Feature

The Fullness of Mercy

Western Literature & the Illumination of a Divine Attribute
by Christine Schintgen

The treatment of the theme of mercy in Western Literature confirms what Shakespeare wrote in The Merchant of Venice—namely, that "it blesseth him that gives and him that takes." In other words, mercy benefits not just the one on whom it is bestowed, but also—just as much, if not more—the one who bestows it. Mercy is the decision, on the part of a person who has the power to exact retribution or just payment from another, not to demand this payment or retribution. Properly understood, mercy does not conflict with justice; rather, it constitutes a deeperform of justice, one that recognizes that although the . . .

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