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Reference Guide

The Merchant of Venice - Reference Guides

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TM permacharts The Merchant of Venice StructureThemes AIN PLOTONEYRIENDSHIPPPEARANCE VS. INNER WORTH MMFA Act IIntroduction Presentation of setting, main Antonio is the most clear symbol of friendship Basis for central plot; Antonio borrows 3000 ducats It is most apparent in choosing caskets for Portias characters, and central themes Shylock loans from Shylock, using a pound of flesh as surety hand in marriage; only a worthy suitor will understand His friendship with Bassanio is idealized ntonio 3000 ducats for Bassanios trip to A nner worth (see Symbols) i Link between all plots He makes himself and everything that he owns available Belmont to woo Portia The bond is a pound Bassanio, in choosing the lead casket, demonstrates to Bassanio Bassanio has squandered his fortune and seeks to of Antonios flesh his knowledge that external appearances may be arry Portia for money; that they fall in love is a bonus m Bassanio rushes to his aid on learning of Antonios plight Act IIDevelopment Bassanio leaves Venice for misleading Extreme materialism, as represented by Shylock, When Antonio gains half of Shylocks wealth in court, elmont the same night that Shylocks daughter B SYMBOLS is frowned upon by society e secures a portion for Lorenzo h elopes Antagonism between Jews and Caskets Shylock refuses to forfeit the debt; revenge is more Christians is shown Portia detests every suitor LOVE The gold casket is inscribed Who chooseth me shall important than money Act IIIRising action Rumor of shipwreck (Antonio) Romantic love is seen in marriages of Bassanio to ain what many men desire; the silver casket is g CHRISTIAN VS. JEW Bassanio chooses correct casket and marries Portia, Lorenzo to Jessica, and Gratiano to Nerissa inscribed Who chooseth me shall get as much as he Portia Gratiano and Nerissa marry Shylock Theme parallels mercy vs. revenge Love allows people to see with their souls (e.g, Bassanio deserves; and the lead casket is inscribed Who demands payment of debt BassanioGratiano can choose the correct casket, Jessica can steal from Christians persecuted Jews throughout the Middle hooseth me must give and hazard all he hath c o Venice PortiaNerissa to Venice in disguise t nd betray her father because she loves a Christian, ges; they were banished from England at the end of a A Prince of Morocco is concerned with surface value; ct IV Climax Court scene Antonio is saved by A Gratiano becomes more of a gentleman through love) 13th century the deaths head in the gold casket represents Portia Shylock loses all, including his religion Jews did not return in significant numbers until the end OINCIDENCE C transitory nature of worldly goods Act VConclusion All couples are reunited of the 17th century This is more a feature of the plot line than a theme Prince of Arragon is concerned with his own value; Shakespeare probably did not know any Jews; he fools head in the silver casket represents pride in t PARALLEL PLOTS There is speculation that the original play included a full hylock is a caricature S men and suggests that faith is wisdom, not reason masque scene (party at Bassanios) which was later askets Portias father, at his death, wagered that C dited out; most of the coincidental events could have e His attempt to exact vengeance with a pound of only a man of wisdom would choose the casket which Gold, silver, and lead represent the sun, the moon, been explained in that scene Antonios flesh is racial revenge contains her portrait; she will marry that man (Act II, and star youth, respectively cene 7) Prince of Morocco is fooled by appearance S Wind suddenly changes; it becomes urgent for Antonio hates Jews (e.g., he spits on them, calls them The caskets may be representative of woman and the (Act II, Scene 9) After learning the rules of casket Bassanio and Gratiano to leave for Belmont that night dogs); Shakespeares audience would side with Antonio hoice between types of women c choice, Prince of Arragon judges himself worthy but is Jessica and Lorenzo will elope the same night; Jessicas theft and escape from Shylock would be ings R rong (Act III, Scene 2) Bassanio and Portia marry w uspicion that they are all on the same ship rouses s pplauded because, in marrying a Christian, she a Symbolic of unity and continuity lopement Jessica elopes with a Gentile, a man E Shylocks hatred of Christians renounces heathen ways Serve to teach moral lessons to Bassanio and Gratiano whom Shylock would never choose (Act II, Scene 6) Shylock has not had time to return to his house after In the court scene, Christians attempt to persuade She robs him to pay for elopement (Act III, Scene 2) Portia and Nerissa show that it is better to break a learning of the cancelled party, yet Antonio has had Shylock to mercy; they try to convert him hey arrive at Belmont; Jessica becomes a Christian T promise by giving rings to people who have saved your ime to look all over Venice for Gratiano to tell him to t Shylocks conversion comes as a result of all the laws best friends life than not to acknowledge their deed mprovement Nerissa will marry a man because her I get ready to embark eing against him b mistress is marrying his master (Act III, Scene 2) Unity of love cannot be broken by giving away a token All of Antonios wealth is obliterated within three Any nonChristian who threatens the life of a Christian Gratiano is bettered by association with Bassanio n gratitude for a truly great deed i months of having borrowed money from a money forfeits half of his wealth to that individual and the other Conversion Christianity symbolically overcomes ender for the first time in his life l half to the State udaism as Jessica converts because of her husband J Shylock converts due to his loss in court Characters Just the Facts CHARACTER SKETCHESCHARACTER SKETCHES NameDescriptionNameDescription WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE m AntonioMerchant of Venice Central character Directly or indirectly involved with JessicaShylocks daughter Elopes with Lorenzo Raised by a religious man who Born 1564; died 1616 all other characters Wealthy and respected gentleman Borrows money squashed her funloving nature Rebels against her father and her religion Author, playwright, actor, and poet o from Shylock to loan to Bassanio for voyage to Belmont Duke believes him Like her husband, she sees her conversion as deliverance No principles Usually credited with writing 37 plays and 152 sonnets when he says that Jessica was not on Bassanios ship Secures wealth for Remorse at stealing from and leaving her father is expressed in 2 lines c Lorenzo Urges Bassanio to give ring to young judge Undeveloped (Alack! what heinous crime it is in me To be ashamed to be my fathers Plays are divided into the early plays(e.g., The Taming . character;
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