The Merchant Of Venice Bases Its Dramatic Logic On The New Testament Premise That You Get What You Give, And The Play S Consistent Enactment Of This Looking-Glass Logic Creates A World In Which Mirroring Is A Major Internal Principle Of Order. The Indian Philosophy, Distilled In Our Vedas, Puranas And Epics, Speaks In Almost The Same Vein. Shylock Is Cunning, Cruel And Implacable. For Centuries, The Shylocks Of India, In Various Garbs, Have Tried And Succeeded Partially, To Get Their Pounds Of Flesh From Their Victims. Usury Was Condemned In The Elizabethan Period But We, In India, Still Nourish It. Secondly, Shylock S Sense Of Jessica Is Anti-Human As Well As Anti¬Social. He Is Aware Of Her As Of An Item Of Inventory, As Many Father, In India, Do With Their Daughters.Bassanio Must Have Learnt From Shylock S Example: A Wrong, Even A Small One, Is Always A Wrong And Calls Forth Its Own Punishment Automatically, For, As We Shall See, In Dr. Agarwalla S Interpretation Of The Play, The Law Sleeps Only Until Unoffended, When It Reacts By Reflecting The Offence In Kind. The Law Has No Power To Make Anyone Choose To Do Right, It Can Only Punish Those Who Do Wrong. The Prince Of Morocco, Like Any Prince Of Yester-Years, In India, Is Chivalrous, Amorous, Gracious And Sexually Virile. It Was Unkind Of Portia To Say Uncomplimentary Words For Him But She, Like White-Skinned Ladies, Have Always Done So In The Past And Are Doing It, At Present. Thus The Merchant Of Venice Is As Much Relevant To Indians As It Was And Is To The English And To The World, In General. Dr. Shyam S. Agarwalla Gives A New Approach, A New Presentation And A New Direction To The Reading And Critical Analysis Of The Play. At Times, His Critical Examination Of The Play Is Unconventional, Provocative But Nonetheless Educative. That Marks Him Off From Other Indian Editors Of The Merchant.
Release on 2002 | by John W. Mahon,Ellen Macleod Mahon
New Critical Essays
Author: John W. Mahon,Ellen Macleod Mahon
Pubpsher: Psychology Press
Category: Literary Criticism
Four hundred years after its first performance, The Merchant of Venice continues to draw audiences, spark debate, and elicit controversy. This collection of new essays examines the performance and study of Shakespeare's play from a broad range of contemporary critical approaches. The contributors, drawn from four continents, build upon recent scholarship in new historicism, feminism, performance theory, and postcolonial studies to present new perspectives on the play, and offer fresh insights into its critical legacy on stage and as a literary text. A substantial introductory essay provides important historical context and surveys major critical approaches to the play over the centuries. This volume is an essential companion to The Merchant of Venice and a significant contribution to Shakespearean criticism.
Complements Barron's Shakespeare Made Easy texts or can be used alone. Sets the stage for student comprehension with background material on each play. Builds appreciation for Shakespear's works with thought-provoking reviews.
Release on 2006 | by William Shakespeare,Harold Bloom
Author: William Shakespeare,Harold Bloom
Pubpsher: Yale University Press
In this lively comedy of love and money in sixteenth-century Venice, Bassanio wants to impress the wealthy heiress Portia but lacks the necessary funds. He turns to his merchant friend, Antonio, who is forced to borrow from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender. When Antonio's business falters, repayment becomes impossible—and by the terms of the loan agreement, Shylock is able to demand a pound of Antonio’s flesh. Portia cleverly intervenes, and all ends well (except of course for Shylock).
The interpretative problem that haunts The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare's most performed and currently most controversial comedy, concerns the question of artistic unity: did Shakespeare effectively integrate his multiple plots and apparently divergent worlds of Venice and Belmont? Joan Ozark Holmer examines Shakespeare's indebted and innovative theatrical choices regarding his comedy's structure, language, ideas, and characters. Discovering a tightly knit interplay of contrarieties and correspondences, she argues for the play's unity of dramatic design through its enactment of choices for or against a complex conception of wise love. Historical contexts - aesthetic, theological, and economic - anchor the play's problems of finance and faith that make or break a variety of secular and spiritual bonds. An on-going dialogue with past and present criticism gauges altering perspectives and persuasions in the critics' performance. Because most modern contention centres on the question of anti-Semitism, a consideration of how the play encodes sixteenth-century concepts of Jews illuminates their cultural moment and ours. If Shakespearean drama can be said to be an infinitely varied experience in seeing feelingly, then the play entertains and educates through dilemmas of choice and ironic reversals that expose the human difficulty of knowing and doing well. Presenting possible new sources as well as new evidence from recognised sources, Holmer highlights issues usually underestimated in the play's criticism. Examples include the interrelation of wealth and faith with literal and figurative conversions, the importance of usury, biblical allusion and the instrumentality of stage law. Taking the recapitulation of the final act for closure of both play and book, she analyses its incorporative design for summing the circle of the play, concluding with an awareness of how this play fits within Shakespeare's canon and at the same time continues to 'exceed account' in its imaginative reckoning.
