English Final Study Guide-Merchant Of Venice Plot/Character Development/Literary Devices

1. Why does Bassanio set his sights on Portia? What stands in his way? How does he plan to overcome those barriers? He likes Portia because: she has inherited riches (which could help settle his debts), has wondrous virtues,he compares her to the historical Portia who was the daughter of Cato and wife of Brutus, beautiful-what stands in his way = lots of other suitors-plans to overcome competition = borrow money from Antonio and pretend to be rich to impress her(OWEN MATTHEWS)
2. What plan does Bassanio have to pay Antonio back? He will ask Portia for the money once they are married?(will someone please check on this one for me?)(OWEN MATTHEWS)-Just checked; that’s correct. ~Alex
3. Although he has condemned usury in the past, Antonio doesn’t need much convincing to go into debt for Bassanio. Why? What would he get out of granting him the loan? Antonio would not get anything out of granting the Bassanio the load, he is just a very generous person, and is a Christian who believes it is unholy to charge interest. (will someone please confirm this? I don’t have textual evidence)(OWEN MATTHEWS)He’s kind of doing it just because he’s a loyal friend to Bassanio.
4. Find an example of an extended metaphor in this scene and explain what its meaning “but if you please to shoot another arrow that self way which you did shoot the first, I do not doubt, As I will watch the aim, or to find both Or bring your latter hazard back again, and thankfully rest debtor for the first” (line 155) (extended enough?)(OWEN MATTHEWS)Explantion: If you shoot another arrow in the same direction as you shot the last one, and watch the aim, you will find both arrows. If you lend me more money, to court Portia, I can pay you back at least what you’re lending me now.
5. Find three examples of classical allusions and explain their context. 1. “Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued to Cato’s daughter, Brutus’ Portia” (line 172) Context:The historical Portia was daughter to the Roman statesman Cato and wife to Brutus, leader of the conspiracy against Julius Ceasar…. Bassanio describing how perfect she is, comparing her to a Roman noblewoman 2. “for you to laugh and leap, and ay you are merry Because you are not sad. Now, by two headed Janus, nature hath framed strange fellows in her time: Some that will evermore peep through their eyes and laugh like parrots at a bagpiper, and other of such vinegar aspect that they’ll not show their teeth in way of smile though nestor swear the jest be laughable” (line 50) Context: two headed Janus was a Roman god with two faces looking in opposite directions. Solanio is saying that Antonio is both happy and sad at the same time (two sides to him) 3. “Her sunny locks hang on her temples like a golden fleece, which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos’ strond, and many Jasons come in quest of her” (178). Context: Bassanio is saying her hair is beautiful and cherished like the golden fleece and many suitors are after it like jason was, so belmont must be like colchos’ strond (where the golden fleece was in the black sea)(OWEN MATTHEWS)
6. How does Venice differ from Belmont? I have literally no idea. They don’t even mention Venice in the entire scene. Someone please help!!(SUDITI NOT EVEN GONNA TRY WITH THE LAST NAME)-suditi i’m guessing that venice is a commercial city with lots of markets and trade, while belmont is more of a quite peaceful estate… but we should ask ms. antolivich . -love owenI think they’re kind of put in place to juxtapose with each other, again with the peace and calm at Belmont, and the focus on commerce and money-making in Venice.-Alex
7. How does Portia and Nerissa’s relationship differ from Antonio and Bassanio’s? How is it similar? Look at the way they speak. How does Shakespeare show differences in their personalities and social stature through dialogue? Antonio and Bassanio have more of a brotherly friendship, in which they are both on the same level and treat each how they would like to be treated. With Nerissa and Portia, Nerissa is Portia’s waiting woman, and even though Portia treats her with respect and they are friends, Portia is clearly above Nerissa. Nerissa is there to listen to Portia and to advise her, but is hierarchically not on the same level as her. The relationships are similar in that both, everyone treats the other person with respect and is everyone is ready to help the other person and to listen to them. For Portia and Nerissa, Nerissa refers to Portia as “sweet madam” (line 3), and lets Portia do most of the talking in the conversation, showing that she is below Portia. For Antonio and Bassanio, both casually address each other (Antonio for example good Bassanio “good Bassanio” in scene 1) and speak almost the same amount when they are conversing., showing that they are equal. (SUE)
