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Shakespeare-1 - Shakespeare Lecture November 8th Back to...

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Shakespeare Lecture: November 8 th : Back to Venice Merchant of Venice: Intro to Venice -Venice: city of glittering wealth, independence, law, building up money, the richest city in the world. -People luxuriating in their products and money; there are dark parts of Venice as well. -p. 1111: intro to merchant of Venice -sides of Venice that Shakespeare ignores: Venetian Jews confined to a ghetto; Shakespeare makes us think that it is a city based in trading and accumulation of wealth that allows the people to exist peacefully -Are you allowed to sympathize with Shylock or not? Is this play anti-Semitic or not? Can Antonio and Shylock peacefully co-exist? -is it the merchant of Venice or the Jew of Venice? The Mercantile Community -Act 1, Scene 1, Opening scene -What makes Antonio sad? They immediately go to money & trading -Through these first lines, they constantly imagine Antonio’s ships at seas. -Obsessing over these ships at sea and inviting Antonio to wonder about these ships. -Solanio establishes this idea: where are the ships and where are they going? -Salerio: every object reminds him of these ships. Lines 22-30: everything reminding him of financial disaster. -“Should I go to church and see the holy edifice of stone and not bethink me straight of dangerous rocks” (I. i. 29) Salerio not thinking about God, but instead about his ships and what’s going to ruin them; obsessed with wealth and luxury. -Once ship goes down, the wealth is lost. -(I. i. 41) “Therefore my merchandise makes me not sad”. Antonio says it’s not my ships. -Why do Solanio and Salerio insist that it is the ships that make him sad? -they like seeing him unhappy, there is a potential of jealousy -they’re not just obsessed with wealth, but with each other’s wealth. -these are also competitor’s; yes they’ll all get along, but they also have competition and jealousy. -(I. i. 122) Bassanio’s plan is to appear wealthy, but he’s overspent -“I have disabled mine estate”; I’ve been living outside of my means to appear more prosperous than I am. He has overspent and now he needs more money. -(I. i. 165) “Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued.” -his object of desire is Portia, she is attractive to him because she’s got an inheritance and she’s fair. (first he mentions her money and after that her beauty). -diction in this passage: everyone knows how much Portia is worth Bassanio’s Plan to get more money -(I. i. 140) logical plan, but also trying to trick Antonio, more like a sale’s pitch. -He is honest about it, so you see their friendship. -“I oft get them back”- admits that it is a risk. It might not come back. -(I. i. 9)- Antonio’s ships are like portly sails, big sails, pageants on the sea. Painting a picture of these
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huge ships and call petty ships that go by, traffickers.
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