Merchant of Venice: PR

The Merchant of Venice is a classic amongst famous plays written in past centuries, and it is one of Shakespeare’s finest works. The play takes place in a time of common prejudice in Europe, involving the maltreatment of Jews by Christians.  Judaism was regarded as a lowly religion and anyone who practiced it would be subjected to harsh treatment by Christians. Shakespeare adopts the realism of the current world and imbues it into his play, without making a side look better than the other (Christians or Jews). He stripped the characters of their societal stereotypes (e.g., Jews are bad), and reduced them to ordinary people under different circumstances, and his ability to do so created a worthy variety of characters for the world to be entertained by for centuries to come.  

A big figure in the play that stands out is Shylock, and he remains the best character in the play, not because I liked him the most but because of his realism. His actions and words were often interpreted by me as unjustified but as the plot progressed, I began to see and understand his side of things and understand how a big action can affect a character and the future actons taken by that character (the domino effect). His famous speech to the associates of Antonio sticks to me and I consider it the realest thing in this play. 

He hath disgraced me, and hindered me half a million,  

Laughed at my losses, mocked my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, 

And what is his reason, I am a Jew. 

Hath not a Jew hands. Hath not a Jew eyes, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? 

Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapon, subject to 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? 

If we are like you in the rest, then we will resemble you in that. 

 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. 

This remains the best dialogue from any character in the play. The utter honesty and rage from Shylock reveal to us the true state of mind Shylock is in. It expresses the humility dealt upon him by Christians and his heavy desire for revenge.  


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 – 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 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

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.


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 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.

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.

“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. 

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 & 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 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.