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The Merchant of Venice 2015-4-231. The Merchant of Venice Plot: An impoverished young Venetian, Bassanio, is making preparations to gain in marriage the.

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Presentation on theme: "The Merchant of Venice 2015-4-231. The Merchant of Venice Plot: An impoverished young Venetian, Bassanio, is making preparations to gain in marriage the."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Merchant of Venice

2 The Merchant of Venice Plot: An impoverished young Venetian, Bassanio, is making preparations to gain in marriage the hand of Portia, a rich and beautiful heiress of Belmont

3 The Merchant of Venice He asks his friend Antonio, a merchant of Venice, to lend him the money necessary for the voyage to Belmont, but Antonio's money is all invested in ships at sea

4 The Merchant of Venice To help Bassanio, he has to borrow money from Shylock, the Jewish usurer. Shylock, who has been insulted by Antonio and other Christians, agrees to lend the money. But Antonio will sign a bond, providing that, if the money is not repaid in time, he will forfeit a pound of flesh

5 The Merchant of Venice

6 The Merchant of Venice Bassanio goes to Belmont and is accepted by Portia in marriage. But news comes that Antonio's ships have all been lost, he is penniless and will have to pay the pound of flesh. The case is brought before the court, and Antonio is in danger

7 The Merchant of Venice A young doctor of law arrives at the court at this critical moment. He first appeals to Shylock for mercy, but the Jew insists on taking the pound of flesh, so that the doctor lets him have it, but warns Shylock that he may take his pound of flesh, but there is no mention of blood in the bond; if he sheds a single drop of a Christian's blood, he will be held guilty of breaking the bond, and his lands and goods will be confiscated by the state according to the law of Venice. Seeing himself thus cornered, Shylock has no choice but to obey the verdict of the court

8 The Merchant of Venice

9 The Merchant of Venice

10 The Merchant of Venice The young doctor of law who saves the life of Antonio is no other than Portia in disguise! The play ends with jubilant celebration of the happy union of several pairs of lovers

11 The Merchant of Venice Theme: Through the contradicts between Antonio and Shylock, the play shows the conflict between friendship, love and greed, cruelty. Shakespeare, as a humanist of the time, praises the friendship between Antonio and Bassanio, the love between Bassanio and Portia, idealizes Portia as a heroine of beauty, wit and loyalty, and exposes Shylock's greed and cruelty. Many people today tend to regard the play as a satire of the Christians' hypocrisy and love, their cunning ways of pursuing worldliness and their unreasoning prejudice against Jews

12 The Merchant of Venice Portia, the heroine of this comedy, is the most ideal woman character ever created by Shakespeare. She is the daughter of Renaissance who loves deeply and genuinely only for her lover’s good quality and for love’s sake. She is beautiful, prudent, cultured, courteous, courageous, determined and very clever. She is brave enough to rise to an emergency and clever and cultured enough to save her husband’s friend from the evil plot of the most cunning and wicked Jew Shylock with the wise interpretation of the bond, which would otherwise kill Antonio. She embodies all the elements of humanism, that is, love for this world and happiness existing in human life. She gets happiness from true love and true friendship and is ready to defend them with her wit

13 The Merchant of Venice And more important, she is very independent. After hearing Antonio’s misfortune, she rises to the emergency instead of crying for men’s help. She knows her ability and does better than all the men in this play. In addition, she is very optimistic. She keeps optimistic even in the face of the most powerful enemy, because she is very confident of her intellect and ability. Through this heroine, Shakespeare expresses his belief in humanism and his confidence of the victory of the rising bourgeoisie

14 The Merchant of Venice The following excerpt is taken from the famous court scene. (From ACT IV Scene I. Venice. A court of justice) Enter the DUKE, the MAGNIFICOES, ANTONIO,BASSANIO, [ SALERIO, ] andGRATIANO [ with others ] DUKE What 1, is Antonio here? ANTONIO Ready, so please your grace. Note: 1. What: Well, now Play the video

15 The Merchant of Venice DUKE I am sorry for thee. Thou art come to answer 2 A stony adversary, an inhuman wretch, Uncapable 3 of pity, void and empty From any dram of mercy. ANTONIO I have heard Your grace hath ta'en great pains to qualify 4 His rigorous course 5 ; but since he stands obdurate, And that no lawful means can carry me Out of his envy's 6 reach, I do oppose My patience to his fury, and am armed To suffer with a quietness of spirit The very tyranny and rage of his. DUKE Go one, and call the Jew into the court. SALERIO He is ready at the door; he comes, my lord. Enter SHYLOCK. Selected reading Notes: 2. answer: have dealings with 3. Uncapable: Incapable 4. qualify: limit 5. rigorous course: severe proceedings 6. envy: hatred


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