Today we begin our journey into Venice where Shakespeare has created a fascinating interlocking group of tales that take us into the heart of the conflict between Christianity and Judaism. But this is also a wonderful love story with an almost fairy-tale quality. So this is a complex play, romantic, comic, seriously political and almost tragic. Please find the images here that I will be using in our first session together:
Here are 2 Blog Topics for our First Week on The Merchant of Venice:
- Antonia describes the world as “A stage where every man [and woman] must play a part”. What does this line mean for you and how might it apply to your own life?
- What kind of a person is Gratiano? Look closely at his speech in Act 1.1.80 and also look at what Bassanio says about him in Act 1.1.114.
To bait fish withal. 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? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, 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, 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.
My favorite monologue of all time.
I would gladly come and read this to the Clemente class.