PR Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s play, I find it sort of thought-provoking since it touched a very delicate topic, it did have some conflicting ideas that made me overthink some of the parts.
There was especially this part when Jewish where in favor of the law and Christians to mercy, it is logical that if all people sin, we must all have mercy so that it could go vice versa, or for example Jewish people once they know the rules and they pursue them, once they break them they accept the consequences.
What I found unfair for the play was how Christians use to keep Jews in the ghetto and then they would have to suffer consequences some random Christian created.
The play made me reflect on how society is nowadays and how often this case happens, people asking for loans thinking in the future they could pay, but at the end it doesn’t arrive, people don’t understand that when interest goes up the amount they own is invaluable and they could end up owing a debt for life, and in some cases the debt transfers to the next generation.

The Merchant of Venice- PR (Play)

Personally, I enjoyed more watching the ‘Merchant of Venice’ play by Shakespeare  than reading it. The reason is that I had a hard time understanding the book because of the Early Modern English Shakespeare used.

While reading the book I had to stop several times and look up what certain words meant because there were words that I haven’t heard before and that I didn’t understand. Also, I had to re-read the majority of the passages because I didn’t quite comprehend what was happening. That is something that really bothered me because half of the time I didn’t know what was happening in the play. Watching the film really help me understand the play, which had a very interesting plot and highlighted religious discrimination in society.

The Bully and his Victim- Response

My verdict is that both kids would have a consequence. The bully would have a consequence because he hurt the victim mentally and physically on purpose, making the victim react the way he did. On the other hand, even thought the victim was just trying to defend himself, he did it very drastically.  In my opinion, he could have defended himself without hitting the other person, instead he could have talk to an adult or defend himself with words.

Merchant of Venice PR

I can say that I preferred watching the play to reading it. I struggle with and therefore do not like or enjoy reading Shakespeare’s works. The plot was interesting but I only found this out after watching the play. Shakespearean language is almost equivalent to a different language to me so I am almost sure that if I had not watched the play, I would not have had the faintest clue what was happening.

The Merchant of Venice

Reading and watching The Merchant of Venice was very fun and I really enjoyed the type of reading this was. When we had to the the acting of Shylock, I did have a herd time actually converting into shylock, because I did have the words and did learn the entire speech, but I still had a little bit of nervousness at the moment of actually presenting the speech. I do think it mad the learning experience much funner, and did push me out of my confort zone, which I think is very good.
What I have thoughts about is the controversy between jews and christians reacting to this book and specifically this speech, and I am very neutral but i dont think it was an antisimetic book or movie.

The merchant of venice

“The merchant of Venice” is one of the most famous plays of Shakespeare, which takes place in Venice, the Republic of Venice was a major financial and maritime power during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, which was the 16th century. The initially topic is the fight between Jews and Christians and how their cultures and ideologies are different regarding the everyday lifestyle. During the play and the movie many emotions and contradictions are being found.

One of the principal characters, Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, faces many challenges of discrimination and prejudice, Bassanio, is a Christian that is demanded by a man called Antonio a wealthy merchant that asks for 3000 ducats.

In the play, the merchant Antonio borrows money from the Jewish Shylock, to help his friend Bassanio look after the beautiful Portia.

Self-interest is the main theme of the play, one example is when Shylock prefers his money than her own daughter, this was hard to read, it’s difficult for me to see that people care more about money than their own family.

Also, another theme that is being presented is greed and love with Bassanio and Portia, in this play the characters pay the consequences of their actions.

In conclusion, I think that this play is reflecting part of a cruel reality we face, but in good terms I learned new words.

PR “The Merchant of Venice” play

Shakespeare’s “The Merchant of Venice” is a challenging but simple play to understand. In the play are examples  from everyday life examined, including justice and mercy. You can clearly see in the play, love is determined by money.

In the play, the main character and rich Venetian merchant Antonio borrows money from the Jewish money lender Shylock to assist his friend Bassanio, in taking care of the stunning and affluent Portia. But at one point, Shylock demands a pound of meat in court, as leverage in the event that the loan is not paid back and Antonio’s ships are lost at sea and he is unable to repay the loan.

The themes of selfishness, money and love are demonstrated through the example of the Bassanio and Portia couple, friendship is demonstrated through the example of Antonio and Bassanio, revenge is demonstrated through the example of Shylock and Antonio, and justice and mercy are demonstrated through the example of Portia and Antonio. Justice and kindness are also brought up in the play as the characters struggle with the effects of their choices and judgements.

All in all, I really liked  “The Merchant of Venice” because it is a controversial play that gets readers to consider the moral effects of their choices and the difficulties of human nature.

PR to the Merchant of Venice play – Kristina

“The Merchant of Venice” is a play by Shakespeare that is difficult to read but easy to understand. It explores life themes that are still found in everyday life, such as greed and love, friendship and revenge, justice and mercy.

In the play, the wealthy Venetian merchant Antonio borrows money from the Jewish pawnbroker Shylock to help his friend Bassanio look after the beautiful and wealthy Portia. But at one point, Shylock demands a pound of meat as collateral, in case the loan is not repaid, only Antonio’s ships are lost at sea and he cannot repay the loan, then Shylock demands a pound of flesh in court, where at the same time he is disguised as a youth Portia.

The theme of greed and love is revealed on the example of the Bassanio – Portia couple; the theme of friendship – on the example of Antonio – Bassanio; the theme of revenge – on the example of Shylock – Antonio; and the themes of justice and mercy on the example of Portia in relation to Antonio. In the play, the characters struggle with the consequences of their actions and their beliefs, which also brings up the theme of justice and mercy.

Overall, “The Merchant of Venice” is a thought-provoking play that makes readers think about the complexities of human nature and the moral consequences of our actions.

PR – Merchant of Venice Play

Prior to the introduction of, the Merchant of Venice, by Shakespeare, we were tasked to give a verdict regarding a bully and his victim. The exercise helps us ease into the correct mindset to explore the important topic of which the play addresses. The topic addressed being the contrast of Jews and Christians and how their ideology differs regarding justice and mercy in their everyday life. While going over both a movie and the script of the play with others, many different contradicting emotions are evoked by everyone and during the progression of the play. The emotions created while we follow Shylock through the use of diction and imagery prevails throughout the play.

When we were first introduced to Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, who faces prejudice and discrimination throughout the play, Bassanio, a Christian man under Antonio, a well-off merchant asks for bound for 3000 ducats (Act 1, scene 3, ll. 1-2). Almost immediately, we see a clash between Shylock, the Jewish man and the Christians as Shylock responses to Bassanio with, “Yes, to smell pork, to eat of the habitation which your prophet the Nazarite conjured the devil into,” after a feast invitation (Act 1, scene 3, ll. 29-30). The ridicule creates a sense of displeasure towards Shylock. However, his actions is explained after we learn that Antonio addresses him as a “cut-throat dog” and spits on his face.

During the negotiation of Shylock and Antonio, we are given a sense of Shylock forgiving Antonio as he allows Antonio to borrow the 3000 ducats without interest due to his religion. However, we are quickly revolted as Shylock asks for “a pound of flesh” as collateral, which Antonio agrees to after Shylock exclaims how he meant “his friendship, not his flesh.” However, after we see Shylock lose his daughter and a large amount of ducats, Shylock went back on his words and asks for the pound of flesh off Antonio. When we watch the court case between Shylock and Antonio, with Portia as Antonio’s lawyer, we feel as if Shylock is going overboard, but feel for Shylock after the contradiction of the mercy system.

The Merchant of Venice PR

One of Shakespeare’s famous works – The Merchant of Venice takes place in Venice, Italy where is an international trading spot during the 16th century. Venice is a central trading district for most naval trades, it is also a place full of prejudice and discrimination. Compare to Canada, I think Canada is a way better place to live since people accept each others differences and create a peaceful environment, not like Venice. People in Venice give me a feeling that they only care about money, instead of other people. Venice does not seem appealing for me to live, it seems frightening. The tension between Jewish and Christian is everlasting and endless in Venice.

Self-interest versus love is one of the theme in the play. In act 2 scene VIII, Shylock agonizes his money rather than his daughter. I found it hilarious when I was reading this scene. I could not understand people who care about money more than a live. Shylock is also willing to take a pound of flesh off a person which shows his obsession of money, and ignorant to love and other things.

This play discusses the tension between justice and mercy, represents by the conflict between the Jewish and Christian. Two of my most profound scenes of the play is when Shylock’s monologue in Act 3 scene I. The Christian characters show prejudice towards Shylock. I sympathize Shylock’s misfortune. His speech strongly engraves into my heart and I can feel the way he feels, prejudiced by people due to his identity. However, at the same time, Shylock is also willing to execute a cruel punishment on Antonio, which is cutting a pound of flesh from Antonio’s body. In act 4, Portia, as the judge of the court, saves Antonio from giving a pound of flesh. She starts her speech with “The quality of mercy is not strained” (act 4, scene I,line 179), which explains the issue at hand in the discussion. This raises a debate, justice verses mercy. Which one is more important? Can we live without one of them? If no, how can we balance justice and mercy. For me, I think justice without mercy is cruel, mercy without justice is profusion. Nevertheless, Shakespere does not specify whether Shylock or Portia is the representative of just or mercy. Judge symbolizes justice, judge with mercy is the key. At the end of the play, Shylock cannot get a pound of flesh from Antonio, who is guilty from the agreement with Shylock for borrowing money. Does it mean one side, mercy is greater than justice? This play is also considered controversial, and some people think it is anit-semitic as Shylock seems like a victim at the end.


The Merchant of Venice Play PR

The depth of Shakespeare’s characters and the cleverness he uses in their dialogue makes reading The Merchant of Venice all more enjoyable. It is between Bassanio and Portia’s dialogues that we see most of these witty moments. The two are a dynamic couple, and we watch how they play, speak and act with each other in a very witty way. Shakespeare himself was very bright as he used Bassanio’s and Portia’s relationship and how they complement one another is used as a device to detail Antonio’s depression and loneliness.

There are many moments in The Merchant of Venice where we see Bassanio and Portia act either in comparison or in contrast to each other. When Bassanio debates which casket to choose, he talks about looks versus reality. The first example he brings up is that of law and courts, “In law, what plea so tainted and corrupt / But, being season’d with a gracious voice, / Obscures the show of evil?” (p. 51, ll. 75). Later during the trial Portia not only obscures her true self acting as a man but also allows her personal biases to corrupt the verdict. This connection of talks and acts of corruption and deception between the couple draws a direct line between them. This concept can be further strung when you look at their places of living. Bassanio comes from Venice, a place of business, money, and justice. Portia contradicts this, as Belmont is full of art, poetry and music, “Come, ho! and wake Diana with a hymn. / With sweetest touches pierce your mistress’ ear, / And draw her home with music” (p. 90, ll. 66-68). These dualities between Bassanio and Portia are made clear to the audience so when we see Antonio we see his depression and loneliness amplified.

