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'Seven pounds' - from the film of the same name - would seem to be a reference to Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, in which Shylock demanded a 'pound of flesh' in payment of the loan to Antonio if he failed to pay the debt.

Antonio had taken the terms in a moment of desperate wishful thinking, and when his ships foundered and he was ruined. Shylock demanded his 'pound of flesh' - citing Antonio's heart as the warranty, which meant that Antonio must die.

It seems to be a literal reference - the weight of any individual organ (heart, brain, etc) is not seven pounds.


'Pound of flesh' refers to an onerous debt, one that is either unable to be paid (but demanded), or one that is far in excess of the amount owed, or one in which the payment is set to adamantly exacting standards (Antonio's lawyer before the Duke points out that the contract calls for a pound of flesh and if he takes one bit more (or any blood) he will be guilty of taking the life of a citizen.

So this interpretation of the title would put some interesting fillips on the entire narrative of the film Seven Pounds: an onerously imposed contract, an adamant demand of a creditor, and a borrower who had offered other payment and been rejected. This certainly will make for some spirited conversations about the film.

If you'll recall your Shakespeare, you might remember that in The Merchant of Venice, payment of a debt involved giving a pound of the debtor's flesh to the creditor. Harsh. It's that saying we sometimes encounter about someone demanding a pound of flesh in compensation for something.

In the movie plot, Ben Thomas, Will Smith's character, gets into an auto accident when he is using his cell phone while driving. He kills his fiancée, who was riding with him, and six strangers when he loses control of his car and slams into another vehicle. The seven fatalities caused by him result in his having to incur a debt - a debt of a pound of flesh for each victim. It's a self-imposed burden, which is a departure from the meaning as the Bard used it. The movie takes us for a ride through the final payments on the debt. And, though no single donation Ben Thomas makes weighs seven pounds, the total weight of any singe person's internal organs is seven pounds.

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โˆ™ 2015-07-16 13:35:58
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Q: In the movie Seven Pounds what does the seven pounds refer to?
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What does the title of the movie 7 Pounds refer to?

The seven pounds refers to the phrase 'seven pounds of flesh', which comes from The Merchant of Venice. It is to pay a penance for a wrong doing. For example; a hand that is cut off from a person who had stolen. For the film, the main character gives away 7 pounds of his own flesh.

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In Victorian Times, the phrase "A pound of flesh" refers to a huge debt somebody owes. In the movie, Tim Thomas is trying to change the lives of 7 people in order to make up for the 7 people he killed when texting while driving 2 years ago, one being his wife. So, Seven Pounds refers to him owing "a Pounds of flesh" to 7 people. Therefore adding up to 7 Pounds of flesh. The seven pounds is a lung, a kidney, his corneas, bone marrow, his beach home, a part of his liver, and his heart .

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