8. Portia mocks each of her potential suitors in turn. What faults does she see in each one? How do those faults reflect the Elizabethan viewpoints of each of these cultures? What is different about her criticism of Morocco? How does Portia first encounter Bassanio? What kind of social status does he have? Neopolitan Prince: all he talks about is his horse, he brags that he can shoe it himself County Palatine: he never ever smiles French Lord, Monsieur Le Bon: he was being extremely exuberant and was trying to outdo everyone. He was trying to be an overdone version of everyone. Falconbridge, baron of England: no opinion – couldn’t speak to him because they didn’t speak the same languages, good looking, dressed strangely Scottish lord: he is very naive and “forgiving” – “softie”Duke of Saxony, young German: drinks a lot and is terrible to be around when he is drunk or sobering up Bassanio: worthy of praise, deserving of Portia Prince of Morocco: not happy about his coming, comments rudely about the color of his skin – doesn’t like that he is black and will continue to dislike him for that, regardless of his personalityI don’t know if I am supposed to be doing research for this question, but knowing Shakespeare and seeing that the Prince of Morocco with darker skin is looked down upon, I’m assuming that Portia’s opinions mirror the Elizabethan viewpoints. For the Prince of Morocco, she comments on his physical appearance. Bassanio was accompanying the marquess of Montferrat a long time ago. He seems to not be as high as Portia, but is somewhere in the middle, because he is a scholar and a soldier. (SUE)
9. Bassanio contacts Shylock regarding the loan. What are the terms of the loan? What does it mean for Antonio to be “bound” to a loan? The terms of the loan are Shylock will lend Bassanio 3,000 ducats for three months. If Antonio does not pay the 3,000 ducats before the end of the three months, he will give Shylock a pound of his flesh as a penalty. Antonio is “bound” to the loan meaning he is responsible for paying the loan and taking the penalty if he is not able to pay for the loan, even though it’s Bassanio who is getting the money.(KELLY)ASK MS A… IS THERE INTEREST ON THIS LOAN?There is no interest on the loan. Shylock doesn’t put interest on the loan, and instead makes the seemingly silly agreement about the pound of flesh.-Alex
10. Once Antonio enters, Shylock’s aside gives us insight into why he dislikes Antonio. How would his attitude towards the merchant influence his risk analysis? (ISABELLE O)-antonio spat on shylock-antonio called shylock a dog (not specifically mentioned here but this was in there in the play somewhere) -he doesn’t charge interest when he gives loans because it is “unchristian” (1.3 line 45)-love owen
11. Shylock directly confronts Antonio regarding the way Antonio has treated Shylock in the past. What wrongs has Antonio committed against Shylock? Antonio has committed several wrongs against Shylock in the past. The first of which is Antonio lends money without interest which Shylock believes is unfair competition to the rest of the moneylenders who charge interest. Also, Antonio has spat and cursed at Shylock in the past and called him a dog, in addition to criticizing his moneylending tactics with charging interest. It should also be noted that Antonio does not feel any remorse for doing this and says he would and will likely spit and curse at Shylock again.(KELLY)
12. What are Shylock’s terms of the loan? What is the difference between Bassanio’s and Antonio’s perceptions of the loan terms? What accounts for those differences? Give proof from the text (including line numbers) in your answer. (ISABELLE O)-Shylock’s term is that if the 3,000 ducats are not paid back in three months, he will cut off a pound of antonio’s flesh -antonio is thankful for this condition, because he believes it is a joke “content, in faith. I’ll seal to such a bond, and say there is much kindness in the Jew” (1.3 line 165). -Bassanio has the feeling that Shylock is being serious (he was correct), and knows that this would kill Antonio, so he tells antonio to not take the offer “You shall not seal to such a bond for me! I’ll rather dwell in my necessity” (1.4 line 168).