From the start of the play, we understand that Antonio is lonely. It is clear that he’s depressed but we see it alleviated with the presence of Bassanio. It is no surprise that once Bassanio is gone, no matter what interpretation of the relationship between the two men, Antonio becomes even more lonely. We hear Salarino recount how Antonio said goodbye to Bassanio, “Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio, / But stay the very riping of the time;” (p. 41, ll. 40-41). Antonio must reassure that he will be fine, yet even then Salarino describes, “And even there, his eye being big with tears / Turning his face, he put his hand behind him, / And with affection wondrous sensible / He wrung Bassanio’s hand, and so they parted” (p. 41, ll. 47-50). Antonio cries as Bassanio leaves him. This depression over their separation would only worsen with time, and it’s likely to assume that had the trial not happened, he would’ve stayed longer in Belmont.

This distinct connection between Antonio and Bassanio being replaced by Bassanio and Portia was super enjoyable for me, especially so if you’re interpretation of Bassanio and Antonio is in a more romantic direction. It can create this other layer of longing and forbidden love. I can find myself in the future referencing The Merchant of Venice, and I would be very interested in watching it performed at a theatre.

The Merchant of Venice- PR

I enjoyed reading The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare and can say that this was by far my most favorite book we have studied this year. This play leaves so many questions and a disturbing feeling of melancholy, which makes it so significant to me. Unlike Romeo and Juliet for example, this play does not have a “happy end”. Shylock is forced to become a Christian after being stripped away of his daughter and money in return for seeking revenge, Antonio is once again left to be alone, Portia cannot trust her husband and more..
The plot of the play covers racism, discrimination, revenge and antisemitism and is considered to be a classic. Piety is a great theme in this play as we see this in the Jewish and the Christian communities.

Shylock’s speech in the book seems to be less powerful compared to the movie, but we can still sense the tragedy as Solanio and Salarino talk amongst each other about the old Jew that “uttered in the streets” “My daughter! O my ducats! O my daughter! Fled with a Christian!”. As we are reading this from the side, we cannot fully comprehend the whole spectrum of emotion that Shylocks is going through, which I think is a very important part to the play, as we, readers, grow to sympathise for him; the famous speech by Shylock is a great example.

Despite this being one of my top favorite works of literature this year, I definitely struggled reading the play. Confusing words and sentences which at times did not make any sense at all, for example

“The devil can cite Scripture for his purpose”- Antonio, Act 1 Scene 3. P15 or “Young in limbs, in judgement old” – Morocco, Act 2 Scene 7

Shakespearean English is tough to grasp at first as the flow of the lines are very unique and have their own sense of style, but you get used to the structure of the play and the language. “Whither goest thou?” – Lorenzo, Act 2 Scene 4 p 30 is an example of those lines which made no sense at first, sounded weird when I tried to say it, but as I continued to read the play were becoming fun to recite.

Regardless of the challenges I think that in the future I will pick up other books by Shakespeare on my own time.

The bully and his victim

If I were to be the judge in the case of the bully and his victim knowing that both of them were wrong, I would punish both, but since the victim took it too far by breaking the other boy’s knee I would put bigger consequences on him, he could have looked at other solutions, even change of school. As well as making the school take notice into bullying to avoid this situations happening again, the school is also at fault since they never did anything to help the victim. The age would be relevant too so I can make the decisions of their punishments properly but it is not mention.

The Merchant of Venice PR

The Merchant of Venice written by William Shakespeare is a tragedy. The play makes me ask questions on friendship. Between money and love, does love come first? And, can you have mercy without justice? Throughout the play I embark new ideas and sides on how Shylock wanted to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio because of him not paying the loan. Without mercy Shylock demands a pound of flesh without second thoughts.

The Theme of Mercy vs. Justice is shown clearly in this play I liked how
Shylock who is asked to give mercy is demanding for justice. When it comes to
law everyone one must obey these rules written in law books and accepted by
the rulers of the country which Antonio had to do and obey Laws are written to
protect those weak people from harm or unfairness. Justice is the quality of
being just and fair and rightful mercy seems to present itself as a weak idea as

the quality of kindness or help help given to people who are in a very bad situation orless fortunate .Mercy is a gift of forgiveness or compassion not given easily . I shows how important it is to be just and fair and also merciful so that you don’t get stuck in the situation of demanding pity and mercy.


You always have to be fair and merciful so that when you ask for them you find them .One of thequotes I Liked is (Said by Portia):” The quality of mercy is not strain’d Itdroppeth as the gentle rain from heaven. Upon the place beneath: it is twiceblest; It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:’Tis mightiest in the mightiest:it becomes. The throned monarch better than his crown; His sceptre shows theforce of temporal power,The attribute to awe and majesty,Wherein doth sit thedread and fear of kings; But mercy is above this sceptred sway;It is enthroned in

The hearts of kings,It is an attribute to God himself;And earthly power doth then
show likest God’sWhen mercy seasons justice. Therefore, Jew, though justice be
thy plea, consider this, That, in the course of justice, none of us Should see
salvation: we do pray for mercy; And that same prayer doth teach us all to
render The deeds of mercy. I have spoke thus much To mitigate the justice of thy
plea;Which if thou follow, this strict court of Venice Must needs give sentence
‘gainst the merchant there.

The Merchant of Venice PR

Plays are complicated, personally I do not like complicated things, I usually get stress and bored. If I would have read the play alone I would have not understand it and have gotten stressed and bored about it, but the movie helped me appreciate the play, and both the movie and talking about it in class helped me understand it. Without this I would not have liked The Merchant of Venice but understanding it and analysing it was fun and helped me see different perspectives.

In The Merchant of Venice there were different interesting topics to analyze/notice, such as Portia dressing up as a man so she can defend Antonio showing sexism, how justice isn’t always completely achieve because there are situations where both sides are wrong and right in the play this included topics about racism and classism, and the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio which Shakespeare made us doubt about with different actions and conversations that could get confused with  homosexuality.

The relationship between Bassanio and Antonio was discussed in class a few times, viewing different perspectives I believe that this connection they seemed to have is seen as a father-son relationship. During the play Shakespeare shows different situationships in which they show how much they care about each other. Like Antonio helping Bassanio get the money he needed to pursue Portia’s hand, knowing the risk if he did not pay back, showing his support and how he would put a lot at risk to help Bassanio. Or how Bassanio the minute he found Shylock would take a pound of flesh of Antonio got worried and tried to get to Antonio as fast as possible so he could try to help him whatever it cost. Antonio’s mood seemed better when Bassanio was around him, and it was clear Antonio wanted to make Bassanio satisfied with his life. This types of situationships showed how good of a relationship they had with each other.

The Merchant of Venice shows different interesting topics which are entertaining to analyze. Issues such as classism, racism, prejudice, injustice, and more are noticed. All this made it an interesting read. I hope in the future we get to read more plays that have a movie as well making it easier to understand the play.

The Merchant of Venice PR

The Merchant of Venice is a tragedy by William Shakespeare between 1596 and 1598. The play evokes the question, will love or money prevail? And, what do we value more? The play presents the triumph of money. Through the use of both diction and imagery, the reader finds an argument for money. By doing so, the play allows us to question our own personal values. By doing so, the reader is able to identify personal biases, and even loyalties, to either love or money.

An example of the argument for wealth’s superiority can be found in Act 1, Scene 1. During this scene, Antonio discusses his sorrows with Salarino and Solanio. He outlines his sadness, and his companions offer explanations for his depression, the cause of which is seemingly unknowable,

“In sooth I know not why I am so sad.
It wearies me, you say it wearies you.
But how I caught it, found it, or came by it,…”(ll. 1-3)

“…Your mind is tossing on the ocean,
There where your argosies with portly sail”(ll. 8-9)

“…Why then, you are in love”(l. 46)

Antonio’s companions offer little sympathy. Instead, they immediately jump to conclusions firstly concerning Antonio’s business affairs. After which they guess that his heart is aching. It is important to note that the matters of finances are addressed before the matters of the heart. This suggests that not only do Antonio’s companions prefer wealth over love. Further, being close friends of Antonio, Salarino and Solanio know him well, and thus base their guesses on the cause of his sorrows on what they know about Antonio. Another example of wealth prevailing over love can be found in Act 1, Scene 2. In which Bassanio describes his plan to rid himself of debts by marrying Portia. Portia is a wealthy young woman,

“In Belmont is a lady richly left,

And she is fair, and-fairer than that word

Of wondrous virtues.”(ll. 161-163)

Bassanio has planned to get out of debt by marrying a wealthy woman for her money. In a similar manner to the previous quotation, the financial benefits of marrying Portia are discussed before the content of her character or her physical appearance. This suggests that Bassanio has ill intentions. He sees Portia only as a means to an end, not as a human being. This exemplifies how wealth skews the perceptions of beauty and character. Further, Bassanio’s vision has been clouded by the possibility of wealth, and it has allowed him to dehumanize a woman he plans to marry. This further reiterates the theme of wealth prevailing over love. An additional example of wealth’s gains over love can be found in Act 2, Scene 6,

“I will make fast the doors, and gild myself

With some moe ducats, and be with you straight”(ll. 50-51)

The context of this scene is Jessica escapes with Lorenzo, but no before ransacking her home of ducats, jewelry, and other valuables. The scene occurs during the night. Further, Lorenzo has entered the ghetto, and has donned a mask as to not reveal his identity. Yet again, wealth has been prioritized over love. However, in this scene, Jessica ensures the safety and transport of her stolen goods before boarding the boat alongside her husband-to-be. Jessica quite literally places wealth before her relationship. She risks getting caught, and thus risks her marriage, for money. This highlights the carelessness of those who value money over all else. Further, the scene occurring at night compliments this theme. The night, and thus darkness, hides the shame felt by both parties. Further, the mask worn by Lorenzo and Jessica dressing as a boy both act as an additional cover from shame. In order to face the act of placing wealth above each other, the pair is forced to spend their first moments together in disguise.


