English – The Merchant of Venice – Review

the author (or the playwright) of the story (play) Who is the Shakespeare (in relation to The Merchant of Venice)?
It contains the following attributes: mishaps, happy ending, and marriages. Why would The Merchant of Venice be classified as a comedy?
– racist (toward Jews), generous, Christian, good/loving friend, “soft” (sensitive)- elevates the conflict of the story- protagonist and antagonist (more of a protagonist) Describe Antonio. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– foolish with money, romantic, good/loving friend, marries Portia- part of the marriages; shows the result of the lead casket; insight to Antonio- protagonist Describe Bassanio. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– greedy, Jewish, hates Christians, sensitive- causing conflict- protagonist and antagonist (more of a antagonist) Describe Shylock. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– beautiful, rich, indecisive, picky, high standards for a husband, sassy, very opinionated, judgmental, hates the casket game, marries Bassanio- part of the marriages- protagonist Describe Portia. What is her purpose in the play? Is she a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– convert from Jewish to Christian, rebellious, elopes with Lorenzo- part of the marriages; adds conflict with a subplot; insight to Shylock- protagonist and antagonist (more of a protagonist) Describe Jessica. What is her purpose in the play? Is she a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– Christian, elopes with Jessica- part of the marriages; adds conflict with a subplot; helps Jessica rebel- protagonist Describe Lorenzo. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– wild, rude, talkative, rambunctious, marries Nerissa- part of the marriages- protagonist Describe Gratiano. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– loyal, marries Gratiano- part of the marriages; insight to Portia- protagonist Describe Nerissa. What is her purpose in the play? Is she a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– distant relationship with his father (Gobbo), comical, helpful- comic relief; messenger for Jessica and Lorenzo; insight to Shylock and Jessica- protagonist Describe Launcelot. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– distant relationship with his son (Launcelot), half-blind- comic relief- protagonist Describe Gobbo. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
– insecure (about his skin color), greedy, foolish- shows the result of the gold casket Describe the Prince of Morocco. What is his purpose in the play?
– over-thinks; appears cautious- shows the result of the silver casket Describe the Prince of Arragon. What is his purpose in the play?
– Jewish, Shylock’s friend- positive insight to Shylock Describe Tubal. What is his purpose in the play?
– merciful, just, oversees Antonio’s trial- mediator between Shylock and Antonio; resolution to the main conflict- protagonist Describe the Duke of Venice. What is his purpose in the play? Is he a protagonist, antagonist, or both?
ships were wrecked; in danger of losing a pound of flesh Describe Antonio’s conflict.
getting to Belmont (to win Portia); getting back to Venice (to free Antonio) Describe Bassanio’s conflict.
loaned money to Antonio, but Antonio didn’t pay the money back; adamant about getting a pound of flesh from Antonio Describe Shylock’s conflict.
“trapped” in her deceased father’s casket game Describe Portia’s conflict.
Bassanio and Portia Whose conflicts are Nerissa and Gratiano intertwined with?
allusion What literary term can be defined as “when an author makes a reference to someone/something that the audience may know”?
He uses it to justify his practice of charging interest. He says that “profit is a blessing, as long as you don’t steal to get it.” Why does Shylock use the Biblical story Jacob and Laban when talking to Antonio?
Shylock – Jacob found a way of making profit/expanding his business, and it worked. Therefore, you should be able to make a profit in your work. Antonio – Jacob didn’t have any control over what happened. It was all God’s work. How does Shylock interpret the Biblical story Jacob and Laban? How does Antonio interpret the story?
A suitor must choose the correct casket (the one holding a picture of Portia) out of three – gold, silver and lead – to marry Portia.~~~- They must never tell anyone the casket they chose.- They must never marry anyone.- They must leave immediately and never speak to Portia again. Explain how the casket game works. What three terms must the suitors agree to before playing the game?
the Prince of Morocco; He is a shallow gold digger and consumed with appearances. Who chooses the golden casket? What does Portia’s father think of him?
the Prince of Arragon; He may appear to be cautious/careful, but truly, he is very foolish. Who chooses the silver casket? What does Portia’s father think of him?
Bassanio; The gold is too misleading, and the silver is the material of common coins; He is wise and not judging/consumed by appearances. Who chooses the lead casket? Why does he choose this casket? What does Portia’s father think of him?
“Sometimes mercy triumphs over justice.”- the outcome of the trial- the Duke’s mercy on Shylock What is one theme of mercy/justice shown in The Merchant of Venice? Support your theme with an example from the book.
“Friendship is something to rely on.””True friendship is achieved when you lay down your life fro someone.””True friends are loving and sacrificial.”- Antonio sacrifices a pound of flesh to sponsor Bassanio’s trip to Belmont.- Bassanio offers to die in place of Antonio. What is one theme of friendship shown in The Merchant of Venice? Support your theme with an example from the book.
Shylock is a villain because of the way he treats others. He hates Antonio (and Christians in general) and wants him dead. He also values money over his own daughter, Jessica.Shylock is a victim because of the way he is treated by others. Almost everyone makes fun of him for being Jewish. Antonio insults him, disgraces him, scorns his religion, makes fun of his earnings, and costs him money. Describe how Shylock could be both a villain and a victim.
True The Merchant of Venice is a combination of traditional tales that Shakespeare skillfully crafted together and adapted into one play.
a ring What does Portia give Bassanio saying that if he loses it then their love is doomed?
– He cannot shed a drop of Christian blood.- He cannot take any more or any less than a pound of flesh. Portia, disguised as a lawyer, says that Shylock should be allowed to take his pound of flesh from Antonio, but she says he cannot do what two things?
– He is worried about his ships.- He must be in love.- He is normally of a sad nature. (He is typically a sad person.) In the beginning of the play, why do Salarino and Solanio think that Antonio is sad?
Bassanio – his ringAntonio – his gloves What does Portia, disguised as a lawyer, ask for from Bassanio? What does she ask for from Antonio?

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