Laura Carmichael as Portia: ‘The quality of mercy’ | Shakespeare Solos

To mark the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death, we asked leading actors to perform key speeches from his plays. Here, Laura Carmichael speaks Portia’s lines from The Merchant of Venice, Act IV, Scene 1. Shylock is intent on taking a pound of flesh from Antonio who has defaulted on his loan. Portia, disguised as the lawyer Balthasar, tells the moneylender to be merciful.

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