PR to the play

This Shakespeare’s work focuses on issues such as discrimination, racism, prejudice, etc. towards the Jews, this play is located in Venice. This work made me wonder and reflect on many things, why would we have so many prejudices towards someone just because of their religion? What is supposed to make them different from us? In the context that they give us in this play, the acts of injustice against them seem incredible to me, for example at the beginning of the film they show us how a Jewish boy is thrown into the river, for no reason or when Antonio spits on him directly in the face to shylock, a completely humiliating act for shylock and totally unnecessary on the part of Antonio.

Throughout the entire play, I really sympathized with Shylock, I put myself in his place in every misfortune that happened, and above all, I had a lot of empathy for his feelings, something that I did not do with any other character, much less with Antonio, when he was about to die by Shylock’s hands, instead of not wanting it to happen, I thought it was fair, since Antonio’s way of thinking and acting, despite the fact that during the play he also suffered a lot, I never liked. He always seemed to me an arrogant man, who felt superior to the Jews and who felt he had the right to do what he wanted and treat people, especially Jews, as he wanted, something that obviously does not have to be that way. , we are all equal and we all deserve to be treated equally, the latter is something that this work taught me, no one is superior to anyone.

At all times when watching the movie or reading the play, I had many emotions on the surface, such as anger for him, how they treated Shylock, a desire for justice towards the Jews, empathy with Shylock, especially when he gave his famous speech, I could feel how degraded he felt as a person and all for no valid reason, I could feel his desperation and with good reason, he had done nothing, literally the only thing they discriminated against him for was his religion.

Regarding the language of the work, on several occasions it was difficult for me to understand it, as a native Spanish speaker, understanding old English is quite difficult, there are too many words used in a different way than I know, phrases with contexts that I don’t I had an idea, but it also helped me develop my ability to investigate, since every time there was something I didn’t understand I started to research it on the internet.

In general, I can conclude that it is an excellent play, which transmits too many emotions to the reader and puts you in a position to decide who is right and who is wrong and what consequences are the correct ones to receive for each character. 

The Merchant of Venice – PR

I’ve never considered myself a big fan of plays, but The Merchant of Venice is one of the most famous plays that Shakespeare ever wrote, and I can perceive why.

Starting with the Elizabethan English, at first I found a little confusing how the pronouns and verbs worked or what they meant, and as english being my second language, there were some words that were difficult to understand as well. But then I found really interesting how some words we normally hear in the present meant a whole different thing during that time.

During the play, there were several subjects about society that were spoken about directly or indirectly, such as racial discrimination, religious discrimination, sexism and classism; but the most obvious one was religious discrimination.

Most of the play’s plot contained the “Christians VS Jews” topic, making it very notorious with Shylock and Antonio’s relationship, and topping it even more with Shylock’s famous speech where he claims with anger to be treated equally.

This play showed me a different view of a never-ending discussion about who is right and who is wrong, and how there isn’t always a conclusion about it.


Shakespeare & Sympathy

The Merchant of Venice written by William Shakespeare is a tragedy that had me questioning why some characters earn a reader’s sympathy while others do not? In this case why readers heavily sympathize with Shylock and not Antonio. Throughout the play readers, including myself, are heavily encouraged to sympathize with Shylock yet despise Antonio even though both characters suffer misfortunes. Why does Shylock earn our sympathy while Antonio does not? The answer to this question in one sense is obvious, because Antonio has shown his antisemitic views several times throughout the play. For example, spitting in Shylock’s face for no apparent reason. But looking beyond Antonio’s antisemitism I discovered another point of view on why we sympathize with Shylock and not Antonio.

On further thinking about Antonio’s character, I realized that if the court had gone another way he would have died and yet I did not care. I was still focused on sympathizing with Shylock because his daughter had stolen his money and Antonio did not pay his debt. During these times I was hoping that Shylock would get justice.  These feelings stood out to me because Antonio was going to die and yet I only felt bad for Shylock even though his misfortunes were less severe than death. This led me to question why I did not feel even the slightest bit sorry for Antonio when he was going to die? And further how writers make readers sympathize with some characters while hating other characters? I think that the portrayal of the characters’ emotions influences how the reader feels towards them. For instance, Antonio is portrayed as a character who is wallowing in self-pity throughout the whole play. An example of this is when Antonio is speaking to Solanio and he states that

“Well, jailer on. Pray God Bassanio come To see me pay his debt, and then I care not” (III.iii.35-36).

All Antonio cares about is Bassanio coming to see him and not his own death. And this is the reason why I felt no sympathy for Antonio. His feeling sorry for himself and only caring about his love for Bassanio is an unattractive personal quality. His own indifference on whether he dies or not also rubs off on the reader. In comparison the portrayal of Shylock’s intense emotions is what makes me sympathize with him. These emotions can be seen during his speech

“fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject with the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge?” (III.i.54-59).

The words said in this speech show Shylock’s passion and anger. His intense emotions and his want for justice are qualities that make the reader sympathize with him. Similarly, to Antonio’s indifference rubbing off on the reader, Shylock’s want for justice, pure anger and hurt makes the reader want justice for Shylock. It’s interesting to note that how characters feel about themselves the reader also feels. As well as how stronger emotions resonate more with the reader than lesser emotions.  From these examples I learned that how a reader feels about characters is not solely based on the nature of their actions but also the emotions of the characters.  The reason Shylock earns the sympathy of the reader while Antonio does not is because of the portrayal of the his emotions.

“The Merchant of Venice” Personal Response

I personally, really liked the movie. It reminded me of Romeo and Juliet. They both have similar language (old English)  and similar ways to talk.

Early Modern English is used in the movie because it is based on Shakespeare’s play of the same name, “The Merchant of Venice.” It was more difficult for me to understand some of the words in the play.

However, I am very disappointed in how Shylock was treated unfairly and ultimately punished. He was already filled with rage due to the disappearance of his daughter and a significant percentage of his money, so the fact that Antonio was unable to pay his debts and that his friends begged him to show mercy may have been the beginning of the end. He should have, in my opinion, had legal representation from the start because his bond had numerous, obvious flaws that were later used against him. When he was unable to exact the retribution he desired, Shylock should at least receive some sort of compensation.

Overall, I thought the movie was good, and the book’s extended and ancient vocabulary helped it fit in the 16th century. This play taught me a lot about the lives of Jews and regular men in that age.

The Merchant of Venice Movie PR

One of Shakespere’s most famous works, The Merchant of Venice, focuses on prejudice, racism, and discrimination. The conflict between the Jews and other people in Venice is revealed in the opening scene of the film, which provides us with a context of the background and social issues in Venice. Intolerance of Jews leads to discrimination against Jewish people as the beginning of the film states. A Jewish guy is thrown into the river, and Antonio spits onto Shylock… these are all the contexts that the film provides us with prior to the story in order to let us have a basic knowledge and experience of society’s moral — intolerance of Jews. This opening scene prompted me to ask what causes humans to be prejudiced and judge each other. Prejudice is judging people based on their background or values such as race, and religion, and having strong feelings for them. Different education and different backgrounds cause prejudice. Prejudice is still a social issue nowadays, thus, people should try to understand each other to reduce prejudice. This also reminds me not to judge people by stereotypes, and try to understand each person’s differences.

The quality of mercy is not strain’d

It droppeth as the gentle rain form heaven

Upon the place beneath. It is twice blest:

It blesseth him the gives, and him that takes (act4 scene 1)

The quote above is spoken by Portia, who dressed up as a man for the judge of the court. This is my favorite quote throughout the film. It points out the benefits of being merciful and the best part — it blesses both parties, the giver and the taker. However, it raises a controversial question — is mercy more important than justice? Justice and mercy are contradicted at some point: justice allows people to face consequences for their actions; mercy tolerates people’s actions and allows people to escape from their consequences in some situations. In my opinion, justice and mercy are not completely opposite, they are complementary. A philosopher, Saint Thomas Aquinas stated, “… justice without mercy is cruelty; mercy without justice, profusion…”, which I strongly agree with. Thus, we should balance justice and mercy at once as they are both important to humans and society. People should forgive each other in order to maintain a peaceful society. Yet, people should also get their penalties if they have done something that violates other people’s natural rights.

In terms of diction, The Merchant of Venice is one of the most confusing films I have watched as the English that Shakespeare uses is confusing. It puzzled me a lot when I was watching the film. The imagery and acting help me to comprehend the plot of the story. It also raised questions for us to reflect on afterward. Even though this play is written years ago, the social issues that are raised in the film, for example, racism and prejudice, still occur nowadays, which connects to the modern world.

Vengeance or Love? The Merchant of Venice

I loved watching the movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. The film helped me comprehend the story and visuals much better compared to reading the old fashion language of the script. Being a film lover, the cinematography choices, acting performances from all the characters especially Al Pacino who is Shylock played it wonderfully, which made it much easier to appreciate and comprehend.

Furthermore, the striking themes touches on topics such as justice, mercy, and prejudice, which are still relevant in today’s society. It encourages the audience to think about these issues and question their own beliefs. What also made the movie intriguing was dramatic tension. The play builds tension through its intricate plot, which includes a high-stakes loan, a dramatic trial, and a climactic scene where a character’s life is at stake. Creating an engaging and exciting theatrical experience which I enjoyed.

Moreover, my favorite part of the movie was the famous Shylocks speech “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” This speech was delivered extravagantly by Al Pacino and created sympathetic emotions for me. However, this piece of literature is found to be debatable. On the one hand, it is a poignant portrayal of the injustices suffered by the Jewish community in Venice at the time, but from another perspective I can see how it is a portrayal of the character’s obsession with revenge. In his speech, Shylock delivers a powerful speech that highlights the hypocrisy of the Christian characters who have persecuted him. He points out that despite being called a “dog” and a “cur,” he is still a human being with emotions and desires just like anyone else. He argues that he is entitled to seek revenge for the wrongs he has suffered, just as any Christian would be.

Even though Shylock has been treated unfairly, his single minded obsession with revenge makes it difficult for me to agree. His willingness to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio, even though it would mean his death, is a brutal and cruel act that cannot be excused. However, Shylock is not entirely blameless in the situation; he lent money to Antonio knowing that it could cause him financial ruin.

Ultimately, Shylock’s speech raises important questions about justice and revenge, and the complex ways they intersect. While it is understandable that he would want to seek retribution for the wrongs he has suffered, his actions ultimately lead to his own downfall. The play serves as a powerful reminder of the dangers of vengeance and the importance of finding a more constructive way to deal with our pain.


The Merchant of Venice

In class, we watched the movie adaptation of Shakespeare’s ‘Merchant of Venice’ made in 2004. I preferred this because i have always had trouble understanding Shakespearean texts. While watching the movie, i followed along with the book, kind of acting as subtitles and noticed that there were a lot of omissions from the movie.

