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The Merchant of Venice | Study Guide

William Shakespeare

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The Merchant of Venice | Infographic

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Check out this Infographic to learn more about William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice. Study visually with character maps, plot summaries, helpful context, and more.

the-merchant-of-venice-william-shakespeareLauncelot GobboShylocks jester; helps Jessica run away f 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?Shylock, Act III, Scene INerissaPortias lady-in-waiting; marries Gratiano JessicaSteals from her father;hurts her fathers feelings AntonioStruggling merchant; borrows money from Shylock for Bassanio PortiaBeautiful, cunning heiress; rescues Antonio from Shylock BassanioBankrupt nobleman; borrows money towin Portia ShylockMiserly moneylender; tragic villain FriendshipMarriedFamilyMain CharactersThe Merchant of Veniceby the NumbersMajor sources on which Shakespeare based The Merchant of Venice: Il Pecorone (1378) and the Gesta Romanorum (1577) Caskets Portias father prepared before his death to determine the choice of her husbandYear Jews were readmitted to England after being expelled in 1290 Year a film adaptation starring Al Pacino as Shylock was released 20042 31656Shakespeare was at the height of his career when he wrote The Merchant of Venice, borrowing from existing Italian and medieval stories for the characters and basic plot. Its characterization of the Jewish Shylock and ChristianVenetians highlights social, religious, and moral tensions of the time.WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE1564–1616FleshRepresents life, which suddenly seems valuable when threatened RingsStand for the strongest ofhuman bonds, making even asimple one priceless SymbolsGoldSymbolizes status and power—but not the most important things in life Appearance vs. RealityWhether locked in a box or hidden behind a disguise, the truth is more complex than it seems.MercyThe letter of the law is notalways the best form of justice. PrejudiceBeset on all sides by anti-Semitism, Shylock may not be solely to blame for his vindictive nature.When charming Bassanio needs money to pursue beautiful Portia, his friend Antonio strikes a deadly deal with the moneylender Shylock. After his ships sink, Antonio is unable to repay Shylock with moneyso he must pay with a pound of flesh cut from his chest. Bassanio and Portia must find a way to reason with the demanding Shylock.All That Glitters Is Not GoldTHEMES WorthOur emotions can dramatically change the value we see in people and things. William Shakespearec. 1596–97EnglishPlayAuthorYears WrittenOriginal LanguageThe Merchant of VeniceComedySources: BBC, Encyclopaedia Britannica, IMDb, Jewish Encyclopedia, “Racism and Homophobia in The Merchant of Veniceby James ORourke, Shakespeare Online Copyright © 2016 Course Hero, Inc.

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