In The Merchant of Venice, the path to marriage is hazardous. To win Portia, Bassanio must pass a test prescribed by her father’s will, choosing correctly among three caskets or chests. If he fails, he may never marry at all. Bassanio and Portia also face a magnificent villain, the moneylender Shylock. In creating Shylock, Shakespeare seems to have shared in a widespread prejudice against Jews. Shylock would have been regarded as a villain because he was a Jew. Yet he gives such powerful expression to his alienation due to the hatred around him that, in many productions, he emerges as the hero. Portia is most remembered for her disguise as a lawyer, Balthazar, especially the speech in which she urges Shylock to show mercy that “droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven.” The authoritative edition of The Merchant of Venice from The Folger Shakespeare Library, the trusted and widely used Shakespeare series for students and general readers, includes: -The exact text of the printed book for easy cross-reference -Hundreds of hypertext links for instant navigation -Freshly edited text based on the best early printed version of the play -Newly revised explanatory notes conveniently linked to the text of the play -Scene-by-scene plot summaries -A key to the play’s famous lines and phrases -An introduction to reading Shakespeare’s language -An essay by a leading Shakespeare scholar providing a modern perspective on the play -Fresh images from the Folger Shakespeare Library’s vast holdings of rare books -An annotated guide to further reading Essay by Alexander Leggatt The Folger Shakespeare Library in Washington, DC, is home to the world’s largest collection of Shakespeare’s printed works, and a magnet for Shakespeare scholars from around the globe. In addition to exhibitions open to the public throughout the year, the Folger offers a full calendar of performances and programs. For more information, visit Folger.edu.
Release on 2013-10-28 | by John W. Mahon,Ellen Macleod Mahon
Author: John W. Mahon,Ellen Macleod Mahon
Category: Literary Criticism
This volume is a collection of all-new original essays covering everything from feminist to postcolonial readings of the play as well as source queries and analyses of historical performances of the play. The Merchant of Venice is a collection of seventeen new essays that explore the concepts of anti-Semitism, the work of Christopher Marlowe, the politics of commerce and making the play palatable to a modern audience. The characters, Portia and Shylock, are examined in fascinating detail. With in-depth analyses of the text, the play in performance and individual characters, this book promises to be the essential resource on the play for all Shakespeare enthusiasts.
Bassanio, a young Venetian of noble rank, wishes to woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia of Belmont. Having squandered his estate, he needs 3,000 ducats to subsidise his expenditures as a suitor. Bassanio approaches his friend Antonio, a wealthy merchant of Venice who has previously and repeatedly bailed him out. Antonio agrees, but since he is cash-poor - his ships and merchandise are busy at sea - he promises to cover a bond if Bassanio can find a lender, so Bassanio turns to the Jewish moneylender Shylock and names Antonio as the loan's guarantor. Antonio has already antagonized Shylock through his outspoken antisemitism, and because Antonio's habit of lending money without interest forces Shylock to charge lower rates. Shylock is at first reluctant to grant the loan, citing abuse he has suffered at Antonio's hand. He finally agrees to lend the sum to Bassanio without interest upon one condition: if Bassanio is unable to repay it at the specified date, Shylock may take a pound of Antonio's flesh.
Release on 2011-08 | by Aidan Coleman,Abbie Thomas,Shane Barnes
Author: Aidan Coleman,Abbie Thomas,Shane Barnes
Pubpsher: Insight Publications
Even the most resolutely disengaged students can finally 'discover' and thrill to the rhythms and passions of Shakespeare's plays! Award-winning teachers and Shakespearean scholars have extensively trialled their approach to teaching Shakespeare's plays in the classroom, and this series is the result! The plays in this series are becoming increasingly popular for student resources in schools as English and Drama teachers discover their fabulous teaching and learning qualities.