I am however quite upset at how Shylock was not given justice and ended up being  punished. With the dissapearance of his daughter and a good amount of his money, he was already fueled with rage and then for Antonio to not be able to pay what he owed and his friends asking him to reconsider and have mercy might have been the breaking point. In my opinion, He should first of all have had a lawyer because his bond had a lot of  obvious loopholes that were later used against him. Shylock should have at least had some compensation when he couldn’t have the vengeance he seeked.

Also, it should be noted that there are a lot of unanswered questions. We see Jessica at the end of the movie, twirling the emerald ring that Shylock was told she had exchanged for a monkey. Was Shylock lied to just to get a reaction and heighten his aanger? Did she trade the monkey back for the ring? And also, Bassanio and Gratiano, would they be as quick to throw away their wives trust again as quickly as they gave away their rings? Would they lie again?. As for Shylock. Will he be able to live a life as a christian, the religion he despised so? And finally, how can they all move on so naturally after stripping Shylock of his dignity and his way of life when all he wanted was justice?

In conclusion, i really enjoyed the movie and i have a lot of strong opinions about it.

Personal Response- The Merchant of Venice

Personally, I really enjoyed the film “The Merchant of Venice.” I have never seen a movie similar to this, with old fashioned language and with a setting of the 16th century.

The film was based on Shakespeare’s play also named “The Merchant of Venice”, because of this the language in the film is Early Modern English. They are a lot of words in the play that aren’t used in this time so it was harder for me to understand some of the words like hath (has), doth (does), saith (says) and e’er (contraction of ever).

The setting of this movie is in the 16th century in Venice and in Portia’s home in Belmont. I really liked Portia’s castle in Belmont, it is very beautiful it has a Renaissance style, a lovely view and big pretty gardens. The fashion of the people in the film are very different from the style in this century. The Women used long gowns usually with sleeves and a  linen chemise. The Man used a linen shirt with a collar and matching wrists ruff.

In conclusion, I thought that they did a really good job portraying the 16th century and I  learned new vocabulary like hath, saith and e’er.



The Merchant of Venice Movie- Personal Response

I enjoyed The Merchant of Venice. It wasn’t predictable like many stories today and its movie adaptation helped me comprehend the story and visuals without going out to the theatre. The film was cleverly directed, keeping the original play’s verbal essence and rhythms while providing a different take on specific relationships between characters. These factors, along with the incredible acting by all the actors involved, made the film version of The Merchant of Venice so captivating.

The verbal rhythms of the play can be hard to understand when just reading The Merchant of Venice. A play’s entire script is meant to be heard and read aloud, therefore if you were just reading it it’s clear that even the most perceptive reader would miss some of Shakespeare’s cleverness. Watching The Merchant of Venice, however, shows us these beats and melodies in the speech. For example, on page 95 of the book, there is an argument between Portia and Bassanio over the lost ring. There is so much power in having this epistrophe dialogue audibilized, “If you did know to whom I gave the ring, / If you did know for whom I gave the ring, / And would conceive for what I gave the ring, / And how unwillingly I left the ring,” (l. 193-195). It had me appreciating Shakespeare’s ingenuity. And the directing decision of having it go from Bassanio’s whispers to then Portia’s near-yelling tone along with choosing to skip the 4 lines that break up the repetition helps to shove the importance of the ring into the viewers’ faces. It puts us in this uncomfortable spot where we realize how much it must’ve hurt for Portia to have asked for the ring as the doctor and receive it from Bassanio who gave it up for Antonio.

This decision by Bassanio also adds to another relationship that is purely interpreted by the director. The homosexual tones between Antonio and Bassanio was a very smart decision to help portray loneliness of Antonio. The start and end of The Merchant of Venice were the same, with a depressed Antonio. This comparison would not be the same had Bassanio and Antonio’s relationship not been as close. As homosexuality wasn’t acceptable at the time, the two could not have married. But that does not stop them from sharing secret tender moments. It’s during these moments that we see Antonio happy. Bassanio alleviates his loneliness and depression, and we understand that from the first moment when Bassanio enters the scene. But over the course of the play, Bassanio goes and courts Portia and they are to be wed. Antonio helps Bassanio with this endeavour because it’s what he wants, showing us Antonio’s love for Bassanio. But when Portia and Bassanio become a couple, Antonio is left alone, just as he was at the start, and it’s the director’s answer to the question “In sooth I know not why I am so sad” (p. 1, l. 1).

In the end, watching the film was very helpful in visualization and audibilizing the play. As someone who enjoys film, I found that it was overall very well shot with great cinematography choices, which made it much easier to appreciate the story. The storyline itself I found to be very fun while also eliciting deep emotions and powerful thoughts, and I can see myself watching the movie again in the future.

Merchant Of Venice PR

The Merchant of Venice, a play wrote by Shakespeare that has been adapted for movies and new versions have also been created, is a story that involves racism, segregation, religion and lying.

The Mechant of Venice starts by presenting you two characters, Bassanio and Antonio, Bassanio asks Antonio for money to help him go and get married with a rich lady named Portia, Antonio tells Bassanio that he wants to help him but he does not has the money at that moment but once his trading ships come back he can pay him. In that moment both Antonio and Bassanio go with a jew named Shylock to ask for a loan and Antonio confidently says that it is no problem for him to pay Shylock back. Getting closer to the end of the play, Antonio’s ships wreck and he is not able to pay back so he was going to give a pound of his own flesh to Shylock if not for Portia, that disguised as a doctor of the law and succesfully defended Antonio in the court.

This play made me reflect about today’s socciety and how much this situation happens, people ask for a loan thinking they can pay it back but in the end they can’t, interest increments the amount they own and they end up in debt for a long time or even for the rest of their life, sometimes their debt goes down to the next generation. Asking for a loan is not wrong but you need to make sure you are able to pay it back in time and that the interest will not be a problem.

The Merchant of Venice also has other situations such as segregation and racism against jews, the christians have them in ghettos and they constantly suffer from injustice. We know about this because of Shylock’s speech when talking with Solanio and Salariano, Shylock spoke strongly about justice, revenge, mercy and discrimination.

This play involves a great amount of problems that are still ongoing till this date, it does not give a clear solution but it gives a great idea, mercy is the answer, because if everyone was fair and used justice to judge, everyone would be guilty.

Merchant of Venice film PR

The film does a fantastic job of conveying the emotion of the story, the tension and conflict between Christians and Jews in 16th century Venice

There are some scenes in the film that are particularly powerful, such as the trial scene in which Shylock demands his pound of flesh and the final scene in which Antonio and Portia are reunited. The film is a thoughtful exploration of the themes of justice, mercy, and revenge that run through the original text.  The Merchant of Venice film also features some of the best-known lines of Shakespeare’s work, including “If you prick us, do we not bleed?” and “The quality of mercy is not strained.”

The film also effectively captures the play’s examination of the themes of justice, mercy and friendship. The audience can clearly see the struggle between Antonio and Shylock, and the moral decisions they must make. In the end, the audience is left with the sense that justice may not always be served, but that mercy and friendship can still success.




PR – The Merchant of Venice

Before we watched Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, we were tasked to give a verdict regarding a bully and his victim. Although I sympathize with the victim, I had given the victim a harsh penalty. The verdict was based on the criminal code of Canada/B.C. As humans, we are very bad and discussing what is right or wrong, hence we have laws regarding what is right or wrong. This question of “what is right or wrong” is an important topic of which Merchant of Venice addresses. In Merchant of Venice, we are confronted by a dilemma regarding a Jew’s justice and Christian mercy. The dilemma arises from the misfortunes that struck Shylock and his desire to exact revenge against a Christian man, Antonio. The misfortune of Shylock arises from the prejudice and discrimination he faced for being a Jew and later losing a large part of his wealth and his largest asset, his daughter, Jessica, which can all connect back to Antonio. After the loss of his daughter, Shylock used his bond to attempt his revenge against Antonio by “killing him”. Although the bond was absolute, the Christians have a philosophy of mercy, unlike the justice philosophy of the Jews.

Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, faces prejudice and discrimination throughout The Merchant of Venice, particularly at the hands of Antonio. From the outset of the play, Antonio expresses his disdain for Shylock at the opening, referring to him as things such as a “cut-throat dog” and spitting on him in public. Although these actions reveal Antonio’s bigotry, it also addresses the wider societal discrimination faced by Jewish people in Christian Venice. When Shylock demands his due under their bond, Antonio offers to pay him in installments with no interest. The breach of their bond by failing to pay ultimately led to the famous trial scene, where Shylock seeks to extract a pound of flesh from Antonio as revenge under his collateral. While Shylock’s desire for revenge is certainly problematic, it is impossible to overlook the fact that his actions are a direct response to the prejudice and discrimination he has experienced at the hands of Antonio and others in the play. In this way, The Merchant of Venice highlights the pernicious effects of prejudice and discrimination, and how they can drive individuals to extremes. The extremes of which Shylock was willing to go to connects back to the victim taking a bat to break the kneecaps of his bully.

Connecting to the revenge of Shylock, it also raises an important question about the nature of justice and mercy. While Shylock’s desire for revenge is understandable, given the discrimination and misfortunes he has faced, his willingness to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh is a morally difficult dilemma. In the trial scene, the Duke of Venice implores Shylock to show mercy, asking, “How shall thou hope for mercy, rendering none?” In this moment, the play highlights the idea that mercy is essential to the notion of justice, and that true justice cannot be achieved without it. Ultimately, it is Portia’s argument about the bond that enables Antonio to be saved and for Shylock to be punished. However, this resolution is not without its own problems. The punishment meted out to Shylock seems to be excessively cruel and harsh, and highlights the danger of privileging retributive justice over mercy. Hence, The Merchant of Venice ultimately presents a complex and nuanced exploration of the interplay between justice and mercy. The court connects back the personal responses regarding the verdict towards the bully and his victim.

