The merchant of venice
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The Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare. Setting: Venice. Northern coast of Italy Grand Canal Transportation Glass - jewelry Flooding Cuisine. Author: William Shakespeare. 1564-1616 (52 years old) Plays have endured 398 years – 4 centuries Stratford-upon-Avon, England

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The Merchant of Venice

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The merchant of venice

The Merchant of Venice

William Shakespeare


Setting venice

Setting: Venice

  • Northern coast of Italy

  • Grand Canal

  • Transportation

  • Glass - jewelry

  • Flooding

  • Cuisine


Author william shakespeare

Author: William Shakespeare

  • 1564-1616 (52 years old)

  • Plays have endured 398 years – 4 centuries

  • Stratford-upon-Avon, England

  • Schooling – quit at 14, never went to college

  • Married Anne Hathaway

    • 18 years old

  • 37 plays

    • Tragedy, comedy, history


Did he really exist

Did he really exist?

  • Only “official” document is his will – different signatures

    • Shakespeare …Shakspere … Shakspeare …Shackspeare …

  • Lack of education


The globe theatre

The Globe Theatre

  • London, England – still in use today

    • Rebuilt (1994)

  • No props, scenery, curtains, etc.

  • Men played female roles

  • Seating arrangements

    • Groundlings

    • Middle class

    • Wealthy


Language and humor

Language and Humor

  • Fancy, complex language – for entertainment

  • Word play (think Yoda from Star Wars)

  • Language was not all understood by people in Shakespeare’s time either

  • 90% of words/phrases still in use

    • Pomp and circumstance…eaten out of house and home…neither rhyme nor reason…method to the madness…a sorry sight


Vocabulary terms

Vocabulary terms

  • Prologue:

    • Introduction, tells the reader what to expect

  • Stage Direction:

    • Indicates movement, position, tone

  • Monologue:

    • Extended speech by a single character

  • Dialogue:

    • Conversation between characters

  • Soliloquy/aside:

    • Character is speaking to himself or directly to the audience

  • Dialect:

    • Specialized language for a specific purpose

  • Dramatic irony:

    • The audience knows more than the characters/actors do


Main characters

Main Characters

  • Shylock

    • Lender; charges high interest rates; agrees to lend money to Antonio but threatens to take “a pound of his flesh” if he cannot repay the loan

  • Antonio

    • A merchant; usually lends out money without charging interest but needs to borrow from Shylock for his good friend Bassanio


Main characters1

Main Characters

  • Bassanio

    • Loves Portia, but has to prove himself worthy by identifying a casket with her picture enclosed; gets Antonio into trouble with Shylock

  • Portia

    • A wealthy and smart heiress; wants to marry Bassanio, but her father (who passed away) left a “riddle” behind to determine who will marry her


Main characters2

Main Characters

  • Jessica

    • Shylock’s daughter, runs away

  • Lorenzo

    • In love with Jessica and eventually elopes with her

  • Gratiano

    • Close friend of Bassanio, falls in love with Nerissa

  • Nerissa

    • Portia’s servant; she and Portia disguise themselves during Antonio’s trial


Themes and symbols

Themes and Symbols

  • Themes:

    • Prejudice

    • Law and mercy

    • Revenge

    • Greed/generosity

  • Symbols:

    • The three caskets

    • Pound of flesh

    • Rings


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