I had previously read this play before, a few years ago, but I definitely enjoyed reading it the second time, alongside the video. This was mostly because I could understand the play and the interactions much better, and because we were given background information on the world the play took place in. My understanding of the type of English being spoken in the play is also much better.
Although the I understood and enjoyed reading the play, watching the video increased both enjoyment and level of understanding by ten-fold! The video portrayed the characters so well, adding several layers underneath the characters, resembling that of an onion. I didn’t expect much before I had watched the video but I was genuinely impressed with it, the production quality, the acting and especially the way it revved my emotions, and had them in shambles. For a solid half of a class, I distinctly remember being angry at the events that had taken place at the court scene. The injustice given to Shylock, a Jew who only wanted justice was somehow manipulated into the wrong for wanting payment, and then forced into a new religion. I hate how that event takes place and then the same people that ruined his life (Portia and Bassanio), act like nothing happened. They move on so quickly and act to nonchalant and regal and that annoyed me so much. Jessica was another case. She abandons her father, takes his money, and essentially is the catalyst to all the disaster that takes place at the end. I hated her character so much but the scene in which she shows some remorse somewhat redeems her in my eyes.
Apart from the extensive quote from Shylock that we have to memorize, this was easily on of my favorite topics in English this year.