Merchant of Venice

Bassanio A gentleman of Venice, and a kinsman and dear friend to Antonio. Bassanio’s love for the wealthy Portia leads him to borrow money from Shylock with Antonio as his guarantor. An ineffectual businessman, Bassanio proves himself a worthy suitor, correctly identifying the casket that contains Portia’s portrait.
Portia A wealthy heiress from Belmont. Portia’s beauty is matched only by her intelligence. Bound by a clause in her father’s will that forces her to marry whichever suitor chooses correctly among three caskets, Portia is nonetheless able to marry her true love, Bassanio.
Antonio The merchant whose love for his friend Bassanio prompts him to sign Shylock’s contract and almost lose his life. Antonio is something of a mercurial figure, often inexplicably melancholy and, as Shylock points out, possessed of an incorrigible dislike of Jews. Nonetheless, Antonio is beloved of his friends and proves merciful to Shylock, albeit with conditions.
Shylock A Jewish moneylender in Venice. Angered by his mistreatment at the hands of Venice’s Christians, particularly Antonio, Shylock schemes to eke out his revenge by ruthlessly demanding as payment a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Although seen by the rest of the play’s characters as an inhuman monster, Shylock at times diverges from stereotype and reveals himself to be quite human.
Gratiano A friend of Bassanio’s who accompanies him to Belmont. A coarse and garrulous young man, Gratiano is Shylock’s most vocal and insulting critic during the trial. While Bassanio courts Portia, Gratiano falls in love with and eventually weds Portia’s lady-in-waiting, Nerissa.
Lancelot Bassanio’s servant. A comical, clownish figure who is especially adept at making puns, Launcelot leaves Shylock’s service in order to work for Bassanio.
Nerissa Portia’s lady-in-waiting and confidante. She marries Gratiano and escorts Portia on Portia’s trip to Venice by disguising herself as her law clerk.
Jessica Although she is Shylock’s daughter, Jessica hates life in her father’s house, and elopes with the young Christian gentleman, Lorenzo. The fate of her soul is often in doubt: the play’s characters wonder if her marriage can overcome the fact that she was born a Jew, and we wonder if her sale of a ring given to her father by her mother is excessively callous.
Venice many classes of people and a lot of activity- like traders, merchants, money handlers, money oriented, money from working (self-determination), Reality, Male dominated (masculine), More diverse (Jews and Christians), Speak Italian, Less educated, Prioritize money, Don’t talk about love much, Blunt, vulgar language, Individualistic, Fear, anxiety, revenge, risk
Belmont Noble people- Portia is surrounded by wealthy people, Seems calmer than Venice, Is like a separated kind of unknown area compared to Venice because of river between the two cities, Money is inherited, fantasy/fairytale, Female dominated (feminine), All same class/ChristianLatin and French (more languages), Better educated, Prioritize love (happiness), Language enchanting, passionate, Poetic, flowery, sophisticated, Community, Money security
Lorenzo A friend of Bassanio and Antonio, Lorenzo is in love with Shylock’s daughter, Jessica. He schemes to help Jessica escape from her father’s house, and he eventually elopes with her to Belmont.
Rialto famous bridge of venice
Balthasar The servant whom Portia sends to her cousin, Dr. Bellario.
Bellario A lawyer of Padua
Salarino A Venetian gentleman, and friend to Antonio, Bassanio, and Lorenzo. Salarino escorts the newlyweds Jessica and Lorenzo to Belmont, and returns with Bassanio and Gratiano for Antonio’s trial. He is often almost indistinguishable from his companion Solanio.
Solanio A Venetian gentleman, and frequent counterpart to Salarino.
Morocco one of Portia’s suitors, dark-skinned, chooses gold casket because he thinks the caskets represent Portia’s beauty but is wrong
Prince of Arragon Spanish nobleman, one of Portia’s suitors, Nerissa thinks he might be good for Portia but she doesn’t like him, picks silver casket, thinks he chooses right chest but is wrong, finds message inside calling him a fool
Leonardo Bassanio’s servant.
Old Gobbo Launcelot’s father, also a servant in Venice.
Name at least 3 differences between belmont and venice Belmont= Latin/Frech (more educaton), female dominated, Noble people/ChristianVenice= Italian (less educated), male dominated, middle class/Jews and Christians
What is written on each of the three caskets. why is the correct one correct? How is it trying to test the suitors? gold= who chooseth me shall gain what many men desiresilver= who chooseth me shall get as much as he deservesDull lead= who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hathThe lead one is correct because whoever is truly in love with Portia will give all he has to be with her, and it is to test the suitors of their values and make sure they aren’t too arrogant. If they choose either gold or silver, they are either too arrogant of what they deserve or only want Portia for her looks.
Describe the Renaissance “rebirth,” 1300s-1600s, started in Italy, rebirth of classical ideas (Ancient Greek/Roman), movement in literature, art, philosophy, science, politics, used reason to make decisions, increase in education, humanism, rise of middle class, skilled jobs (blacksmiths, merchants), artisans, army, social mobility ($$)
Explain/describe humanism, and how is it applied in the play? philosophy that states that humans have individual worth/value and vast potential (self-determination), Shylock uses this philosophy in his speech and defending his reasoning for wanting a pound of Antonio’s flesh (Jews and Christians are equal)
Define each of the three branches of rhetoric/persuasion and give an example for each pathos- appeal to emotion (sad dog ads)ethos- appeal to ethics/morality, appeal to credibility of persuader (as a doctor, I’m qualified to tell you that this medicine is best for you)logos- appeal to logic/reason (4 out of 5 dentists recommend toothpaste)

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