Presentation on theme: "The Merchant of Venice Day Three Slide Show ENGL 305 Dr. Fike."— Presentation transcript:
The Merchant of Venice Day Three Slide Show ENGL 305 Dr. Fike
Announcements Your analysis papers are due on Monday, February 16 th. We will meet in the library’s electronic classroom on that day. Do not come to our regular classroom. Be sure to follow the format for papers, especially Courier New 12-point. See next slide for a description of the analysis paper assignment.
Analysis Paper Stage two is a development of your proposal—5-page (minimum) nonresearched analysis paper. Of course, some topics cannot be done without a little bit of research, but try to limit yourself to reference works and primary sources (e.g., the OED, a dictionary of mythology, historical material, and other primary sources such as Freud or Jung). Leave the secondary research until later: do not let critics take over your project. You may want to think of this stage as a New Critical paper (i.e., a paper written straight from the primary text and your head). The main goal of the assignment is to continue to engage with the text and to refine your thesis. Nonetheless, it may be appropriate at this stage to read a copy of “The Correct Use of Borrowed Information” and review the MLA format. As with the paper proposal, you must have a list of works cited at the end of your analysis paper. Note: This is an ANALYSIS paper; therefore, you will need something to analyze (not summarize or narrate). In this respect, a single passage can often serve as your focused topic. If you do not have such a passage, be sure that you have some kind of aggregate of quotations so that you can analyze as a focused topic. Also keep in mind the difference between explication and analysis. Explication offers a detailed explanation of what something says. It is the foundation for analysis, which involves using what something says to support a controversial thesis statement.“The Correct Use of Borrowed Information”
Review of Day Two Activity Venturing involves risking something for the sake of gain. Usury is a type of venture. Biblical precedent—brothers and others. Shylock gets in trouble when he loans money on Christian terms. Borrowing money from him marks him as an Other, a foreigner. Venturing in two main things: Shylock’s biblical allusion and the casket test. Allusion to Jacob and Laban: Shylock makes a false analogy (gold and silver are not ewes and rams) and neglects the element of divine inspiration (Jacob’s dream). Cf. Lancelot Gobbo: “you have the grace of God, sir, and he hath enough” (2.2.142-43). Analogy to paper grading.
More Review Caskets: The test’s purpose is to curb Portia’s desires and presumably to weed out inappropriate suitors. –Morocco and Argon are inappropriate (paganism, classicism, false values like honor and pride). –Bassanio and Portia are well suited to each other (Christianity and compatible personal profiles). See 1.1.161-63 and 1.2.110. –Portia does manipulate the test, but doing so is at least in the spirit of the test that her father set out—she recognizes Bassanio as an appropriate partner. Cut back to slide 25 in day two PP.
Another Motif: Music Contrast between Shylock’s house in Venice and Portia’s in Belmont: 2.3.2 and 2.5.29ff.; cf. 5.1.58ff., esp. 83. Tillyard 423 in McDonald’s anthology: Lorenzo’s statement (lines 58-65) garbles Plato’s Republic by substituting “cherubins” for sirens. Cf. the Timaeus: “In that dialogue it is said that the planetary motions of the heavens have their counterpart in the immortal soul of man and that our souls would sound in accord with the grander music of the cosmos were it not for the earth and perishable nature of the body. Shakespeare reproduces the gist of this doctrine.”
Shylock’s Attitude toward the Bond See 4.1.35-62 and lines 89-103. (See next slide for suggested answers.)
Shylock’s Attitude Toward the Bond Re. 4.1.52ff. –Hatred: Shylock claims that he can give no reason why he hates Antonio, but he just has a visceral hate, arising possibly from emotion. In embracing hatred, though, Shylock has become the thing that he hates. Thus he is to a Christian as an anti-Semite is to a Jew. Projection of unconscious content onto another person. Cf. Gratiano’s statement at 4.1.134 about Shylock’s soul. Analogy to CRTW, paper 1: Shylock has impediments to his thinking—personal experience makes his hatred deep-seated. We know why he hates Antonio (Antonio has treated him badly and undermined his business); however, Shylock makes his motivation sound unconscious. –Shylock believes that a pound of flesh is enslaved to him. Why is this ironic? Shylock justifies enforcing the bond as if Antonio were enslaved to him even though the Jewish people were enslaved in Egypt. (To grasp the full weight of this point, substitute the words “gassed” and “Germany.”)