The Merchant of Venice has showed me another point of view regarding the never ending dilemma between “bullies” and “their victims”

The merchant of Venice

The merchant of Venice was very thought-provoking. It used some interesting contrasting ideas that made you need to think a lot more. An example of this would be between the two sides of justice vs. mercy or Judaism in favor of law overall and Christianity in favor of mercy. As all people sin, you must show mercy to others so they will in retune for you. Or in Judaism, where the rules are mode, and you follow them, understanding the punishment if you break them. This is similar to the story of the bully and victim at school that we read. In the merchant of Venice, Shylock is the victim, and Antonio is the bully for spitting in the face of Shylock. Shylock then seeks his friendship and then his revenge, just as the victim in the bully story did. Both are punished for their actions, Shylock by half his wealth and his religion, and the victim by the extent of our laws today. But Shylock is given mercy and not put to death, and the victim would most likely be given more leeway in court as the bully provoked him. Both, in the end, have been shown mercy but suffer the conquests of their actions. It was interesting to see the difference in response to the two situations by the class. Many people, in their responses, gave the victim of bullying little too on mercy, and many felt bad for Shylock and his punishment. I think this might have been the punishment Shylock got was to convert his religion, and in so, his beliefs in today’s world would be considered unjust or plain wrong to force someone to change their fundamental beliefs against their will. So with this punishment of being a Christian, Shylock lost all he defined himself by. He could no longer practice his religion; he could no longer lend money; he could no longer know his old self.

PR Merchant of Venice movie

Merchant of Venice 2004 was directed by Michael Radford.

The actors I found amazing, Portia played by Lynn Collins and especially Shylock, by Al Pacino, which I will talk about in more detail later. I find it intriguing how they took the turn with Bassanio and Antonio being potential lovers. In my opinion, it made the movie better that way because it opened up the character in a different perspective, which differs from the book. We clearly feel Antonio’s love for his friend at the very start of the movie when he puts Bassanio’s needs above his own, risking his life. We can see this when Antonio volunteers to lend him, Bassanio, money in order to sail to Belmont, Portia.

The characters definitely have chemistry going on between them, and I like how the actors were able to play around with their roles, for example, when Bassanio improvises the kiss after Antonio gives him credit to go to Belmont. Another powerful scene when both are at court and Antonio is sentenced to cut a pound of his flesh off, we can see how Bassanio truly cares for his friend and would even give up his newly married wife in order to save Antonio from the torture.

My favorite character of the movie was Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, because his charisma stood out to me the most. The casting of this actor fits naturally in the movie. Just his eyes could tell more than the words that he spoke.  We first meet Shylock at the start of the movie, when he stands in the crowd, watching Jews being thrown off the bridge into the water; he, like the other Jewish people wears a red hat to mark his race, and eventually gets spat in the face by Antonio, who happens to pass by.

At the end of the movie, at court, Shylock, demanding justice, stripped away of his daughter and money, is forced to become a Christian, which was his breaking point. The scene where he drops on his knees and weeps, really made me shift uncomfortably in my chair. His whole life he hated Christians, he wouldn’t dare to dine with them, he detested their way of life, and the last thing he ever wanted was to become one. I was impressed while watching him stand silently, watching his people closing the doors of the synagogue, the place he used to pray.

The end of the film left a lot of questions and an unsettling feeling of melancholy and despair. His daughter, Jessica and the ring that was gifted to her by her dead mother, it doesn’t feel right, she doesn’t seem happy to have left her family. And the new couples, or specifically one, which in the movie seem more like a love triangle between Bassanio, Antonio and Portia. And since Portia is quite smart, I refuse to believe that she does not suspect her husband being unloyal to her, after the incident when Bassanio gives away the ring to the Doctor, who we know is actually Portia, that he swore to never lose.

Antonio’s state is the same as in the beginning “In sooth I know not why I am so sad” after everything he does not seem to be happy either. 


PR On Merchant of Venice Video

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.

PR to the Merchant of Venice video – Kristina

“The Merchant of Venice” is a movie adaptation of William Shakespeare’s play of the same name. It was directed by Michael Radford and released in 2004. The movie is a complex drama that explores themes of love, greed, justice, and prejudice.

The story is set in the 16th century in Venice, Italy. It follows the life of a wealthy merchant, Antonio, who borrows money from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock to help his friend, Bassanio, pursue his love interest, Portia. Antonio agrees to repay the loan with a pound of his own flesh if he fails to repay it in time. Unfortunately, Antonio’s ships are lost at sea, and he is unable to repay the loan, leading to a dramatic court case where Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and ultimately saves Antonio’s life.

Topics covered in the film:

Prejudice. The movie highlights the anti-Semitic attitudes of the time, with the character of Shylock being subjected to verbal and physical abuse by the Christian characters. This theme is further explored through the plotline involving Portia’s suitors and their racist attitudes towards her non-white suitors.

Love. The movie explores different kinds of love, from the romantic love between Bassanio and Portia to the platonic love between Antonio and Bassanio. Portia’s father’s unusual test of her suitors, where they have to choose between three caskets, also highlights the theme of true love.

Justice. The movie raises questions about the nature of justice and the limits of the law. Shylock’s insistence on the pound of flesh, despite being offered double the amount of the loan, challenges the court’s ability to provide fair and just outcomes.

Greed. The movie also explores the theme of greed, with both Antonio and Shylock being motivated by their personal financial gain. It highlights how greed can lead to selfish behavior and ultimately lead to tragic consequences.

Overall, “The Merchant of Venice” is a thought-provoking movie that raises many important questions about human nature and society. The powerful performances by the cast, particularly Al Pacino as Shylock, make it a memorable and engaging cinematic experience.

“The Merchant of Venice” PR

Despite the numerous deviations from the book in the film adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, I was still able to appreciate both works. However, I enjoyed the film more. I enjoyed the film more because the visual elements enhanced the emotional intensity of the plot. The plot was far more emotional in the film because of the focus of Antonio’s melancholy and the portrayal of Shylock.

The loneliness of Antonio is touched upon in act 1, scene 1 of the play, “In sooth I know not why I am so sad./I wearies me, you say it wearies you;/But how I caught it, found it, or came by it;”(ll. 1-3). Antonio speaks this line to Salarino and Solanio, two of his close friends. Antonio outlines his loneliness, as well as his confusion as to why he feels the way he does. However, instead of demonstrating empathy for his dear friend, Solanio proposes a reason for Antonio’s depression in act 1, scene 1, “Then let us say you are sad/Because you are not merry;”(ll. 47-48).  The film matches this exchange word-for-word. However, the immense sadness weighing on Antonio stems from his loneliness. The film depicts this loneliness in a unique manner. The film depicts the alleged affair of Bassanio and Antonio. One such example of this is the conversation between Antonio and Bassanio in act 1, scene 1 of the play, “That today you promis’d tell me/’Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,/How much I have disabled mine estate”(ll. 121-123). In the written text, this exchange takes place on a street, whereas in the film, it takes place in Antonio’s bedroom. An intimate manner, which is finances, is discussed in the most intimate of conditions. Further, in the film adaptation, at the end of this exchange, the two share a kiss. This further exhibits the loneliness felt by Antonio, as he loves Bassanio, but he lives with the knowledge that his feelings will never be formally reciprocated due to social repercussions of their relationship. Moreover, when Portia and Bassanio are married, and devote themselves to each other at the end of the play, the play ends. However, the film adaptation has Antonio recites the the first lines of the play for a second time. Antonio says for the second time, “In sooth I know not why I am so sad”(l. 1). This statement exhibits Antonio’s longing melancholy. The lack of empathy from those close to him may have catalyzed Antonio’s deep sadness. His inability to turn to those he loves in times of need as  result of his condition render him in a deep sadness. Further, the stress and threat of alienation as a result of his feelings towards his de facto adopted son, Bassanio. Furthermore, this line is Antonio’s last in the film, signifying his lasting, weighing sadness.

The portrayal of Shylock was another contributing factor as to why I enjoyed the film more than the written play. In the written play, we are not given the context of the feud of Antonio and Shylock, but the film provides this. The opening sequence of the film depicts the financial district of Venice at the time. During this sequence, Antonio spits in Skylock’s face, as other Christians throw Jews off of a bridge. This additional sequence provides the context of both Shylock’s seething resentment, as well as the historical antisemitic. Further, this context also adds to the emotional weighting of Shylock’s speech in act 3, scene 1, which includes the lines, “…Cooled/ my friends, heated my enemies-and what’s his/reason? I am a Jew.”(ll. 50-52). The context of the suffering of Shylock adds an emotional weighting to the film which cannot be found in the written play. This not only adds depth to the character of Shylock, but also gives the reader another perspective. From the perspective of Shylock, we can empathize with his sufferings, and grant him our sympathy.


The bully and the victim

There is quite little information on the situation as a whole, so judging who is at fault in this case, is very difficult.

I believe that both are at fault, but I am more curious about the victim, and here is why: first of all, as we know from the text, no one wanted to stand up for the victim in the first place. “Other students called him names, make fun of him, push him around occasionally, cheat him out of his possessions etc..No one is prepared to defend or support him against his abuse”  so we can assume that this was going on for quite some time now. His decision to payback the bully(s) was a forced measure, and therefore, was not a random unthought action.

I believe that the victim’s family should pay for the medical care, but the bully should carry out consequences like being suspended from school for a while. 

My Verdict on bullying

The details of this case are very vague. All we know is that there is a bully and a victim of said bullying. In my honest opinion, I believe that both should be punished; with a harsher punishment dealt to the bully like expulsion or suspension, and the ultimate blame going to the school. I say this because there is only so much an individual can take when it comes to bullying, the victim was bound to react, and it was only a matter of time.

This reaction could have come in multiple forms; reporting the situation to a trusted adult, self-harm, or dealing with it himself. One of the questions we should be asking is why didn’t the victim think he could tell an adult. Where he was being bullied is swarmed with adults who are supposed to have his best interests at heart and with the amount of bullying he is said to have faced, there is no way the teachers or any adult with an ounce of sense didn’t notice. They just didn’t care enough to do something about it and it showed. The way he reacted tells a lot about his school environment because it means he knew nothing would be done about it so he decided to take matters into his own hands.

Some may argue anger blinds all reasonings, but anger stems from somewhere. The victim did not just randomly decide that he wanted to do some harm. He had reached his breaking point where he felt justified enough to hurt his bully. The victim must have examined the risks and even if he didn’t, at least he has sent a message across. He can do anything without batting an eyelid if you push him far enough.

Other arguments could be that violence is never the answer and I agree, this is why the victim will not go scot-free. Therefore, I totally believe that even with the 2 boys are in the wrong and should be punished, the school should be the one being sued because, at the end of the day, this happened in their care.

Provocation and Violence

There is a reason we judge each other based on the rules of law, rules agreed upon by all because we are all equal under it, at least in theory.
What that bully did was provoking, and that has to be acknowledged, but the first option should not be violence, nor should the 5th option there is very little use for violence in retribution as it always has lasting consequences. This bully’s troubled youth will stick with him forever, as he will never walk straight in his life ever again. There is a reason we don’t punish children as harshly as adults, they are foolish and need a second chance.
Judging this case, I would charge the bully with petty theft and verbal and physical abuse. I would charge the victim of bullying with assault with intent to harm.