13. Examine Morocco’s opening lines. What issues does he address? In Morocco’s opening lines he addresses the issue of choosing the wrong casket. He realizes that if he chooses the wrong casket he must swear not to propose marriage to another woman. He is not worried about this though, he is very confident in himself that he will choose the correct casket. (CRISTINA SMITH) and racism
14. What is Portia’s reaction to Morocco? Based on her previous comments to Nerissa, do you believe her? Why or why not? Portia tells Morocco that he is “as fair” as any of the men who have come to seek her affection. Furthermore, she says if she wasn’t bound by the terms of her father, he would stand as good a chance as any other suitor. According to her father’s will, however, if the prince wishes to try for her hand, he must take his chances like all the others. It is clear that Portia does not actually like Morocco because even though she says to Morocco that he has as good a chance as the other suitors in a positive sounding way, it is actually negative because she had previously told Nerissa that she hates all of the other suitors and she would hate to marry any of them, meaning she would hate to marry Morocco. (CRISTINA SMITH)
15. When Old Gobbo enters and Lancelet recognizes, him, why doesn’t Lancelet reveal himself to his father? What is the purpose in hiding his identity, even briefly? When Old Gobbo enters, Lancelet conceals his identity for his own comedic purpose. Prior to him seeing his father he is debating whether or not to leave Shylock and briefly addresses the fact that his father did not raise him only his mother did because his father cheated on his mother. When he sees his father we can conclude that he wants to play a trick on him because he has aggression towards his father because of what happened with his mother, he knows that his father can not see so he conceals his identity as part of the trick. IM NOT SURE IF THIS IS CORRECT! (CRISTINA SMITH)
16. Why does Lancelet want to leave Shylock’s service? How do his comments affect our perceptions about Shylock? Lancelet wants to leave Shylock’s because he says he is a devil. In addition, he tells his father that he is wasting away serving Shylock and that he will turn into a Jew himself if he stays there much longer. After reading Lancelet’s words we get the idea that Shylock is not a very kind master towards Lancelet. (CRISTINA SMITH)
17. What clues from 1.3 and 2.2 and this scene would indicate that Shylock’s house is “hell”? 1.3: “Give him direction for this merry bond, and I will go and purse he ducats straight, see to my house left in the fearful guard of an unthrifty knave, and presently I’ll be with you.-Shylock” (Lines 185-189) He says his home is left in the care of an unreliable guard and a careless servant.2.2: “I should stay with the Jew my master, who- God bless the mark- is a kind of devil.-Lancelet” (Lines 22-24)2.3: “Our house is hell and thou, a merry devil didst rob it of some taste of tediousness.-Jessica” (Lines 2-3)*i couldn’t any evidence on what made it hell, but the characters consistently say it is…(MEAGHAN)
18. What “compliment” is Lancelet trying to give Jessica? What is ironic about Lancelet’s speech in lines 10-13? Lancelet is telling Jessica she is the best and prettiest pagan- Jew- out there. I think the irony is that it talks about Christians playing the “knave,” and long behold the next scene she becomes a Christian.I’d ask Ms. Antolovich to clarify this though because it’s not clear (MEAGHAN)
19. Why is Jessica so ashamed to be a Jew? How much of her running away is related to her oppressive father, and how much is related to her faith? What evidence do you have for your argument? Jessica runs away and wants to convert to Christianity as an act pf abandoment of her father whom mistreats her and because of social pressures. Her father has oppressed her and we hear this when she calls her home with him “hell.” She says that she is his daughter “to his blood, I am not to his manner.” Lorenzo, a Christian, is whom Jessica desires to marry. Lorenzo says, after this section, that she will be damned to hell for being a Jew. She wants to be with Lorenzo so shes says in lines 19-21 “O Lorenzo, If thou keep promise, I shall end this strife, Become a Christian and thy loving wife.” (MEAGHAN)
20. What does Jessica’s letter say? What is her plan? Jessica’s letter says that she will steal from her father’s house and she’ll escape disguised as Lorenzo’s torchbearer. (MEAGHAN)
21. What is Shylock’s initial reaction to Lancelet’s leaving his service? When Shylock finds out that Lancelet is leaving his service, Shylock says that Bassiano will not be as good of a master as him. (RANSOM)
22. Why does Shylock say he will accept Bassanio’s invitation? Shylock decides to go to the party, despite declining an earlier invitation from Antonio saying that it is impossible for Jews and Christians to dine together due to religious differences. He accepts this time because they now have a business deal.(RANSOM)
