The Merchant of Venice - Wikipedia
Well, that's a complicated question- mostly because it's up to the actors to do the exploring, one of the wonderful things about Shakespeare. Shylock and Antonio resent and dislike one another. Firstly, Shylock hates Antonio because he is a Christian; secondly, because Antonio is a. In groups of four, students discuss the relationships among these words: . Shylock: The Jewish merchant of Venice who lends Antonio the money on his friend . Journal/discussion topic: What advice have you given to someone else that you.
Now, maybe he always hoped to get the pound of flesh- our Shylock is more sympathetic, planning at first just to scare Antonio if he fails to pay him back. Get one over as it were, put him in his place. And then Jessica runs off with Lorenzo. Shylock can't do a thing about it, and if he tries any revenge he'll probably be killed. So along comes the news that Antonio has lost his ships, and he has a legal chance to get payback for all the hell he's gone through.
So he takes it, or tries to. But again, this is up to the actor. If Portia hadn't stopped Shylock, would he have gone through with it? After they are all reunited, Nerissa hands Lorenzo a deed of gift from Shylock, won in the trial, giving Jessica all of his wealth upon his death.
Fled with a Christian! O, my Christian ducats! In this version it is Munday's Jessica analogue, Brisana, who pleads the case first in the courtroom scene, followed by Cornelia, the Portia analogue. The Christian in love with a Jewess appears frequently in exemplum from the 13th to the 15th century. However, in this story the Christian lover flees alone with the treasure.
Jessica (The Merchant of Venice) - Wikipedia
His daughter, Floripas, proceeds to murder her governess for refusing to help feed the prisoners; bashes the jailer's head in with his keychain when he refuses to let her see the prisoners; manipulates her father into giving her responsibility for them; brings them to her tower, and treats them as royalty; does the same for the remaining ten of the Twelve Peers when they are captured too; helps the Peers murder Sir Lucafere, King of Baldas when he surprises them; urges the Peers to attack her father and his knights at supper to cover up the murder; when her father escapes and attacks the Peers in her tower, she assists in the defence; then she converts to Christianity and is betrothed to Guy of Burgundy; and finally, she and her brother, Fierabras decide that there is no point trying to convert their father to Christianity so he should be executed instead.
The reason for the cruelty of the Sultan's two children is quite obvious. In the romances there are two sides: Once Floripas and Ferumbras had joined the 'good' side, they had to become implacable enemies of the Sultan. There was no question of filial duty or filial love; one was either a Saracen or a Christian, and that was all there was to it. There is not any other moral standard for the characters. Religion, race, and gender[ edit ] Critical history[ edit ] Literary critics have historically viewed the character negatively, highlighting her theft of her father's gold, her betrayal of his trust, and her apparently selfish motivations and aimless behaviour.
In her survey, "In Defense of Jessica: In the interim between the signing of the bond and its falling due this daughter, this Jessica, has wickedly and most unfilially betrayed him.
Quite without heart, on worse than an animal instinct—pilfering to be carnal—she betrays her father to be a light-of-lucre carefully weighted with her sire's ducats. In such a reading Jessica's actions amount to abandoning her father and betraying him to his enemies.
How does Shakespeare explore the relationship between Antonio and Shylock?
She was still viewed as inhabiting primarily negative values, in contrast with the positive values associated with Portia, Bassanio, and Antonio. The relationship of Jessica and Lorenzo to the primary lovers, Portia and Bassanio, consistently is contrastive and negative: Slights highlights comedies where children rebel against a miserly father, or romances where daughters defy a repressive father for love.
These conventions would be familiar for both Shakespeare and an Elizabethan theatre audience, and, indeed, modern audiences tend to accept Jessica's actions as natural within the context of the plot. Her escape from Shylock's repressive household to Belmont a quest for freedom, and from misfortune to happiness. Similarly, in Salernitano's 14th novella, the daughter makes off with her father's money, to the same effect.
It ranks him with the miserly fathers in Elizabethan and classical comedies, who are only fit to be dupes of their children ….
The first critical notice of Jessica in the 18th century was made by William Warburtonwho commented on the line in Act 5, Scene 1: This changed the meaning, as an acerbic Malone points out: I should not have attempted to explain so easy a passage, if the ignorant editor of the second folio, thinking probably that the word get must necessarily mean beget, had not altered the text, and substituted did in the place of do, the reading of all the old and authentick editions; in which he has been copied by every subsequent editor.
Launcelot is not talking about Jessica's father, but about her future husband.