Bullying and Snowflakes

Both are at fault, but the bullies in my eye should be given more punishments than the victim. As someone who has been bullied, and pushed near the point of breaking, I have sympathy for the victim. That’s not the say that he should not have any consequences, however, they will be less than the bullies.

The analogy I’ve been seeing this as is that it’s the snowflakes on a branch. This branch is enduring many snowflakes, staying straight and upright as long as possible. A group of big snowflakes keeps deciding to land on this branch over and over and over again, until the branch snaps. Would you blame the branch for snapping? Would you blame the snowflakes who knew that this branch would eventually snap from the weight? I would blame the snowflakes (the bullies) more than I would blame the branch (the victim).

The Bully and His Victim

The case of the bully and his victim is very vague. Because there is very little information specified it is harder to come to a conclusion as to who is at fault. If I were to be the judge the answer would be clear. The victim of the bullying is at full fault. Bullying is not a crime in most countries and where it is considered a crime it must result in mental trauma for charges to be pressed. Mental trauma is almost impossible to be proved and in this case it is my belief that the bullying was not to the extent where any real harm was caused. Assault on the other hand is considered a crime everywhere and purposely breaking someone’s kneecap is severe damage. Therefor, there might have been a justification for the victim to break the bully’s knee however it is still illegal resulting in the conviction of assault to the victim of the bully.

The Bully and His Victim

On February 8th, 2023,

Under the jurisdiction of  Brookes Westshore, the “bully” shall be charged under criminal code section 322(1), petty theft with a $500 fine and half an year of jail time.

The “victim” shall be charged under criminal code section 267 (a), assault with a weapon and criminal code section 267 (b), assault causing bodily harm with a $5000 fine, 5 years of jailtime and is responsible for all the damages plus $37,000 to the “bully”.

The Bully and His Victim – Kristina

In this situation, given that we do not know all the details of the case, my decision would be to punish both boys, but give a more severe sentence to the one who hit the bat, as he caused severe harm to the bully’s health. As a result, the bullies would be punished for bullying the boy, and the boy for lashing out at them, his revenge was far worse than any bully action.

(I don’t know how it is in Canada, but in Russia for bullying at school, parents must pay a fine of $ 10 and no more punishment follows. And for assault and bodily harm, criminal liability comes into play and the appropriate punishment is imprisonment for a period of 5-8 years.)

The Bully & His Victim Response

This case is complicated to determine who is the criminal as too little detail is given including the scale of bullying by the bully, the length of time, and their mental situation when the incident happened. After spending a long time thinking and asking my friends for their opinions, I made a conclusion that both sides, the bully and the “victim” would both be blamed and punished. However, as the bully’s physical injuries can be seen and a higher level of violence, therefore, if I were the judge, the penalty for the boy who gets bullied would be more severe.

The Bully and His Victim

In the story The bully and his victim, the two boys were in wrong, one for bullying and the other for breaking his knee. It is difficult to judge this situation, the situation could have been fixed in other ways, for example the victim could have talked to the bullies, he could have talked to his teachers or the principal. On the other hand the bullies had no reason to bully, the victim never bothered them, they only bullied him for being “different” and there is nothing wrong with that, we are all the same.
It’s really hard to give a verdict because both boys acted wrongly so I think both should have the same consequences.


The Bully and his Victim

In the story of The Bully and His Victim there is no clear right and wrong. Neither party is completely innocent or completely guilty. The Bully was wrong for treating the victim unjustly. But the victim was wrong for acting with violence and breaking the Bully’s knee cap. This would make being a judge in this situation very hard. First I would have to know all the facts. There is simply too little information provided. For example, did the victim ever consult the bullies and ask them to stop? Did the victim tell anyone in a position of power? Did the victim do anything to help his cause before acting in violent ways? As well as, for all these questions is there concrete supporting evidence. I would need lawyers and a courtroom for a proper trial. But, if I had to make a ruling with these facts, both parties would be punished for their crimes. The Bully and his associates would be given a severe punishment. Their actions were not acceptable.  This could be expulsion from the school and community service. The Victim would be punished for his violent ways but less severely than the bullies because self defence could be a factor. I would say that the victim should be suspended from school for a few days.

Merchant of Venice Personal Response

The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare can be found as a play or a movie, and has hundreds of different interpretations. In each adaptation one common theme remains: Outward appearances do not always reflect the truth and can often be deceiving. I found this both extremely interesting, and extremely relatable, because even though Shakespeare lived 400 years ago we can still see this theme in our everyday lives. On a large public scale it can be seen in politics, and on a smaller more personally relatable scale I experience it with meeting people online. I really liked seeing this because it shows that really nothing much has changed, and I like to think that even 400 years before Shakespeare’s time it was the same.

Another thing I really enjoyed was contrasting what was written by Shakespeare himself, and what Micheal Radford directed in his screenplay. If I were to have only experienced one of the variations I would not get as rich an experience as I did. I find Radford’s interpretation very interesting because as Mr. MacKnight says: “Books raise questions”. Which is true in the case of Shakespeare’s take, but Radford’s seems to answer those questions for us. For example, in the original, it is unclear as to if Bassanio and Antonio are homosexual. But in Radford’s edition he clearly indicates that there is another type of love there.

Similarly, we see more of how interpretation changes the way a story is with Shylock’s conversion to Christianity. Back when the play was written it would be clear that Shylock would be the bad guy and would go through all these terrible things to in the end find salvation in Christianity. This would be in line with the beliefs of the Christian population at the time, but would seem pretty terrible to us. So instead we see his forced conversion to Christianity as a punishment. I of course agree with the modern take but I enjoyed how by changing the way you interpret the story will completely.

In the end I really enjoyed reading and watching both things because it made me realize that I actually do like Shakespeare. All my life before I thought Shakespeare was some old bum who spoke nonsense but now that I can understand it better, I can appreciate the great story he writes. I never thought I would say this but I wish they would make more Shakespeare plays into movies. Luckily, Steven Spielberg is remastering West Side Story which I will most likely watch.

Merchant of Venice Personal Response

After reading the playwright The Merchant of Venice, written by William Shakespear, I felt somewhat broken by my different opinions. William Shakespeare creates conflicting ideas which lead the reader to ponder: is Shylock justified to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh? I think he is justified.

Shylock is justified to take a pound of Antonio’s flesh because both parties agreed previously upon the contract. If Antonio was not willing to give Shylock a pound of flesh from wherever he desired then he would not have signed the contract. Antonio knowing the rudeness he exacted on Shylock, would know the type of revenge that Shylock wants.

“I am as like to call thee so again, To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too. If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not As to thy friends, for when friendship take A breed for barren metal of his friend? But lent it rather to thine enemy, Who if he break, thou mayst with better face Exact the penalty.” (Shakespear, Act 1, Scene 3, Line 125-132).

This quote of Antonio demonstrates how he is fully aware of the consequences and he knows Shylock’s motives. Even though the contract is very harsh, it must be followed because if not, then Venice (where the play takes place) will lose all sense of order, and the Jewish people who already have less power than the Christians, will have no protection.

Shylock was justified to demand a pound of Antonio’s flesh because it was stated in their contract that Antonio knew the consequences of not following the contract. Antonio was willing to risk his “life” for the money to fund Bassanios’ excursion to find a wife. Shylock was mistreated during the trial, as Portia turned the tides against Shylock by specifying a drop of blood must not be shed. However, Shylock should have been allowed to take a pound of flesh because in doing this, it would be a given that blood would be spilled. The bond insinuates that with flesh comes blood and it would be common knowledge for Antonio to be aware of these consequences. Shylock is wrongly convicted of practicing usury because the rates were agreed upon and at the time which the play first took place, people being killed by one another for petty things, was seen as more common.





The Merchant of Venice

William (Billy) Shakespeare has a considerable roster of famous plays to his name, notable among them is The Merchant of Venice, which in the modern day is mostly known for its portrayal and treatment of the character Shylock, the only important Jewish character in the play (unless you count Jessica), and also its main antagonist. However, there’s much more depth to this play beneath what made it infamous, and certainly warrants exploration.

To first address the elephant in the room, almost everything about Shylock is extremely fascinating to examine. First and foremost, Shylock’s religion is not incidental to his actions (His Jewishness is not just a random character trait added to make him extra detestable for the audience of the time), nor is it the direct cause of them (He doesn’t want to kill Antonio because “he’s Jewish and that’s just what Jewish people do”). Instead, Shylock is pushed to breaking by the actions of others, mostly the constant discrimination from the titular merchant of Venice, Antonio. This combined with his famous monologue, in which he berates to minor characters for refusing to acknowledge his very humanity solely because of his religion. This is easily the most powerful scene in the play (at least to a modern audience), and its inclusion makes Shylock a much more sympathetic character to a degree that I doubt it could have happened by accident. Ultimately, this leads to his actions throughout the play being extremely understandable, although whether or not he was justified is another debate entirely. If the reader so chooses, this play can be interpreted as an examination of the horrible effects of prejudice on society as a whole.

While the subtext surrounding Shylock is extremely interesting, the character Antonio is almost equally so. His narrative role is that of the protagonist, but it feels like he appears much less frequently than most of the main cast, mostly because of his lack of influence on the story. His most frequently discussed trait is his blatant antisemitism, but like Shylock, his negative qualities are not his only qualities. His genuine love for his friends is his primary motivation for the entirety of the story, which would normally be considered an undisputed virtue. However, the extreme selectiveness of this trait is his main flaw. His  affection towards his friends comes at the cost of his affection towards everyone else. Just like his supposed antithesis, Antonio is a much more complex character than he first appears.

The interpretation of this play as an examination and deconstruction of prejudice and antisemitism is reinforced by the fact that almost every character is a colossal hypocrite. Throughout the play, there are frequent examples of characters making statements that directly contradict with their previous or later actions (Bassanio giving away his wedding ring the day after he said he’d never part from it, Antonio going to Shylock for money after years of abusing him, the Venetian court sentencing Shylock to essentially a life of exile from his own culture with only half of his possessions immediately after pleading he be merciful to Antonio). This subtle bit of thematic storytelling adds a lot of nuance to the narrative, presenting the supposed antagonist in a more positive light that the title character. This likely would have gone completely over the head of the contemporary London audience, so whether it was intended by the playwright is difficult to verify. However, our removal of several centuries from the play’s debut allows us to look at it from a much more objective angle.