23. This is the first time Lancelet and Jessica are together with Shylock onstage. How accurate were Lancelet’s and Jessica’s descriptions of Shylock’s household? How does this further develop our understanding of Shylock’s character? (RANSOM)-Ask Ms. A
24. Why are Gratiano and Salerio anxious? (RANSOM)-basically they are waiting for Lorenzo outside Shylock’s house for Jessica in the middle of the night… I may be mistaken but I believe Lorenzo is late, when according to Gratiano he should be early because he is in love (ask Ms. A if has anything to do with Shylock… the anxiousness)-Love Owen
25. How does death represent “what many men desire”? (NATALIE FORMICA)We asked her today, and I think we came to the conclusion that many men desire gold, meaning riches and wealth. However, one works oneself to death, or “dies” morally to obtain the wealth. So, in wanting for gold, men want for death. This, in context, is referring to the gold chest with the skull inside.-Alex
26. Do you think Morocco would have been a good match for Portia? Why or why not? I think the Morocco would have been good for Portia. He talks about Portia very affectionately, saying that everyone wants her and they come from all over the world to find her. He refers to her as an angel and acts like he truly cares for her. (NATALIE FORMICA) (NATALIE FORMICA)
27. Is Portia racist? Give evidence for your claim Yes, Portia is a racist. When the Prince of Morocco chooses the gold casket, which is the wrong one, he does not get to marry Portia and will not be able to marry anyone. When he is leaving, Portia says “A gentle riddance. Draw the curtains, go. Let all of his complexion choose me so” (Act 2 scene 8 line 86-870). This line means that Portia wants the prince to leave and she wishes that everyone with the same skin complexion makes the wrong choice just like he did. This shows that Portia has something against people with that skin color, making her a racist. (NATALIE FORMICA) (NATALIE FORMICA)
28. What does Solanio report that he heard Shylock say? If he is accurate, what new insights do you have about Shylock? What does he value more, his money or his lost daughter? Give evidence from the text to support your opinion. Solanio reports that he heard Shylock say “My daughter, oh my ducats, O my daughter, fled with a Christian, oh my Christian ducats. Justice, the law, ducats, my daughter…..” (Act 2, Scene 8 lines 15-17). From this, one can say that shylock cares a great deal about both his money and his daughter, but seems to be torn on which he should care more for. When he remembers his daughter, he also remembers all the money that he lost because she ran away. Eventually, he comes to the conclusion that he values his money more when he says “Stol’n by my daughter! Justice! Find the girl! she hath the stones upon her, and his ducats” (Act 2 Scene 8 line 22-23). He seems to care more about finding his daughter to get back his money and stones, instead of just finding his daughter who he should be worried about finding since she ran away. (NATALIE FORMICA) (NATALIE FORMICA)
29. What impact will Jessica’s running away with the Christian Lorenzo have on Shylock and his bond with Antonio? Why? Jessica running away with the Christian Lorenzo makes Shylock more angry with Antonio since it makes him dislike Christians even more. He also thinks that his daughter stole ducats from him, so he will want Antonio to pay him back even more. He will show no mercy for him if he does not have the money since he thinks Antonio is to blame for everything that has happened. (NATALIE FORMICA)
30. What rumor does Salerio hear about Antonio’s ships? Salerio hears that Antonio’s ships had been wrecked (NATALIE FORMICA)
31. What can you tell about Portia’s attitude towards Aragon? What text clues do you have to support this? Portia isn’t very excited by the prospect of marrying Aragon, and even downplays herself to try to dissuade Aragon from choosing on page 85 when she states “To these injunctions everyone doth swear: That comes to hazard for my worthless self”. Also, at the end of the scene, she seems to show more interest in Bassanio, who she ends up marrying.(MATT HAUGHEY)
32. What is Aragon’s logic in selecting the silver casket? How does his logic reveal his character? How is his thinking different from Morocco’s? Is he more or less intelligent than Morocco? Aragon selects the silver casket because the casket says that he will receive as much as he deserves, which he believes is Portia. He didn’t pick the gold becuase he thought that too many men would pick that casket and didn’t pick the lead one because he believed Portia was too fair to have her picture in that casket. This pick is more intelligent than Morocco’s because Morocco picked the casket that most men would choose, while Aragon knew that Portia’s dad would not let her marry just any man. Although Aragon’s pick was wrong, it was certainly more inteligent than Morocco’s pick.(MATT HAUGHEY)
33. How are minor characters such as Salarino and Solanio designed to reflect Venetian society at large? Minor characters such as Salarino and Solanio reflect Venetian society atlarge by showing the biases, values and sometimes innocence of the Venetian society in general.(Atharva)-ask Ms. A for text evidence of this
