The Merchant of Venice is the story of a Jewish moneylender who demands that an antisemitic Christian offer “a pound of flesh” as collateral against a loan. Read a character analysis of Shylock, plot summary and important quotes. Read a Plot Overview of the entire play or a scene. One of the greatest comedies written by William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice has been included in the syllabus of the ICSE in order to introduce great. I bought this because it was posed as the answer key to the students work book. It isn't. It is a bunch of crackpot warm ups I could have thought up much easier.

The Merchant Of Venice Guide Book

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The Merchant of Venice Study Guide [Bethine Ellie] on *FREE* shipping on "This is a daring, delightful, and transformative book." ―Arianna. A Teacher's Guide to the Signet Classics Edition of William Shakespeare's The . One of Shakespeare's most complex plays, The Merchant of Venice provides. Merchant of Venice study guide contains a biography of William Shakespeare, literature essays, a complete e-text, quiz questions, major.

Duke of Venice: Ruler who sits as the judge in the trial of Antonio, the merchant of Venice Antonio: A merchant of Venice who borrows money from Shylock on behalf of his friend Bassanio. Antonio agrees to pay a pound of flesh if he defaults on the loan.

Wealthy Jewish moneylender who seeks revenge for ill treatment by Christians. Because he is a tragic figure—and the most compelling character in the play—the drama takes on overtones of tragedy. Wealthy heiress wooed by many suitors. Although often described by Shakespeare interpreters as noble, upright, and benevolent, a close reading of the play reveals her as a racist and a snob.

Friend of Antonio who loves Portia. Prince of Morocco , Prince of Arragon: Suitors of Portia. Salanio , Salarino , Gratiano , Salerio: Friends of Antonio and Bassanio. Shylock's daughter. Jessica's suitor. Tubal , Chus: Lorenzo's Jewish friends. Chus has no speaking part. Launcelot Gobbo: Old Gobbo: Launcelot's father.

Bassanio's servant. Balthasar , Stephano: Portia's servants.

Merchant of Venice

Portia's maid. Minor Characters: Magnificoes of Venice, officers of the Court of Justice, gaoler jailer , servants of Portia, attendants. Plot Summary By Michael J. He must have her. However, his pockets brim only with emptiness. How can he court a woman of such elegance with a vacant purse?

Bassanio asks his friend Antonio for money to woo and win delightful Portia. Three thousand ducats will do the trick. Antonio, a wealthy merchant of Venice, is willing to do anything for Bassanio, his most excellent friend.

Nonetheless, because ships he owns will soon arrive laden with merchandise, he agrees to post his property as collateral so Bassanio can obtain a loan. Although Portia considers Bassanio a worthy young gentleman, she promised her late father that she would marry the man who chooses the correct of three caskets: The correct casket is the one containing a portrait of her. Suitors from around the world have come to Belmont to win the beautiful heiress. However, several of them—including a Neapolitan prince, a count palatine a count with royal privileges , a Frenchman named Monsieur Le Bon, an English baron, a Scottish lord, and the nephew of the Duke of Saxony—have decided to return home rather than take part in the casket lottery.

Merchant of Venice Study Guide

Their decision to withdraw is a relief to Portia, who dislikes all of them. Shylock has suffered frequent ridicule from Antonio and other Christian Venetians. They despise him not only because he charges exorbitant interest rates but also because he is a Jew. Nevertheless, Shylock agrees to lend Bassanio the money.

However, if Antonio does not repay the loan in the designated time, he must forfeit a pound of flesh. Moments later, Antonio arrives and signs a contract binding him to this strange condition, confident that his ships will arrive in time with merchandise to repay the loan. Shylock, of course, secretly hopes Antonio will default on the loan so that he can cut away the pound of flesh certain death as revenge against his Christian enemy.

Meanwhile, the Prince of Morocco, a black Moor, has arrived at Belmont. What is more, she has become a Christian. At Belmont, the Prince of Morocco chooses the golden casket. When he opens it, he finds a scroll bearing this message: Friendship requires sacrifice. Antonio risks his fortune—and later his life—to help Bassanio win Portia.

Tubal lends Shylock the 3, ducats requested by Antonio. Appearances are deceiving. Neither the gold nor the silver casket contains the key to winning Portia.

Instead, it is the plain lead casket. Shakespeare expresses this theme—appearances are deceiving—in a message inside the golden casket.

The latter quotation can also apply to characters who tie their happiness, destiny, or status to money, including Antonio, Bassanio, and Shylock.

Revenge ultimately destroys its perpetrator. Shylock seeks revenge against his enemies, but it is he who suffers the downfall after Christians unite to trick him. Perhaps he would have had more success if he had pursued justice instead of revenge.

Jews suffer bigotry and other forms of mistreatment because of their religion and race. Christians alienate Shylock simply because he is a Jew. In ancient, medieval, and Renaissance times, Jews almost always encountered prejudice from non-Jews around them.

Scholars are divided on whether Shakespeare, in The Merchant of Venice , was attempting condemn anti-Semitism by sympathizing with Shylock or approve of anti-Semitism by ridiculing Shylock.

It may well be that Shakespeare was simply holding a mirror to civilization to allow audiences to draw their own conclusions. An essay on this page contends that Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice partly to condemn the moral and ethical values of errant Christians, not the Jewish moneylender Shylock. Women can be just as competent as men, maybe even more so. Portia, disguised as a man, speaks eloquently in defense of Antonio and persuades the Duke of Venice to rule in Antonio's favor.