C. G. Jung on Projection CW 10, 131/65: “Everything that is unconscious in ourselves we discover in our neighbour, and we treat him accordingly.... What we combat in him is usually our own inferior side.” 139/69: “A certain person is a devil[;] we have not projected our own evaluation on him and in this way made a devil out of him.” CW 9ii, par. 126: “The psychological rule says that when an inner situation is not made conscious, it appears outside, as fate.” MDR 247: “Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” Richard Nixon: “Always remember[:] others may hate you but those who hate you don’t win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself.”
Contrast to MSND Re. death, Egeus:Hermia::Shylock:Antonio. But Egeus primarily wants to pick his son-in-law; Shylock genuinely wants to kill Antonio. Consider: –MSND 4.1: Problems are being resolved just prior to the return to the court. –MV 4.1: Shylock insists on strict justice. In terms of justice, we are at this point where we were in MSND 1.1. POINT: The different placement of parallel elements reflects the greater darkness of MV. The present play is definitely closer to problem comedy.
Group Activity Consider Portia’s mercy speech at 4.1.182-203. Let’s read it together. In groups: Paraphrase her speech. Consider the Bible passages on the handout: what interpretations of Portia’s speech do they suggest? Is Portia being straightforward or manipulative? In other words, does she really want Shylock to show mercy, or is she setting him up to take a hard line? Why do you think so? Is she sincere, manipulative, or a little of both? Each group should consider all three questions at the top of the handout. However, those on your right should begin at the top of the list of quotations and work down. Those on your left should begin at the bottom and work up. Work for 10 minutes in groups of 3-5 people. You will share your discoveries with the class.
Transition We’re now going to begin talking about the final act. What sort of ending does Portia’s victory in the court of law enable? (See next slide for possible answers.)
Act 5 There is no restorative return to Venice. The third part of the MSND chart is lopped off. Here is the pattern: exile and new life. We also know that neither Antonio nor Shylock gets married. In one production that I heard about, Antonio stands alone on stage at the very end. Of course, Shylock is ruined financially and psychologically. Three of his ships have returned, but evidently others have genuinely been lost.
The Point So we do not have the kind of harmonious ending that we find in MSND. The ending of MV is closer to problem comedy—is more of a “mixed mode”— than in a festive comedy.
Summary of Concepts Reason, will, desire/passion/appetite Nigredo Complementarity Mixed modes Problem comedy Venturing Projection
And there are problematic statements in Act 5. Allusions: Do they foreshadow some kind of disappointment in Jessica and Lorenzo’s marriage? Cf. Hermia’s mention of Dido and Aeneas in MSND. Music of the spheres: 5.2.60ff. Earth is the realm of disappointment? See http://www.stampscapes.com/hand1.html. http://www.stampscapes.com/hand1.html
From Bloomsbury Guide to Human Thought on Credo Reference (Dacus Library database) “The ancient Greeks knew of nine spheres: the Sun and Moon; the planets we know as Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn; the ‘Starry Sphere’ (the fixed stars in the sky); the Crystalline Sphere (the sphere which controlled the procession of the equinoxes). These were all assumed to move round the Earth, in a kind of stately and unvarying procession. Pythagoras' research into sound led him to believe that the spheres, in common with all other objects which move, must vibrate, and that those vibrations must produce sound. As each sphere is a different size from the others, and moves in a different way, the sounds must all be different. However, as all Nature (to Pythagoreans) was a harmonious mathematical whole, the sounds emitted by the spheres must also be harmonious: a kind of glorious universal chord as they made their way through space. The idea of universal harmony and of the discordant chaos when something happens to upset it has persisted in myth and poetry ever since.”
My Take on the “Love Duet” The love banter is an example of “inflation,” the “process of identification with a mythic double or archetypal image” (Walker 102). In other words, the syzygy pairs in the love duet—some of them happy now but soon not so happy—personify another syzygy pair, the archetypes of happiness and disappointment. Although Jessica and Lorenzo are blissfully newly wedded, their neuroses activate the potential for representation in the collective unconscious and enable the archetype of disappointment to manifest in mythical terms without their conscious awareness. As a result, they express truth about marriage in general and about their own marriage in particular—myth conveys what they do not know that they know. There is no doubt that Jessica and Lorenzo will suffer disappointment when romance yields to disillusion and an attempt to change each other in order to recapture the magic of the moonlit night in Belmont. The question is whether they will surmount the inevitable disappointment or—like Jason and Medea—devolve into abandonment and domestic abuse. --Dr. Fike END