The Merchant of Venice Personal Response

After finishing The Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare, I felt a number of different emotions. I felt sympathy but also disapproval towards Shylock and anger towards Antonio. After reading the scene where Portia (dressed up as a lawyer) enlightens Shylock of his punishment where he recieves none of the wealth (3000 ducats) he lent and has all of his estates and wealth taken away, I felt incredibly bad and sorry for Shylock. Everything was being taken away from him and the punishment worsened. I pitied Shylock because I could imagine the hurt and hopelessness he was feeling. I felt sympathy for Shylock in that moment and after watching the play, the emotion conveyed made me sympathize for Shylock even more. In addition to the punishment, it is said by Antonio that Shylock must give up being Jewish and convert to Christianity. During this scene I felt anger towards Antonio. It made me question whether or not he was the protagonist or antagonist. The Anti-semitism expressed throughout this play by not only Antonio but by the Christians was cruel and racist. I think Shylock’s speech did a good job showing his emotions and the anti-semitism he faced, to the readers and just proved how racist Antonio treated Shylock just for being Jewish. I do not believe Shylock deserved to have the ending that he did. 

Another thing I felt during this unit was the impact of both reading and watching the play. Reading the play noticeably improved my interpretation of Shakespeare’s words and language. The footnotes on the side were very useful in helping me understand what Shakespeare was trying to convey. Watching the play put all the puzzle pieces together. Any confusion or uncertainty was answered after watching the play. The emotions of the characters were well conveyed by the directors of The Merchant of Venice. I could see what reactions specific lines had on the actors. Watching the play gave an overall better understanding. Although the language was sometimes hard to understand, the overall play was fascinating to read and watch. I was surprised with how much I enjoyed it.

Personal Response to Merchant of Venice

Is Shylock the real antagonist in this play?

After reading the play Merchant of Venice, many audiences perceive Antonio as the protagonist because of the act of generosity and kindness that he is willing to sacrifice his body to lend money to his friend, while Shylock is the evil antagonist that wants to murder the rightful hero. In this response, I will discuss why I disagree that Shylock is the antagonist in this play. 

First of all, throughout the play, there are multiple pieces of evidence that Antonio and his friends treat Shylock horribly; for example, the big speech that Shylock gave,

“He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies, and what’s his reason? I am a Jew.”

Just with this speech of Shylock, we can perceive Shylock’s anger and frustration towards Antonio and that he had enough of him often treated him poorly, just because he is a Jew. 

Furthermore, the act of kindness could be perceived from Shylock is much greater than Antonio’s. Shylock is willing to lend 3000 ducats to Antonio despite calling Shylock a dog and frequently mistreating him. This shows that Shylock is willing to forgive and forget the past and resolve their dispute. 

People argue that Shylock only lends 3000 ducats to Antonio because he wishes to take 1 pound of Antonio’s flesh to take his revenge. I can’t entirely agree with this argument because, at first, Shylock was willing to lend Antonio money free of interest, “Forget the shames that you have stain’d me with, Supply your present wants, and take no doit of usance for my monies, and you’ll not hear me. This is kind I offer.” Therefore, this shows that Shylock is forgiving and willing to offer Antonio kindness. 

Other than that, I consider Shylock as a man who stands by his beliefs. Shylock could have given up on Antonio’s flesh and taken double the money that Antonio owed him, but he refused and was destined to take revenge on him. Many people would easily hinder their goals and beliefs from gaining a profit or advantage, but Shylock did not.

To conclude everything that has been discussed, I think that Shylock does not deserve what happened to him, and he is definitely not the antagonist in this play. 

PR: The Merchant Of Venice

When beginning to read The Merchant of Venice, by William Shakespeare, I was skeptical. That being said, I think most students have complained about Shakespeare at least once in their lifetime. The diction was foreign, the register is very formal (even somehow during dirty jokes) and very different compared to what I am used to. I honestly did not expect to enjoy the play, so as you can imagine I was very surprised when I realized the play was actually interesting.

The very beginning of the book was admittedly slow, but things really started to pick up at the end of Act 1. Antonio goes to Shylock to ask for a loan (even though he is Christian and in this time money lending was mostly frowned upon by Christians), and Shylock agrees on the terms that if the loan is not repaid within three months, he gets to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio. This was a shock to me because of how sudden it seemed. At this point in the play, I didn’t expect it to be this dark. This however made the play more interesting to me because I realized at this point that the play was going to be more interesting than first glance would lead me to believe. As I read through the book, I enjoyed the switch between Portia and Bassanio’s story, and Antonio and Shylock’s story. Alternating between the trial with the chests along with Bassanio and Portia’s love story and Antonio and his friends’ adventures to do with Shylock’s gory contract gave some variety to the play. It was much nicer to get refreshed from one of the stories and switch to the next as to not get bored of one too quickly, and also to leave on sort of a cliff-hanger that keeps the mind thinking about what will happen next and feeds the reader’s thirst to continue. It was also gratifying to see the two stories come together in the end with the court case between Shylock and Antonio. Antonio was absolved from his bond with Shylock, and Portia and Bassanio’s love was questioned; Portia disguises as a lawyer to save Bassanio’s best friend (Antonio) from death, and Bassanio gives away his ring (which he promised only a day ago would only leave his finger when it was pried from his dead body). The merging of the two stories into one led to a good conclusion – which I, however, did not like. I disliked the ending simply because I believed that Shylock didn’t deserve what came to him in the end. Although I wanted Antonio to live, and Shylock threatened that, he had plenty reason to be upset. In his speech on pages 46-47, he explains exactly why he feels the way he does about Antonio, and explains that all the discrimination he has received is simply because “I am a Jew”. Despite this, Shylock experiences even more pain than he already has by losing his daughter, his fortune, his profession and his religion. Because of this, I didn’t enjoy the ending all that much.

The story wasn’t the only thing that struck my attention. The dialogue was particularly impressive to me in certain parts. The most famous and notable example of this is during Shylock’s speech. Shakespeare doesn’t just create a powerful speech, but also makes it poetic. On lines 49-51, Shylock says,

[Antonio has] hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies, and what’s his reason? I am a Jew.”

This structure of repetition creates a really powerful speech and allows it to be read more smoothly and raise intensity. Over all, I enjoyed this play. Compared to Candide, it was very straightforward and not a lot happened, but it was because of how the play is simple but effective that I enjoyed it.

Merchant Of Venice Personal Response

The Play Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare was an engaging and eventful play that allowed me to understand the separation that occurred between Jewish and Christian people during Shakespeare’s time. Throughout the play, the themes that stood out for me were prejudice, injustice, and the conflict between love and self-interest. In addition, I learned how far different characters were willing to go because of the “love” they had for others.

Prejudice and injustice were two themes that were demonstrated in this play. Prejudice can be seen through the character of Jessica. Shakespeare’s example of prejudice is shown in the dialogue between Lancelot and Jessica when Lancelot jokes about how Jessica would not enter paradise because of her Jewish father. Even though Jessica was welcomed with open arms, she would always be known as the daughter of the jew. Jessica left her religion, father, and past life where she was trapped under her father’s control for Lorenzo and Christianity. However, because of her jew bloodline, she will never be a true Christian and will always have some prejudice against her. Injustice is demonstrated through Shylock, who depicts the life of Jews and how they were treated as a result of their beliefs. Shylock’s passionate speech raises awareness about how Jews are treated and how they feel targeted. It made me realize how Shylock was feeling and how frustrated and angry he was because of the persecution he was receiving, including being humiliated, insulted in public, and harassed because of his beliefs. This was a strong point in the play, demonstrating his sense of injustice and his plans for revenge after being treated unjustly. Injustice towards Shylock is demonstrated when the bond ends. Everything was taken away from him, including his faith which was important to him and his identity.

The conflict between love and self-interest is shown through the character Shylock and Antonio. The significant difference between the Christian characters and Shylock appears to be that the Christian characters emphasize human relationships over business-related relationships. In contrast, Shylock appears to be entirely concerned with money. This is how the Christian characters see the situation. Merchants like Antonio risk their lives to lend money to individuals they care deeply about, like Bassanio. In comparison, Shylock grieves the loss of his money and is said to run through the streets crying, “O, my ducats!” “Oh, my daughter!” (II.viii.15). He appears to appreciate his money more than his daughter with these statements, implying that his greed overrides his love. However, Shylock also shows sadness and how hurt he is because his daughter left him all alone. This is shown in scene three. An example that shows how hurt he was was when he heard that Jessica sold the ring of his beloved dead wife for a monkey. Upon hearing this rumour, we see how upsetting this was to Shylock, indicating that some human connections are more important to Shylock than money. Furthermore, his emphasis on a pound of flesh rather than any amount of money demonstrates that his anger outweighs his greed.

Overall, I enjoyed the play and seeing the movie version alongside it helped me have a deeper understanding of the lives of individuals who live in segregated groups. I believe that this play addresses more than just the Jewish-Christian divide; it also shows how unfair the system was and the mistreatment of non-Christians.
This play can be applied to various groups, demonstrating the injustice and prejudice that groups have towards one another. Lastly, the Merchant of Venice emphasizes the impact of mistreatment solely because of others’ differences and demonstrates the discrimination that occurred throughout history to this day.

Personal Response Merchant of Venice

Merchant of Venice by Shakespeare was an enjoyable play to me because of the emotions of sympathy I felt, the interesting situations, and the foreshadowing. The merchant of Venice is placed in a time where prejudice against Jewish people was very evident. One character, Shylock who is Jewish, is put in a situation where he gets involved with Christian folk. Shylock gets cheated by them, loses his daughter, his money, and even in trial he doesn’t get what was rightfully his. Because he was Jewish he was treated unfairly making me feel intense emotions of sympathy for him. On page 46, line 47 Shylock has a speech where he says, “He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, thwarted my bargains…” In the speech he lists ways in which he was treated unfairly because he was a Jew and this made me sympathise with him. No one should be discriminated against because of their religion. It made me feel angry at the society which has made him lose so much. I also sympathised with him because he is seen as the antagonist of this play, even when he has done nothing wrong and has been wronged. 

The Merchant of Venice creates very interesting situations where characters do things that are illogical and this makes you interested in how it will turn out. For example, Bassanio loans money out in order to make an attempt at making more money by marrying Portia. He puts everything and his friend’s body on the line for a one out of three chance and gaining what he is after. This irrationalism that the characters have makes me curious about what would happen later in the play and what situations the characters would get into. It kept me reading and engaged because I would always expect more situations that are unrealistic and exciting.

