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Merchant of Venice Intro

Background on Shakespeare's theatre and intro to the Merchant of Venice.

Michelle Jones

on 14 November 2011

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Transcript of Merchant of Venice Intro

The Merchant of Venice William Shakespeare Religion of the Time: The Tudors Theatre Conventions of the Time The Play Lived from 1564 to 1616
Wrote Merchant of Venice between 1596 and 1598
Married Anne Hathaway who was eight years his senior
Wrote 38 plays and 154 sonnets
He had three children, two girls and a boy
Hamnet, his son, died at age 11
Shakespeare's company, later named the King's Men, helped build the Globe Theatre. They also rebuilt it after it burned down.
He lived in Stratford-upon-Avon Henry VII Edward VI Mary I Elizabeth I Catholic
Church of England
Dissolution of Monastaries
locked up Catholic
Pope became
head of
church again
Bloody Mary
burned 300
Protestants Protestant
Punished both extreme Protestants and extreme Catholics
Allowed both religions
Firmly established the Church of England How do you think Jews were viewed during this time period? Jews were banished from England in 1290 by King Edward
Oliver Cromwell allowed Jews back into England in 1655
The Inquisition during the Elizabethan Age saw many Jews burned and tortured for being heretics
The few Jews that remained in Elizabethan England could only work in money lending or as peddlars
The Globe No women on stage
No scenic design
Theatre only during the day, torches were too expensive for night time
Rich and poor, educated and illiterate all attended
Those that stood on the floor usually got drunk and riotious
Often food was thrown at the stage when the performances were bad Main Characters:
Shylock- antagonist, Jewish money lender
Portia- wealthy hieress, very intelligent
Antonio- merchant, signs a contract with Shylock
Bassanio- friend of Antonio, in love with Portia
Jessica- Shylock's daughter, in love with a Lorenzo and wants to convert
Lorenzo- In love with Jessica, friend of Antonio and Bassanio
The Importance of Language Act 1. Scene 1 "...dangerous rocks, which, touching but my gentle vessel's side, would scatter all her spices on the stream, enrobe the roaring waters with my silks..." Act 1. Scene 1 "In Belmont is a lady richly left, and she is fair, and, fairer than that word of wonderous virtue... her sunny locks hang on her temples like golden fleece..." Act 2. Scene 2 "Thou hast got more hair on thy chin than Dobbin my fill-horse has on his tail." Act 3. Scene 1 "The Goodwins, I think they call the place-- a very dangerous flat, and fatal, where the carcasses of many a tall ship lie buried" Act 5. Scene 1 "How sweet the moonlight sleeps upon this bank... Look how the floor of heaven is think inlaid with patens of bright gold." How do you think the lack of a scenic design influenced the language of the play?
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