I KNOW, I KNOW: Shylock is the bad guy in The Merchant of Venice. The demand for a pound of flesh was beyond what justice can allow, and we should all be happy the strong and plucky heroine is able to set things right. Despite all this, Shylock has the better of the argument; indeed, he is the only one who argues (until Portia comes along). Everyone else merely offers him progressively larger sums of money to buy out the contract, on the assumption that, as a money-grubbing Jew, they only need offer a high enough price. Shylock gets to the hypocrisy involved (IV, i, starting at 89):

What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchased slave,
Which like your asses and your dogs and mules
You use in abject and slavish parts,
Because you bought them. Shall I say to you,
'Let them be free! marry them to your heirs!
Why sweat they under burdens? Let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be seasoned with such viands'? You will answer,
'The slaves are ours.' So do I answer you.
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought, is mine, and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgment. Answer; shall I have it?

Now, no one would be arguing either contract to be enforceable (for slavery or the pound of flesh)(well, maybe the Robert Nozick of Anarchy, State and Utopia, but the equivalence is well-drawn.

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