Merchant of Venice background

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Provides a brief background on the play, Shakespeare's sources of inspiration for the play, and the play's four plotlines.

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  • Merchant of Venice background

    1. 1. Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice Background “A Pound of Flesh”
    2. 2. Venice
    3. 3. Venice
    4. 4. Venice
    5. 6. The Merchant of Venice Background “A Pound of Flesh”
    6. 7. The Merchant of Venice Essential Questions <ul><li>How far would you be willing to go for a friend? </li></ul><ul><li>What causes prejudice? </li></ul><ul><li>Does money bring happiness? </li></ul><ul><li>When are you obligated to break the rules? </li></ul>
    7. 8. Main characters of Venice <ul><li>Shylock, a Jewish moneylender </li></ul><ul><li>Jessica, his daughter </li></ul><ul><li>Tubal, his friend </li></ul><ul><li>Launcelot Gobbo, his servant </li></ul><ul><li>Old Gobbo, father to Launcelot </li></ul>
    8. 9. Main characters of Venice <ul><li>Antonio, a Venetian merchant </li></ul><ul><li>Bassanio, his friend, in love with Portia </li></ul><ul><li>Salanio, Salerio, Gratiano: friends to both </li></ul><ul><li>Lorenzo, in love with Jessica, Shylock’s daughter </li></ul>
    9. 10. Main characters of Belmont <ul><li>Portia, a rich heiress </li></ul><ul><li>Nerissa, her waiting-maid </li></ul>
    10. 11. Why write about a merchant– much less one from Venice? <ul><li>Renaissance values of here-and-now control of own destiny </li></ul><ul><li>England, a waterborne power after 1588 </li></ul><ul><li>National pride </li></ul><ul><li>Interest in world cultures rises </li></ul><ul><li>Venice, multicultural center of trade and tourism, gateway to the East </li></ul>
    11. 12. Why chose a Jew as the antagonist? <ul><li>Success of Christopher Marlowe’s racist The Jew of Malta: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>“ I walk abroad a-nights/ And kill sick people groaning under walls;/ Sometimes I go about and poison wells.” </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Read Il Pecorone </li></ul><ul><li>Challenge in humanizing the “evil other” to best Marlowe </li></ul>
    12. 13. Multi-Linear Plotlines: Bondage and Freedom <ul><li>Loan plot </li></ul><ul><li>Lottery plot </li></ul><ul><li>Elopement plot </li></ul><ul><li>Ring Plot </li></ul>
    13. 14. BONDAGE sub-topics <ul><li>Money </li></ul><ul><li>Prejudice </li></ul><ul><li>Friendships </li></ul><ul><li>Breaking the rules </li></ul>
    14. 15. BONDS to look for… <ul><li>Friend to friend </li></ul><ul><li>Master to servant </li></ul><ul><li>Creditor to debtor </li></ul><ul><li>Leaders to the law </li></ul><ul><li>Children to parents </li></ul><ul><li>Characters to feelings </li></ul><ul><li>Characters to religion </li></ul>
    15. 16. Historical Influences: Prejudice Jews are bound by Christians’ negative perceptions <ul><li>Expulsion of Jews in 1290 </li></ul><ul><li>1594 Lopez case </li></ul>
    16. 17. Historical Influences: Money Christians are bound by Pope’s decree <ul><li>Pope’s decree against lending for interest </li></ul><ul><li>Venice, center of trade and tourism </li></ul><ul><li>England, a waterborne power after 1588 </li></ul>
    17. 18. Historical Influences: Breaking the rules Common man is less bound by ignorance <ul><li>End of the “dark ages” </li></ul><ul><li>Renaissance empowerment of the common man </li></ul>
    18. 19. Historical influences Friendship Friends can be bound by ties transcending even marriage <ul><li>Rise in interest in classical texts </li></ul><ul><li>Phileo </li></ul>
    19. 20. Literary devices and terms <ul><li>Allusion </li></ul><ul><li>Anastrophe </li></ul><ul><li>Aside </li></ul><ul><li>Dramatic irony </li></ul><ul><li>Exeunt </li></ul><ul><li>Diazeugma </li></ul><ul><li>Situational Irony </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperbole </li></ul><ul><li>Hyperbole </li></ul><ul><li>Inversion </li></ul><ul><li>Omission </li></ul><ul><li>Rhetorical question </li></ul><ul><li>Refrain </li></ul><ul><li>Monologue </li></ul><ul><li>Aporia </li></ul><ul><li>Oxymoron </li></ul><ul><li>Pun </li></ul>
    20. 21. Essential Terminology <ul><li>Argosy </li></ul><ul><li>Bond </li></ul><ul><li>Usury </li></ul>

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