The Duke of Venice
I preside over the city with a sense of justice, fairness, and authority. When Antonio and Shylock bring their case to my court, I find myself in a precarious position, torn between enforcing the law and advocating for mercy. Even though I express a clear dislike for Shylock and sympathy for Antonio, I uphold the integrity of the Venetian legal system by insisting the case be judged fairly. It’s only when Portia, disguised as a legal scholar, ingeniously interprets the bond’s terms that I can grant mercy to Antonio without compromising Venice’s legal principles. My character emphasizes the struggle between strict adherence to the law and the application of compassion, underscoring the themes of justice, mercy, and authority.