PDF ↠ BOOK The Merchant of Venice

TEXT The Merchant of Venice

PDF ↠ BOOK The Merchant of Venice ↠ In this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth century Venice Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia but lacks the necessary funds He turns to his merchant friend Antonio who is forced to borrow from Shylock a Jewish moneylender When Antonio's business falters repayment becomes impossible S to his merchant friend Antonio who is forced to borrow from Shylock a Jewish moneylender When Antonio's business falters repayment becomes impossible and by The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare is the old classics selection for catching up on classics for September 2016 This comedy first printed in 1609 five years prior to Shakespeare's death offers many pressing issues of its day that are unfortunately still relevant today It is still widely studied in schools yet is banned in many places as well due to its anti Semitic portrayal of Jews and some lewdness It is in this light that I discuss the Bard's work Jews had been banned from England in 1290 so it is highly unlikely that Shakespeare came across many Jews during his lifetime His portrayal of Shylock as a greedy moneylender is considered stereotypical by many Other scholars however have created rumors that perhaps Shakespeare himself was Jewish and that his creation of Shylock was to bring awareness the poor treatment of Jews throughout Europe The fact that this play was published in the First Folio after the Bard's death makes one uestion if perhaps Shakespeare himself did not write this particular play but maybe a ghost writer specifically a Jewish born ghost writer did Regardless Shylock's character including his Hath not a Jew eyes speech remains memorable these 420 years later Additionally Shakespeare has created strong female characters in this play both Portia of Belmont and Jessica Shylock's daughter I recently read Macbeth where Lady Macbeth is ruthless and calculating than her husband In The Merchant of Venice Portia uses a mind game to find a worthy suitor and later on disguises herself as a lawyer in order to free her husband's dear friend Antonio from Shylock's bond I remember all these years later being naturally drawn toward Portia's strong character when I read this play in school which is why I feel that schools select this work so that girls have a protagonist that they are captivated by while reading While the Merchant of Venice is officially deemed a comedy because three sets of characters marry the play also contains dramatic elements I am drawn toward the intrigue in tragedies so naturally the plot involving Antonio's bond to Shylock in order to assist Bassanio in wooing Portia held my attention than the actual romance involving Portia and Bassanio as well as Nerissa and Gratiano Additionally the role of Jews' in society which lead Jessica to renounce her Judaism in order to marry Lorenzo was heart rending to me as opposed to romantic Interestingly enough the last play of Shakespeare's that I read discussed little of the world at large but chose to focus on the characters themselves This leads me to uestion if the rumor to whether or not the Bard penned all of his plays actually contains a kernel of truth I enjoyed reading The Merchant of Venice for the first time in nearly twenty years It is eye opening through adult eyes the roles of both Jews and women in Shakespearean works Was the bard an anti Semitic Englishman renouncing Jews or a Jewish ghost writer warning Europeans of Jews' plight The fact that scholars are still debating this uestion over 400 years later is a testament to the Bard's place in written history It was a treat to revisit this work which I rate 5 huge stars for its societal awareness and timelessness

William Shakespeare Ë The Merchant of Venice KINDLE

The terms of the loan agreement Shylock is able to demand a pound of Antonio's flesh Portia cleverly intervenes and all ends well except of course for Shyloc “One had best state this matter very plainly To recover the comic splendor of The Merchant of Venice now you need to be either a scholar or an anti Semite or best of all an anti Semitic scholar” Harold BloomSee how yond justice rails upon yond simple thiefHark in thine ear change places and handy dandywhich is the justice which is the thief King Lear IVvi151–4“Which is the merchant here and which the Jew” The Merchant of Venice THE BLACK SWAN OF VENICE The traditional interpretations are usually on the lines of ‘ accept the play as what it is a comedy that utilizes stereotypes’  or on ‘ Shakespeare managed to use a stereotype and yet humanized him and created one of the great characters in theatre’ Truly the scope and diversity of theatrical interpretations of the Merchant are extraordinary and there have been many new and exciting attempts at understanding the play over the centuries In addition its racism has often been reversed in performance converted into an elouent plea for human euality Indeed in some ways the play has been instrumental in changing people’s perceptions of the Jewish community and it therefore occupies a valuable place in world cultureIt is said that Merchant of Venice is one of the most performed plays of all time and has continuously been in production for over 300 years now Is there a reason why it is so popular It is partly due precisely to this breadth of interpretation that is possible and partly due to the immense challenge thrown up by the character of Shylock Shylock can be interpreted in many ways on the stage He can be seen as a simple comic villain who occasionally reveals sympathetic ualities Or he can be a tragic hero a spurned and battered victim of oppression who tries unsuccessfully to challenge the society that oppresses him Similarly the Christians can be saintly personifications of charity and mercy or hypocritical money grubbers It may seem strange that a play can produce such divergent readings but they are in fact a result of the complexity of Shakespeare’s writingIt is a play that is curiously capable of moulding itself to our present we only have to project the current OTHER into the role of Shylock as many directors over the centuries have doneIt allows reinterpretation as per this current Other and can then be a vehicle for showcasing a sense of how a historic wrong is ripe for correctionWhat this sort of interpretation of Merchant of Venice misses is that both Venice and Shylock were ‘The Other’ to each other They were both incomprehensible to the other The Directorial Debut A World Without Belmont Keeping this in mind now if I were to direct the play today I would focus on these things1 The risky speculative nature of Antonio's ventures2 The twisting of the laws by Portia to ‘bail out’ Antonio and to make Shylock bear the brunt of Antonio's speculationsIn a bit detail this would be my approach towards the productionShylock Shakespeare uses ‘Jew’ and “Shylock’ in the play depending on whether he wants to humanize him or not ‘Shylock’ is used where involvement in his feelings is indicated; and ‘Jew’ is used when Shakespeare sees him purely as a moneylender as a stereotype It is significant that at the very end in the Trial Scene ‘Shylock’ is used by Shakespeare and not ‘Jew’I would extend this to its extreme humanize Shylock completely strip him of his 'monstrosity' status and of his usurer brand and make him the common family man downtrodden occasionally trying to get byAntonio is given no

BOOK Ô The Merchant of Venice Ë William Shakespeare

The Merchant of VeniceIn this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth century Venice Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia but lacks the necessary funds He turn Many years ago I believed this play to be an early experiment in tragi comedy featuring Shylock a nemesis of almost tragic proportions who both because of the sympathies he evokes and the evil determination he represents unbalances the play making the last act in Belmont seem like a hollow exercise in formal completeness More recently I believed that Shylock was essentially a comic villain one dark splash on a predominately sunny canvas that embodies f0r us the fallen world of Venice transformed by the magic of Portia's Belmont I also believe our knowledge of the Holocaust makes it impossible to appreciate the play fully in this way Now after my recent re reading I'm no longer sure what to think For one thing taking the title seriously this time I feel that Antonio the merchant both in his unexplained sadness his love whether erotic or paternal or both for Bassanio and his unredeemed solitariness is extremely important to the meaning of the play I think that Antonio and Shylock in their preoccupations and loneliness are similar but that Antonio unlike Shylock is able to look beneath the surface of things to peer beneath our muddy vesture of decay and hear the music of the spheres as it echoes in the human heart Thus Antonio becomes capable of love and mercy through choice in much the same way that Bassanio chooses the right caskets and Portia chooses the mature way to respond to Bassanio's giving away of her ring Shylock however by willingly suppressing his compassion for another and insisting strictly on justice puts himself beyond mercy and beyond love