34. Why is it such a crisis for Shylock that his daughter converted and married a Christian? Why does Shylock channel his grief over Jessica’s leaving into anger at Antonio? It is such a crisis for shylock that his daughter converted and married a Christian because Shylock’s Jewish and not only is he Jewish but he is part of one of the only Jewish families in the Venetian society. Meaning that when his daughter, his own blood converted, he became even more isolated. Shylock channels his grief about Jessica into anger against Antonio because he believes Christian in general were in charge of her conversion and abandonment of Shylock.(atharva)-is there text evidence of him throwing his grief into Antonio? sorry this came up in another question too so im curious-Also, Shylock is kind of a greedy guy, and he’s already lost a lot to Christians (his pride, his business interests, etc.) Losing his daughter to them would be the last straw. -Alex
35. Why is the loss of the ring even more agonizing to Shylock? Is Shylock a villain or a victim of persecution? (ATHARVA)-loss of ring is more agonizing because it was taken by his own “flesh and blood” -villain or victim depends on point of view… I believe victim because even if he was a bad farther, or a greedy money dealer, no one deserves to be stolen from -Love Owen
36. How is Portia’s demeanor with Bassanio different from that with her other suitors? What new side of Portia are we seeing? Give support for your answer from the text. Portia has overall a fonder attitude towards Bassanio, and she appears to actually be excited when she hears of his arrival. She cares about Bassanio’s decision with the caskets, cautioning him to be prudent in his decision-making process. Portia implores, “I pray you tarry, pause a day or two / before you hazard, for in choosing wrong / I lose your company” (3.2.1-3). It is apparent that Portia values Bassanio’s company, whereas with the other suitors, she politely entertained their expressions of love and then proceeded to coolly present the casket challenge, impassively embracing their failure. This reveals a more feeling side of Portia, in contrast with her previous displays of utter disregard for the consequences her suitors faced. (K FLANS)
37. Compare Bassanio’s logic in selection with Morocco’s and Aragon’s. How does his elimination process differ from theirs? How does his description of the world also describe himself? Would he have been able to choose without Portia’s hints or encouragement? Why or why not? Morocco and Aragon interpreted the inscriptions on the caskets very literally, without trying to decipher the true meaning behind them. Morocco decided that it must be the gold casket, because gold has the most value and beauty, much like Portia. Aragon decided on the silver casket, confident that he deserves the very best. In contrast, Bassanio examines the caskets in relation to the world around him, putting each selection into context. He determines that it cannot be gold, because wealth and decoration is often deceiving, and it can also not be silver. Therefore, he chooses the least likely and most humble option, the lead. His view of the world also reflects himself because he is not a very extravagant person with many luxurious decorations, yet he is more plain and simple, which is why he needed to borrow money in the first place. He does not need wealth to decorate his personality. I think he could have figured it out without her hints, because her hints were too vague, and he figured it out using his own worldly experiences, not Portia’s advice. (K FLANS)
38. Portia gives Bassanio the ring with a warning, and Bassanio accepts the ring with his own pledge. How is this contract or bond similar to and different from the one made in Venice? This contract is very similar to the one made in Venice, because they are both life-binding contracts. Bassanio pledges that if the ring is ever lost or destroyed, he will destroy his own life. Antonio’s contract was that he would repay Shylock for the loans, and if he in unable to do so, he would lose a pound of his flesh, i.e. he would die. The ring embodies Bassanio’s life whereas the money to repay the loans represents Antonio’s life (K FLANS)
39. Bassanio comes clean about his financial status. What effect does that have on Portia? Rather than push Portia away, Bassanio’s honesty brings her closer, and she proclaims her devotion to him, saying that she will support him and help him with his financial troubles. She claims that “Since you are dear bought, I will love you dear” (3.2.326). She is paying off Bassanio’s debts, which she views as solidifying their marital commitment. (K FLANS)
