The quality of mercy is not strained...

The quality of mercy is not strained.

  • Truth sits upon the lips of dying men.

    The proverb tells the truth that a person who is on deathbed spells out only truth and he would not utter a lie. As a dying person is at the last moment of life, naturally he wants to expose what is in his mind and so he tells the truth alone.

  • This line is from the epical poem - Sohrab and Rustom - written by Mathew Arnold. Sohrab was Rustom’s son but Rustom did not know this. The spear hurled at him by Rustom mortally wounded Sohrab. While he is on his deathbed, Sohrab says that he is Rustom’s son but Rustom does not believe this and so he expresses his doubt regarding his statement.

  • Sohrab says that truth sits upon the lips of the dying men and so a dying person would not utter a lie. This statement is very agreeable even now. When a dying person gives a statement regarding a case which is called as dying declaration the court accepts it as a death statement and no other evidence is needed for the case. Because at the time of the dying, the person will have little ego which might have forbidden him from telling the truth so far. The egoless person will automatically tell the truth to all concerned. This is the universal truth. So, we can believe that the statement of the dying persons will be always true.

  • The quality of mercy is not strained.

    This Biblical echoing statement means that no one is compelled to show mercy upon one’s fellow beings and upon others and that mercy has to be shown spontaneously as the showering of monsoon rain to cater the needs of the people.

  • This statement is found in the trial scene of Shakespeare’s - The Merchant of Venice. In that trial scene – Portia - in the disguise of a learned judge, appealed to Shylock to show mercy upon Antonio who had borrowed money from Shylock. But Antonio failed to repay the borrowed money in time and so the case came to judicial enquiry. The disguised Portia pleaded Shylock to show mercy saying that the quality of mercy is not strained. It is just the brevity and profundity of the preaching of Jesus i.e. the Sermon on the Mount. Jesus says, “Blessed are the merciful for they shall obtain God’s mercy. But Shylock refused to show mercy and he met consequences. So showing mercy for those who deserve it is what is required. When it is showed, it gets not strained.

  • The quality of mercy is not strained.


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