Appearance Vs Reality 2


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Appearance Vs Reality 2

  1. 1. Appearance vs. reality Merchant of Venice
  2. 2. Appearance vs. reality <ul><li>How a character present his/herself vs. who he/she really is. </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance is a visual outward form as to what is being perceived whereas reality is what is real, existent, or underlies appearances. </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance and reality become dominant oppositions during the play </li></ul><ul><li>In MOV, Appearance versus Reality comes in the form of lies, deception and disguise. </li></ul>
  3. 3. Significance of the theme <ul><li>The Merchant of Venice depends heavily on deception to thicken the plot and create the general atmosphere and mood of suspense shrouding the story line. Trickery involving appearance and reality is present throughout the majority of the play </li></ul>
  4. 4. Significance of the theme <ul><li>Shakespeare uses deception to enhance the unfolding drama and involve his audience more fully in the play – the audience are party to deceptions which the characters themselves are unaware of, thus creating a dramatic irony. </li></ul><ul><li>The theme also displays the rounded personalities of the characters. </li></ul>
  5. 5. From the play… <ul><li>During the discussion of the bond, Shylock appears to be friendly to Antonio, but he actually had an ulterior motive, which is to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh from whatever part of his body he pleases. The underlying meaning is to kill him . </li></ul><ul><li>Portia appears to be friendly in front of the Prince of Morocco, but in fact, she prejudices him against her complexion. </li></ul>
  6. 6. From the play… <ul><li>Launcelot deceives his blind father, pretending that he is not his son and tried “confusions with him” </li></ul><ul><li>Jessica pretends to be meek and submissive in front of her father when in reality, she is rebellious. </li></ul><ul><li>she dressed up as a boy in order to elope with Lorenzo. </li></ul><ul><li>Jessica’s disguise is more than just physical, it is also meant to hide her identity and to hide her shame of running away from her father with his money, and also denouncing her Jewish religion. </li></ul>
  7. 7. From the play… <ul><li>The choosing of caskets look simple and dependent on “Fortune”, but it actually tests the love, mettle and character of the suitor. </li></ul><ul><li>Prince of Morocco chose the gold casket, showing that he is superficial, greedy and materialistic. Prince of Arragon chose the silver casket and thus revealing that he too is superficial, but trying to be someone he is not. As for those who choose the lead casket, it shows that they are intellectual, and not easily deceived by false values. </li></ul><ul><li>This idea is enhanced by the phrase, “ all that glitters is not gold” </li></ul>
  8. 8. From the play… <ul><li>Portia and Nerissa disguise themselves as Balthazar and his clerk in order to attend the trial. </li></ul><ul><li>They then develop the deceit so that they can test their husbands </li></ul><ul><li>The 'appearance' of the Venetians is also questionable - they call themselves Christians (and so ought to follow the teachings of the New Testament, loving their neighbours), but the reality is that they own slaves and persecute the Jews. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Implications and consequences <ul><li>In MOV, the theme gets us more engaged as we would always be eager to know whether the disguises, deceits that we are aware of would be known to the other characters on stage. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Viewing our world <ul><li>We should learn to take things with a pinch of salt and not judge things by their outer appearances. Looks are deceiving. </li></ul><ul><li>We should get to know others well before giving our trust. (e.g. Shylock, Antonio and the pound of flesh) </li></ul>
  11. 11. What should we base our decisions on? <ul><li>We should base our decisions on what we know about certain people, understanding their perspective, motive, and external factors that might be influencing them. </li></ul>
  12. 12. THANK YOU!