40. Why does Shylock insist on the punishment for forfeiting the bond? Shylock insists on the punishment for breaking the bond because he doesnt like Antonio since Antonio doesnt charge interest on his loans (so Shylock thinks he is careless) and Antonio called Shylock a dog in the past for no reason. In general Shylock just doesnt want to break the deal they made.He is also insistent on this also because of their religious differences so he naturally has more hatred for Antonio. Shylock said “I’ll have my bond. Speak not against my bond.I have sworn an oath that I will have my bond.Thou calledst me dog before thou hadst a cause.But since I am a dog, beware my fangs.The duke shall grant me justice.—I do wonder,Thou naughty jailer, that thou art so fondTo come abroad with him at his request……I’ll have my bond. I will not hear thee speak.I’ll have my bond, and therefore speak no more.I’ll not be made a soft and dull-eyed foolTo shake the head, relent and sigh, and yieldTo Christian intercessors. Follow not.I’ll have no speaking. I will have my bond” (3.3.5-11,13-18).(PAIGEYPOO)
41. Why does Solanio think the Duke will forgive the forfeiture? Why doesn’t Antonio? Solanio thinks the Duke will allow Antonio to forfeit because of how gruesome the bond is that he simply cant let it slide- “I’m sure the duke will never allow this contract to be enforced” (3.3.24-25). Antonio however says that “The duke can’t deny the law, because that would threaten the security of all foreign merchants in Venice, and that’s how the city makes its money. If the government disregards the law, it will be discredited” (3.3.26-29). basically the Duke cant go against the law because that could make venice unsafe if he didnt enfore anything. so Antonio thinks the Duke will not be able to allow him to forfeit. (PAIGE BURNET)
42. Much of this play has to do with Christian vs. Jewish standards of morality. What takes precedence in Venetian law, where commerce is king? specifically with shylock and antonio there is a lot of mistrust because of religions. Shylock feels like he is mistreated because he is a jew therefore shylock demands that he will get his bond with no trouble from the christians. Basically what takes precedence is the fact that this hatred between jews and christians- in this case Shylock and Antonio- is causing the men to try to be even stricter with Venetian law and stick to what they agreed on no matter what. This is evident also when Portia is going through the agreement for clarification and Shylock makes sure that the bond is clear. **THIS MAY NOT BE RIGHT SO I AM SORRY** feel free to change my answer 🙂 (PAIGE BURNET)-ask ms. a to check
43. What does Portia tell Lorenzo that she and Nerissa will do? What is their actual plan? Portia tells Lorenzo that she and Nerissa will pray everyday until their husbands return. In actuality the 2 ladies are going to dress up as young men to go to see what their husbands are up to. portia said- “Lorenzo, please take charge of the management of my house until my husband comes back.I’ve sworn to God that I’ll live a life of prayer and contemplation until my husband returns. Only Nerissa will keep me company. There’s a monastery two miles away where we can stay.” she later says to Nerissa “Come on, Nerissa, I have many things to do that you don’t even know about yet. We’ll see our husbands before they even have a chance to miss us…we’ll be disguised as men.” (PAIGE)
44. What does Jessica’s cross-dressing have in common with Portia and Nerissa’s? What purpose does each serve? Jessica’s cross dressing is similar to Portia and Nerissa’s because Jessica also dressed up like a young man to get what she wanted without getting caught. Jessica’s dressing up was to steal from her father but Portia and Nerissa’s is to see what their husbands are up to. The major similarity is that in both cases women are taking a stand to get what they want through disguise. (PAIGE)-This could also mean that maybe, in that time period, women lacked power in society, and had to resort to cross-dressing to take control of their lives?-Alex
45. Antonio quips that the devil can cite scripture for his own purpose. How does the scriptural debate between Lancelet and Jessica serve each character’s purpose? This debate has the potential to explode the harmony of Belmont. How does Shakespeare diffuse this? Sorry I spent a lot of time researching this and was having a lot of time coming up with a definitive answer so this would be one I would ask Ms Antolovich about!(KELLY EDWARDS)-ask ms. a
46. What is Antonio’s mood going into the trial? How does this compare with his mood in 1.1? Why do you think this is? Antonio acts resigned and with little hope compared to him in 1.1 because he lost his entire fortune and also has to give a pound of flesh to Shylock.(JESSICA ZHANG)
