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The Merchant of Venice essay notes

By Shivyk123 Sep 22, 2014 771 Words
Notes merchant of Venice
Key characters
Shylock, Antonio, Bassanio, Portia
Need to know
Personality traits
How they impact on the plot of the narrative?
How they change throughout the play?
Key relationships
The problems they must overcome
Their characters importance in the plot

key themes
Law, mercy and revenge
Self-interest vs love
Prejudice and intolerance
Wealth
Greed vs generosity
Love and friendship
Law, mercy and revenge
The law can be manipulated (scene 4)
Law favors the christens in this time period
Gender females don’t have many rights in this time period
Mercy is the easy way out in this play
Mercy is when you show pity for someone and give up on what they want to benefit the other person Portia and Nerissa give mercy
Shakespeare implies that “ the Jews don’t show mercy and the christens do” Shylock wants revenge but in the end trying to get revenge was the wrong choice and shylock lost more then Antonio and Antonio ended up with more then he started with. Shows that law can be manipulated by both good and the bad characters in different ways. Self-interest vs love

Shakespeare implies that “self-interest will always loose against love” Shylock shows self-interest buy wanting his money and jewels back more then his daughter. Shylock shows love to his self-interests and money

Shylock does live somewhat like we do now, implying we have gotten more selfish as time has passed. Prejudice and intolerance
Christens and Jews do not get alone with each other
Shylock doesn’t tolerate difference
Wealth
Shylock craves wealth
In this play, if you aren’t wealthy you are nothing and can’t marry someone wealthy Wealth limited you to how much money you had.
Wealth is the cause of many problems in the play.
Catalyst
Get friends based on how wealthy you are even if you are a bad person you are friends with important people because you are rich and wealthy Is a pound of flesh worth 3 thousand ducats
Bassanio comes to Portia because of money
Greed vs generosity
What shylock does by wanting money back would be classed as normal in our time period because that is the way we get money Bassanio shows generosity by offering more money to shylock instead of the pound of flesh Shylock shows a bit of generosity by letting people loan his money and trusts them that they will pay them back and if they don’t pay him back on time then he will charge you more money so that he can not go broke. Antonio shows generosity by putting his live on the line by getting a loan from shylock to give to Bassanio so that Bassanio can marry Portia but Shakespeare implies that you have to be a bit greedy in order to keep yourself save. The play shows that we all have a bit of both (greed and generosity) There is a blurred line on who is greedy and generous the most because they all have a bit of both. Love and friendship

In the play it shows that love is the most important thing in life Tells us to “follow our hearts”.
Symbols and motifs
A symbol is a once off thing and a motif is something that continuously happens. Stones and coins
Rings
Caskets (led silver and gold)
Christianity
Trade

1. What do they represent initially?
2. What could they be a metaphor for in the play?
3. When do we see this symbol? And how does this symbol add to the plays narrative/characters/themes? 4. Does the symbol change throughout the play?

Time period notes
Lack of equality between christens and Jews
The rights of women
Set in the middle ages (1500’s)
People that control everything that happens such as wars. ( such as Christians who have a lot of money and respect) Money and wealth means a lot
Justice is different
Morals are different
Ways of things are different to now days- sexism, racism and homosexuality. Have no technology and word doesn’t get around as quickly. They still have slaves and people to do stuff for them.

Topic is shylock a victim a villain or a mix of both
Victim- targeted by a villain or society, bullied, usually innocent, vulnerable, passive Villain- mean, wants to gain control, manipulative that benefits themselves, plans, greedy. Re write- to what extent is he a villain.

Brain storm
Victim- put himself in a hole he couldn’t get out of.
Victim- of his time period
Victim- of the power of women
Victim- the women in his life leaving him
Victim-bullied by Antonio and the other Christians

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