Adding on to this The merchant of Venice has lots of clear foreshadowing which keeps you hooked to the story wanting to see what plays out. An example is when Bassanio receives a ring from Portia and is clearly told that this ring is the only thing he must not be parted from. This tells us that something is going to happen where Bassanio gives the ring away. This foreshadowing made me feel excited to see how Portia will react when that situation happens. Like my last point, it keeps you hooked to the play and allows you to continue reading and stay engaged.

This play overall was quite an enjoyable experience. You don’t really know who’s the bad or good guy, and you can decide for yourself. Each character feels good and bad. I really love stories where you can use your own perspective to determine how you perceive the story. It shows how complex the story is and I really enjoyed that part of it.


The Merchant of Venice PR

The merchant of Venice by Shakespeare shows how unfairly Christian people treated Jewish people. Many of the scenes led to me siding with Shylock as he is treated unfairly. Does shylock deserve justice? Did Antonio have mercy? Shylock was one of the characters that I grew emotionally attached to. The scenes that really locked this feeling in for me were his big speech to Salarino and Solanio, and the court scene.

In Shylock’s famous speech “to bait fish withal”, in Act III scene I he talks about how he has lost everything. His daughter has run away, taken thousands of ducats and jewels with her, and Antonio has lost the money that Shylock had lent to him. All Shylock wants is justice and Salarino and Solanio are begging for him to have mercy. They do not see why he would want to cut a pound of flesh off Antonio as punishment for not paying back the money he was lent. This speech has years of mistreatment in it making it more powerful. It seems as if Shylock has always been upset about how unfairly he is treated just because he is a Jew and the fact that he just wants revenge for one thing, he is a bad person. The long speech really shows emotion and gives off the feeling that Shylock is fed up with the world and how he is treated. If all the things said in the speech are true, then I believe Shylock deserves justice. Today, one cannot have this unethical punishment and I believe that it is horrible to kill someone; so obviously I do not think that he should be allowed to kill someone. I do though believe that he deserves justice.

I was constantly confused while reading and did not catch many details of the play. This was because of the big difference of words and grammar from the 1500s until now. While watching the court scene (Act IV scene I) in a film version of the play I understood what was said and what had happened and was in shock. My jaw dropped as I saw how unfair and slimy the Christian characters present made the situation.

During this scene mercy was also mentioned many times and I began to question how accurately it was being used. When Antonio said that Shylock must give up his religion and give him half of his wealth, I immediately felt hatred towards Antonio. Portia even started saying how Antonio was showing mercy which to me was wrong and unfair. I was appalled at how she could get away with that. It is so unfair how the system was back then and how unfairly the Jewish were treated.

The Merchant of Venice_Personal Response

Literature is an important part in the arts, it raises questions, extend and explains issues on a much more different level comparing only to visual arts. The Merchant of Venice for example, was a great piece of work crafted that raised many concerns about the basic morals and ethics of human, namely: the justification for revenge and the power, the nature of mercy. This has been shown very well through two important details: Shylock’s main speech about the unfairness of Jews, Portia’s speech about what mercy is.

For Shylock, he is a prime example of someone whose lines have been crossed because of his identity, pushing him to seek revenge and justice. Through understanding his main speech, readers can empathize with him and understand that to discriminate someone because of their originality is wrong. “If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million, laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies—and what’s his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? . . . If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me I will execute—and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.” (Act 3, Scene 1, line 47-65) Shylock pressed on the matter of the universality of human. We all shares the same of many things: we have the same body parts, food keep all of us full, poisons and weapons can hurt and kill us, etc. If we are so similar in many ways, why would we want to hurt each other so bad? The logic and thought process is very simple that it easy to understand and readers can support Shylock that he should get his revenge. Therefore because humans are similar in many ways, his revenge can be justified.

However, it did not come easy for him as in the courtroom, Portia also made a sound argument as he did but about mercy. “The quality of mercy is not strain’d, it droppeth as gentle rain from heaven upon the place beneath. It is twice blest: it blesseth him that gives, and him that takes…Therefore, Jew, though justice be thy plea, consider this: that in the course of justice, none of us should see salvation. We do pray for mercy, and that same prayer doth teach us all to render the deeds of mercy.” (Act 4, Scene 1, line 183-204) For Portia, mercy is a choice rather than what we should do meaning that human chooses mercy, not vice versa. Applying this logic to Shylock’s motive, then it also make just as much sense because if he did kill Antonio, how much satisfaction will he get out of it? Even then, after killing him, will there be any guarantee that he will not be mistreated anymore? These points, too, are worth noting as it makes us questions about how our actions can be the seeds to bigger consequences that we might have to carry. Not to mention, why is mercy a powerful weapon, according to Portia? To have mercy is not to forget, but to know that even when somebody does something wrong, we do not let loose ourselves of control and poison ourselves. This goes back to the previous question: how much satisfaction comes from revenge for Shylock? Even if it satisfy him well, will he be understood still or just be seen as a cold-blooded killer whom will be shun and hated for the remaining course of his life? 

It is a hard question to answer: what is right? Revenge or mercy? For as if we do not get revenge, we will not be able to redeem for what have been lost. But on the other hand, if we do not have mercy, how worth can our revenges be? Although Shylock has every right to execute Antonio for his revenge, maybe Portia was right, that he could have taken the money that was given to him and move on from his life and have mercy for Antonio not because Portia told him so, but he can do it as his own choice. Even when it was such a tough decision, he can at least give himself peace.

Overall, The Merchant of Venice was well written with many contrasting topics, such as this one and it is a great chance for readers to understand more about the nature of topics like these and broaden their point of view.

The Merchant of Venice

After reading The Merchant of Venice, I came to the understanding that reading the play creates unique imagery and allowed me to have a more personalized interpretation of the play. Whereas while watching the play, my interpretation was not something I could still picture because the play in the movie is interpreted in a specific way created by the director. We were watching how it is already interpreted.  When watching the play in class, the tone and rhythm behind each speech were different in a way. This is because of the fact that the reader is not in control of the tone, rhythm, and imagery any more. The idea of the play has already been conveyed by the director. This meant that watching the play conveyed a stronger feeling than reading it. While reading, I felt I was prioritizing the understanding of every speech because of the different English, while watching it, the main aspect it brought to my attention was the feeling that it was convening in each scene seeing that the acting makes it easier to understand. We can see this when Portia and Nerissa cross-dressed as men.

When I was reading it, I was focusing more on understanding the context and the agreement they were proposing to Shylock and Antonio. However, when we watched it, I could see the whole scene, getting the full idea making me feel interested in what was happening. Watching the play helped me to fully understand, but I also liked reading the play because the language is interesting and I was able to analyze it.

I enjoyed the language as it not only effectively conveys, but also enhances the message behind it. I found the language challenging, as it was really hard to understand Elizabethan English. However, the way it was implemented made it more captivating as a reader.


Merchant of Venice PR

After reading Merchant of Venice I found myself questioning whether Shylock deserved his punishment and if he should deserve the sympathy of the readers. Obviously, when this play would have been first performed in the 1600s no one would have had sympathy for Shylock because of the anti-Semitic culture that was normalized in that time period. However reading the play without this anti-Semitic culture changes the view of Shylock, from the reader’s perspective Shylock’s suffering is immeasurable, but Shylock was trying to cause suffering on another human. Once again there is another “but” because Shylock trying to cause harm to another human (Antonio) was the same person that has treated him like a “dog” and made Shylock have additional suffering as a Jew living in a Christian majority city. From my view, while reading the book I think Shylock’s suffering in the form of his punishment is too severe and that readers should be sympathetic for him.

It is arguable that Shylock should be punished the way he was because he wanted to take another man’s life which is never justifiable, but the reader has to try and imagine what Shylocks scenario would have been like, his daughter was stolen by a Christian man, he has been berated and abused by Christian peoples his whole life ( Especially by Antonio),  he lost half his wealth being stolen by his daughter and then loses 3000 ducats from his bond that isn’t repaid. Shylock should still be punished because he was going to take a man’s life, but he should not be punished to the extent that his own existence is unbearable. Every human has a mental breaking point of the amount of suffering they can endure before their mental health crumbles, and I think Shylock became mentally unstable and was desperate to fill his sadness with a feeling of actually winning for once. It wasn’t Shylock’s fault he reached that mental breaking point either, he was pushed to that limit by the same people that are being punished for reaching that low point which isn’t fair to Shylock’s case. Throughout the whole play, Shylock does not experience a single scenario where he gets even close to what he wants, so in my eyes, I was sympathetic for him because that is not healthy for the human brain to not have any success in anything. 

To conclude I think that Shylock’s punishment is not justified and deserves the sympathy of the reader in the Merchant of Venice. Shylock had suffered throughout this whole play, even though he was going to commit a heinous act of taking somebody’s life, perhaps instead the court could have taken only a fraction of his estate and not forced him to renounce the one thing that he still had, which was his Jewish religion. Shylock did not deserve to lose everything he had, he had already fought throughout the whole play to keep himself together and bear the abuse that Christians had cast upon him throughout the play, I think shylock should have gotten a less severe punishment because of all the wrongings he has already experienced by the Christian peoples.

The Merchant of Venice Personal Response

For me the Merchant of Venice seemed kind of dramatic for me, but also like a classic romance movie as well. I say this because it shows us that Shylock didn’t want Jessica to be with Lorenzo, but they end up running away together. You also have Bassanio who goes to a friend who is Antonio to help him to get the girl he likes. Then Antonio goes to a another person who he does not like who is Shylock, but will tolerate him to help his friend. He than makes an agreement that he’ll pack back Shylock the money he is asking for, and if he doesn’t he will pay with a pound of his flesh. Which in most romance movies is how it normally goes but it’s with death or something like that.

As for the girls it does remind me of a princess movie. I think this because Jessica has no mother, and her father has strongly argued that she does not want her to marry someone of not his choosing, but she does anyways. As for Portia and Nerissa they remind me of still a princess movie, like the two of them had grown up together. Portia’s father had died and we don’t hear or know much about her mother other than that she probably had died as well, which is kind of like a classic Disney princess movie. Nerissa’s parents worked for Portia’s parents and they saw each other one day and became friends.

I think that the book was good, and that it was very interesting. Of course there were some parts that I thought were very emotional and sad. It has also remind me that not everyone thinks of other people as human, but rather inhuman. This is during Shylock’s speech, I felt that really sad and bad for Shylock in this scene because he and other Jews weren’t seen as human beings. To me this reflects back to the real world and that even though time as passed and racism still exist. In this scene it also made me think to never someone if different because if their belief or religion, but rather to always accept them for who they are.