47. How do those in the courtroom react to Shylock? How would you describe their behavior? How is their behavior similar to and different from behavior towards him in the streets of Venice? Find evidence from the text for your comparison. The courtroom acts very negatively towards Shylock, specifically with the Duke calling him an “inhumane wretch.” The Duke then proceeds to explain when Shylock enters the courtroom that he doesn’t believe Shylock will follow through on this horrific act, that everyone believes he is a better person than that. The Duke points out Antonio has also suffered by losing his ships. Bassanio even offers to pay Shylock 6,000 ducats but Shylock wants none of it. He only wants Antonio dead. As a result, the people have no mercy for Shylock whatsoever and are very angered by him. This is specified by the Duke in Act 4, Scene 1, lines 17-35. I actually thought this was very different from how he was treated on the streets. Specifically by Salarino and Solanio on lines 23-36. They, seemingly very casually, ask him what’s up and have a conversation about his daughter. This is where their behavior gets a bit strange because they are very proud to admit to Shylock that they played a big part in helping his daughter escape, however Shylock doesn’t seem to be angry from the text about it. A few pages later on lines 66-67 Solanio compares a Jew (which is what Shylock is) to the devil, immediately after leaving the presence of Shylock which shows he does;t hold a high regard for him.(KELLY EDWARDS)
48. Why is Shylock so adamant about the law and in his refusal to grant mercy, despite the offer of double and triple repayment? What is greater than his religion and his love of money? Shylock holds a grudge on Antonio because Antonio insulted him in the past. Shylock is very proud and holds that before his religion and his love of money.(JESSICA)-his hatred of antonio? -love owenPerhaps even greater than his hatred of Antonio is his hatred of Christians. Maybe he’s using Antonio as a scapegoat for any offenses Christians have committed against him?-Alex
49. How does Portia save Antonio’s life? Portia was able to save Antonio by finding loopholes in the bond, such as not letting a single drop of blood fall and cutting off exactly one pound. She also finds Shylock guilty of plotting the death of a Venetian.(JESSICA)
50. Was this a fair trial? Explain. (KELLY EDWARDS)-ask ms a?It was mostly fair in terms of the law. Although Portia manipulates the law to work for Antonio’s purposes, it is done by the law, and in that way, it is fair. However, the laws themselves may not have been fair, because laws that allow a man to demand a pound of flesh from another are typically deemed unfair.It’s similar to the court case in Cry, the Beloved Country in that it is both fair and unfair.-Alex
51. Why would Portia ask Bassanio for the ring he had promised not to give away? What does this say about her character? Portia wants to test Bassanio to see whether or not he keeps his promise of never giving the ring away. However, with the persuasion of Antonio, Bassanio decides to give the ring to the disguised Portia. This shows that Portia is clever.(JESSICA)It also shows the Portia is a bit impish. She also wanted to gain respect from Bassanio; he won’t likely break a promise with her ever again. She’s proven her power to him.-Alex
52. What excuse does Bassanio give the disguised Portia for not initially giving her his wedding ring? (MAX DOWNING)-its a symbol of his love for his wife-love owen
53. How easy is it for Antonio to change Bassanio’s mind? What does Antonio say Bassanio should value more than the ring? (MAX DOWNING)-“his deservings and my love withal”-very easy… no debate-love owen
54. What does the fact that both Bassanio and Gratiano give their rings away say about relationships between men and relationships between men and women? (CHARLIE)The men see themselves as “above” their wives. Relationships between men take precedence over relationships between men and women. Meaning, if a guy’s buddy asks him to do something, he’s going to do it, even if it might make his wife angry.-Alex
55. How serious will the consequences of giving the rings away be? How do you know? (CHARLIE)-wives won’t sleep with them?-ask ms. a -love owen
56. What is Shakespeare’s intent in bringing in the ring plotline here? What purpose does it serve? (CHARLIE)ask ms. a
57. Examine the argument about the ring. What is the tone of that argument? How do you know this? How has Shakespeare molded the language to convey this tone? 1. The tone of the argument was petty and bickerish, it seemed like a typical argument between married couples…Shakespeare’s language showed that the men didn’t really care (they thought they were doing the right thing and that the argument was silly) and the women were yelling at them and threading them because they didn’t keep their promises(SAM BUDD)
58. Does this play have a “happily ever after” ending? Why or why not? What contributes to that feeling? What detracts from it? 2. This play does have a “happily ever after” ending because the character’s romances work out for them, Antonio’s lost ships miraculously come into the port, and he also escapes the doom of not being able to pay Shylock’s loan. The language at the end of the play becomes happier and more lighthearted which adds to that feeling. According to spark notes, Shylock’s “morbid demise” as well as the fact he is a villain character in a play thats supposed to be a comedy, detracts from that feeling. (SAM BUDD)It’s kind of “happily ever after” in that the protagonists end up happy and the antagonist is punished justly.-Alex

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