I am aware that, in a subsequent scene, he says to Jessica, 'Marry, you may partly hope your father got you not;' but he is now on another subject. Shylock has Antonio brought before court. At Belmont, Bassanio receives a letter telling him that Antonio has been unable to repay the loan from Shylock. Portia and Bassanio marry, as do Gratiano and Portia's handmaid Nerissa. Bassanio and Gratiano leave for Venicewith money from Portia, to save Antonio's life by offering the money to Shylock.
Unknown to Bassanio and Gratiano, Portia sent her servant, Balthazar, to seek the counsel of Portia's cousin, Bellario, a lawyer, at Padua.
The climax of the play takes place in the court of the Duke of Venice. Shylock refuses Bassanio's offer of 6, ducats, twice the amount of the loan.
He demands his pound of flesh from Antonio. The Duke, wishing to save Antonio but unable to nullify a contract, refers the case to a visitor. He identifies himself as Balthasar, a young male "doctor of the law", bearing a letter of recommendation to the Duke from the learned lawyer Bellario. The doctor is Portia in disguise, and the law clerk who accompanies her is Nerissa, also disguised as a man.
As Balthasar, Portia repeatedly asks Shylock to show mercy in a famous speechadvising him that mercy "is twice blest: It blesseth him that gives and him that takes" IV, i, However, Shylock adamantly refuses any compensations and insists on the pound of flesh. As the court grants Shylock his bond and Antonio prepares for Shylock's knife, Portia deftly appropriates Shylock's argument for "specific performance". She says that the contract allows Shylock to remove only the flesh, not the "blood", of Antonio see quibble.
Thus, if Shylock were to shed any drop of Antonio's blood, his "lands and goods" would be forfeited under Venetian laws.
She tells him that he must cut precisely one pound of flesh, no more, no less; she advises him that "if the scale do turn, But in the estimation of a hair, Thou diest and all thy goods are confiscate. She cites a law under which Shylock, as a Jew and therefore an "alien", having attempted to take the life of a citizen, has forfeited his property, half to the government and half to Antonio, leaving his life at the mercy of the Duke.
The Duke pardons Shylock's life. Antonio asks for his share "in use" until Shylock's death, when the principal will be given to Lorenzo and Jessica. At Antonio's request, the Duke grants remission of the state's half of forfeiture, but on the condition that Shylock convert to Christianity and bequeath his entire estate to Lorenzo and Jessica IV,i. Bassanio does not recognise his disguised wife, but offers to give a present to the supposed lawyer.
First she declines, but after he insists, Portia requests his ring and Antonio's gloves. Antonio parts with his gloves without a second thought, but Bassanio gives the ring only after much persuasion from Antonio, as earlier in the play he promised his wife never to lose, sell or give it.
Nerissa, as the lawyer's clerk, succeeds in likewise retrieving her ring from Gratiano, who does not see through her disguise. At Belmont, Portia and Nerissa taunt and pretend to accuse their husbands before revealing they were really the lawyer and his clerk in disguise V. After all the other characters make amends, Antonio learns from Portia that three of his ships were not stranded and have returned safely after all.
The title page from a printing of Giovanni Fiorentino's 14th-century tale Il Pecorone The first page of The Merchant of Venice, printed in the Second Folio of The forfeit of a merchant's deadly bond after standing surety for a friend's loan was a common tale in England in the late 16th century. The play was mentioned by Francis Meres inso it must have been familiar on the stage by that date. The title page of the first edition in states that it had been performed "divers times" by that date.
Salerino's reference to his ship the Andrew I,i,27 is thought to be an allusion to the Spanish ship St. A date of —97 is considered consistent with the play's style. The play was entered in the Register of the Stationers Companythe method at that time of obtaining copyright for a new play, by James Roberts on 22 July under the title The Merchant of Venice, otherwise called The Jew of Venice. On 28 October Roberts transferred his right to the play to the stationer Thomas Heyes ; Heyes published the first quarto before the end of the year.
It was printed again inas part of William Jaggard's so-called False Folio. Afterward, Thomas Heyes' son and heir Laurence Heyes asked for and was granted a confirmation of his right to the play, on 8 July The edition is generally regarded as being accurate and reliable. It is the basis of the text published in the First Foliowhich adds a number of stage directions, mainly musical cues.
Critics today still continue to argue over the play's stance on the Jews and Judaism. Shylock and Jessica by Maurycy Gottlieb. Shylock as a villain[ edit ] English society in the Elizabethan era has been described as "judeophobic". In Venice and in some other places, Jews were required to wear a red hat at all times in public to make sure that they were easily identified, and had to live in a ghetto protected by Christian guards.