorry if I give anyone nightmares.
    • It was very much a Literal Genie interpretation of the contract: A pound of flesh from the chest, to which the stipulation of "without drawing a drop of blood" is added. Sure, Shylock can take his chances skinning him, but with a very hostile crowd and magistrate in view, would he really take the chance?
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