Maybe I m being slightly harsh with my rating I read this play and immediately thought I ll rate it 5 stars But I rescinded this idea Hear me out I realized that it was an outdated model of storytelling.
I also realized that there s not many adaptations of this story of Shakespeare We get lots of Romeo and Juliet, Much Ado About Nothing, even the ambitious Othello or Midsummer Night s Dream.
The Merchant of Venice is at heart a simplistic story with people in love but it s not a love story It has a villain, but is not heavily invested in action It s a living fossil, and I mean that amicably It s a wondrous fossil Let s leave it at that.
The pretty islands of Venice, in the shallow lagoon, atop the blue, Adriatic Sea, as the blazing rays of the Sun, shine down, on the brilliant colors of the homes, the calm canals full of boats , with cargo, from faraway lands, a glorious past, but an uncertain future, the rise of Portugal, worries the people The city once powerful, a short distance from the Italian mainland, vastly wealthy, is in declineAntonio, the most successful merchant in Venice, and a gambler in commerce, his ships float in the unpredictable oceans waves, always bringing him back riches , to the lucky man His cousin, and best friend , Bassanio, not so much, he has a bad habit of spending not only all his money, but quite a lot not in his pockets a concept still popular in modern times As they say, a friend in need, is a friend indeed, Bassanio asks Antonio for a loan, but unf Edition Of Shakespeare S The Merchant of Venice Reprints The Bevington Edition Of The Play Along With Documents And Illustrations Thematically Arranged To Offer A Richly Textured Understanding Of Early Modern Culture And Shakespeare S Work Within That Culture The Texts Include Maps, Woodcuts, Sermons, Statutes, Early Modern Documents Reflecting Christian Attitudes Toward Jews And Jewish Reactions To These Attitudes, Excerpts From The Bible On Moneylending As Well As Contemporary Discourses On Usury And Commerce, Anti Catholic Tracts, Travel Accounts, Diplomatic Reports, Scenes From A [ read Online The Merchant of Venice ↠´ zimbabwe PDF ] by William Shakespeare ↠´ Morality Play About The Corrupting Effects Of Treatment Of Aliens, Conduct Literature, And Contemporary Treatises On The Role Of Women The Documents Illuminate Religious Controversy At The Time Of Shakespeare S Play, Some Of His Sources, The Place Of Venice In The Early Modern English Imagination, Merchant Culture, And Marriage, Sexuality, And Friendship In The Period Editorial Features Designed To Help Readers Relate The Play To Historical Documents Include An Engaging General Introduction, An Introduction To Each Thematic Group Of Documents, Headnotes And Glosses For The Primary Documents Presented In Modern Spelling , And An Extensive Bibliography The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare is the old classics selection for catching up on classics for September 2016 This comedy, first printed in 1609 five years prior to Shakespeare s death, offers many pressing issues of its day that are unfortunately still relevant today It is still widely studied in schools yet is banned in many places as well due to its anti Semitic portrayal of Jews and some lewdness It is in this light that I discuss the Bard s work Jews had been banned from England in 1290, so it is highly unlikely that Shakespeare came across many Jews during his lifetime His portrayal of Shylock as a greedy moneylender is considered stereotypical by many Other scholars, however, have created rumors that perhaps Shakespeare himself was Jewis If this had a secondary title, delivered in the parlance of our times it would be THE POUND OF FLESH I liked this for many reasons but the element that stands out most is Shakespeare s focus Many of his plays have various, complex, and intertwined sub plots, some being interesting than the theme itself, TMOV is focused and almost relentless, we have one simple course of action that the story leads inevitably towards and which keeps the reader and the audience entranced, will Shylock really remain intent on claiming his bond Even the Duke seems ready to predict that Shylock will relent at the end and just take the money Other fascinating themes explored are the love of money and love itself, both in romantic terms and in friendship While Antonio and Portia present complex and thoroughly entertaining Shakespearean characterizations, Shylock, of course, steals the show.
Although the most famous speech from this piece is, deservedly and understandably, Shylock s prick us monologue, I think that the useful speech to talk about what I felt about the play is Portia s only slightly less famous quality of mercy speech in the court room scene The quality of mercy is not strain d,It droppeth as the gentle rain from heavenUpon the place beneath it is twice blest It blesseth him that gives and him that takes Tis mightiest in the mightiest it becomesThe throned monarch better than his crown His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,The attribute to awe and majesty,Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings But mercy is above this sceptred sway It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,It is an attribute to God himself And earthly power doth then show likest God sWhen mercy seasons justice Therefore, Jew,Though justice be thy plea, consider â The Merchant of Venice Þ One had best state this matter very plainly To recover the comic splendor of The Merchant of Venice now, you need to be either a scholar or an anti Semite, or best of all an anti Semitic scholar Harold Bloom See how yond justice rails upon yond simple thief.
Hark in thine ear change places, and handy dandy,which is the justice, which is the thief King Lear IV.
151 4 Which is the merchant here and which the Jew The Merchant of Venice THE BLACK SWAN OF VENICE The traditional interpretations are usually on the lines of accept the play as what it is a comedy that utilizes stereotypes or on Shakespeare managed to use a stereotype and yet humanized him and created one of the great characters in theatre Truly, the scope and diversity of theatrical interpretations of the Merchant are extraordinary, and there have been many new an
Book Review3 of 5 stars to The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare My review is an excerpt from a paper I wrote on appearance versus reality in Shakespeare s plays In many of William Shakespeare s famous plays, reality was not quite what it appeared to be Instead, it was a rather warped appearance that someone molded in a specific way for a particular reason Reality has been altered in Shakespeare s plays often by characters who have been known to lie, scheme, and create facades, just so that they could be with the ones they love When fate intervened in this type of a situation and created an obstacle between the true loves, Portia, the main character in Merchant of Venice, disguised herself as a lawyer to free her love, Bassanio, from the evil Shylock s clutches She a 3 1 2 stars.
This review contains huge spoilers.
Well I certainly did not expect that ending I didn t imagine Portia to be one to give second chances, especially after seeing her scheming to discover who is important to Bassanio, herself or Antonio It bothered me to see her tricking Bassanio with no repent Incidentally, I feel sad for Antonio In my opinion, he did deserve to end up wealthy but not alone Same for Shylock, even though I can t ignore his showing cruelty instead of mercy Redemption was hardly an option he considered, but still, he was left with nothing They took away from him one of the things that was most important to him his religion He wasn t a monstrous villain to me, just a very vindictive and avaricious man His priorities weren t ones I agreed with.
A good play, in sum Antonio Bassanio
Shakespeare s precise wordplay presents a flesh and bone figure in Shylock, a flawed human being, a man who has been mocked and persecuted by his Christian antagonists and who seeks disproportionate revenge out of hurt pride and blind rage He is not wicked by nature the Jew has a motive to retaliate, either with or without the weight of morality on his side, and that is precisely wha