Women can be just as ruthless as men, maybe even more so. Portia, who lectures Shylock and the court on the importance of mercy, exhibits racism after she rejects the Prince of Morocco because he is black. Moreover, she cleverly tricks and ruins Shylock without showing a hint of remorse. Don't count your ships until they're in port. Antonio confidently pledges the merchandise on his ships at sea to repay Shylock's loan to Bassanio.

But all the ships are wrecked before they reach Venice. Great wealth and privilege breed apathy and disquietude. In the opening line of the play, Antonio says, "In sooth, I know not why I am so sad. Shakespeare Study Guide in Book Form It incorporates virtually all of the information on this web site, including plot summaries of all the plays.

In addition, it discusses and analyzes the sonnets, as well as other poems written by Shakespeare.

Merchant of Venice Study Guide

Among the many additional features of the book are essays, glossaries, explanations of versification and iambic pentameter, and a section on the Globe Theatre. Your download of this book will help maintain this web site as a free resource for teachers and students. You can order the book directly from the publisher's web site or from site.

The Merchant of Venice abounds in imagery that centers on deception, vice, and human weakness—and fittingly so. After all, the central characters in the drama are deeply flawed or disturbed, exhibiting prejudice, hatred, greed, desire for revenge, depression, ignorance, and other negative qualities.

Supposedly, the play has a happy ending, but the happiness of Bassanio, Portia, and their friends derives from their ruination of the Jewish moneylender, Shylock. Although traditionally classed as a comedy, the play is in reality a tragicomedy, perhaps more tragedy than comedy. I never knew so young a body with so old a head.

This line contains these figures of speech: They are as sick that surfeit with too much as they that starve with nothing. The line also contains alliteration they, that; they, that; sick, surfeit, starve; with, with.

The words why, warm , and within constitute alliteration. Whose does not alliterate with these words because it begins with an h sound. Antonio's complacency about the welfare of his shipping enterprises and his spiteful defiance of Shylock are as much responsible for his courtroom predicament as Shylock's desire for revenge.

First, after Salanio and Salarino inquire whether Antonio's depression is due to worry about his shipping interests, Antonio replies that. The climax of a play or another narrative work, such as a short story or a novel, can be defined as 1 the turning point at which the conflict begins to resolve itself for better or worse, or as 2 the final and most exciting event in a series of events.

According to both definitions, the climax occurs during the trial in Act IV, Scene I, when Portia thwarts Shylock's attempt to gain revenge against Antonio. Anti-Semitism in England. Prejudice against Jews increased in England around after non-Jews borrowed heavily from Jewish moneylenders, becoming deeply indebted to them.

The Merchant of Venice | Study Guide

In York, about Jews committed suicide to avoid being captured by an angry mob. King Richard I reign: The government required Jews to wear strips of yellow cloth as identification, taxed them heavily, and forbade them to mingle with Christians. Finally, in Edward banished them from England. Only a few Jews remained behind, either because they had converted to Christianity or because they enjoyed special protection for the services they provided.

Sign In Sign Up. Plot Summary. Generosity Reading and Interpretation Love and Friendship. All Symbols Stones, Rings, and Caskets. LitCharts Teacher Editions.

Teach your students to analyze literature like LitCharts does. Detailed explanations, analysis, and citation info for every important quote on LitCharts. The original text plus a side-by-side modern translation of every Shakespeare play. LitCharts From the creators of SparkNotes, something better. The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare.

Download this LitChart! Themes All Themes. Symbols All Symbols. Theme Wheel. Understand every line of The Merchant of Venice. A concise biography of William Shakespeare plus historical and literary context for The Merchant of Venice. In-depth summary and analysis of every scene of The Merchant of Venice. Visual theme-tracking, too. Explanations, analysis, and visualizations of The Merchant of Venice 's themes. The Merchant of Venice 's important quotes, sortable by theme, character, or scene.

Description, analysis, and timelines for The Merchant of Venice 's characters. Explanations of The Merchant of Venice 's symbols, and tracking of where they appear. An interactive data visualization of The Merchant of Venice 's plot and themes.

Brief Biography of William Shakespeare Shakespeare's father was a glove-maker, and Shakespeare received no more than a grammar school education.

He married Anne Hathaway in , but left his family behind around and moved to London, where he became an actor and playwright. He was an immediate success: Shakespeare soon became the most popular playwright of the day as well as a part-owner of the Globe Theater.

His theater troupe was adopted by King James as the King's Men in Shakespeare retired as a rich and prominent man to Stratford-upon-Avon in , and died three years later. Download it! In fact, Jews were banished completely from England in by King Edward I, and were not officially allowed to return until , when Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews to return.

This exile was technically in effect during Shakespeare's time, but scholars believe that a few hundred Jews still lived around London in the guise of Christians. One of the reasons Renaissance Christians disliked Jews was the Jews' willingness to practice usury—the practice of charging interest or "use" on borrowed money.Twyss laid aside the sermon which he had prepared, Christians as Villains.

Finally, in Edward banished them from England. Christians alienate Shylock simply because he is a Jew. Rosalind, in As You Like It , dons the garb of a man to become a shepherd as she seeks out her love, Orlando.

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