Welcome Period 3!

April 17th, 2009

The Merchant of Venice Blog Discussion

1.  Provide a passage from Acts 1 to 3 (scenes 1 or 2) that intrigued you and is one that you feel is discussion worthy.

2.  Provide your opinion about the passage in addition to an analysis.  Avoid summary–go one step further and truly analyze the characters and scene.  Be sure to include the act, scene, and line number (ex: 2.2.15) as well as the name of the speaker.

3.  Come up with a discussion question to ask about the play so far.  It could either relate to your passage included for number 1, or it could be completely separate.

4.  Respond to your group members’ posts.

5.  Be sure to click on “Allow Comments” before you post.

6.  To create a post, type in wp-admin at the end of the URL.  Click on “My Blogs” and go to “Wolfe Honors English 9.”  Click on “Add New” under the Post heading.

The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene I

November 14th, 2011

“Why, there, there, there, there! A diamond gone cost me two thousand ducats in Frankfurt! The curse never fell upon our nation til now. I never felt it til now. Two thousand ducats in that, and other precious, precious jewels! I would my daughter were dead at my foot and the jewels in her ear; would she were hears’d at my foot and the ducats in her coffin. No news of them? Why so? And i know not what’s spent in the search! Why, thou loss upon loss! The thief gone with so much, and so much to find the theif, and no satisfaction, no revenge, nor no ill luck stirring but what lights a’ my shoulders, no sighs but a’ my breathing, no tears but a’ my shedding.”

When reading this scene aloud in class, many different thoughts and characteristics were being put in one passage of Shylock. This passage came right out and said the entire truth about how he was coping with his daughter, a thief, a runaway, and soon to-be a Christian with Lorenzo. But when I read this, all my sympathy for Shylock was gone in an instant. I had felt sort of bad for him early on in the different acts when he was called a dog, and spit on by different people, but after act three my opinion has made me to believe Shylock as a cruel man to all. You see, in this passage in scene I, it begins with Salarino and Solanio talking to him about how he is doing with his daughters flight. But right away Shylock begins to tell the men that he is still amazed his own blood and flesh rose up against him, and even surer that this was just another bad bargain to him with the loss or money and a daughter. Which is why I believe that this passage in act III scene I is the exact proof and evidence to show the cruelty of Shylock and the way he feels about his daughters disapearance and the use of the stolen money. Shylock (3.1.69-80)

With all the emotions going on between Shylock and his daughter’s flight, Do you think the two of them will ever meet again? If so, will they accept each other into their lives again or push each other away forever?

November 14th, 2011

Shylock: This kindness will I show. / Go with me to a notary, seal me there / Your single bond; and, in a merry sport, / If you repay me not on such a day, / In such  a place, such sum or sums as are / Express’ d in the condition, let the forfeit / Be nominated for an equal pound /  Of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken / In what part of your body pleaseth me.

Antonio: Content, i’faith, I’ll seal to such a bond, / And say there is much kindness in the Jew.

It was intriguing to me when Antonio made the deal with Shylock to have the money repayed to him in time or else lose a pound of his own flesh. I found this to be quite surprising because Antonio is putting his own life at risk for his friend Bassanio, who is still in debt with him from other times. This also made me wonder if Shylock was truly disturbed in his ways, since he replaces and interest with a pound of Antonions flesh if he is not repayed by the end of the term. Although Shylock may have been harshly mistreated, I don’t believe that what he is doing now as revenge is even some what rational.

My question to you, is whether or not you think that Antonio may have more then just feelings of friendship with Bassanio, because of the predicament he is in?

The Merchant of Venice

November 13th, 2011


“Farewell; and if my fortune be not cross’d,

 I have a father, you a daughter, lost.”

Jessica obviously loves Lorenzo, but her father is being rude and not letting her follow true love. My opinion about this passage is that Jessica is choosing the right decision by leaving a home that would keep her away from a great future. Later on, Shylock finds out that Jessica is gone, and all he notices is that his jewels are gone. If it were me, I would be worried about where my daughter was and if she was safe.

What is your opinion about Shylockand whether she cares about is daughter or his jewels?

The Merchant of Venice Act III Scene II

November 13th, 2011

PORTIA “Away, then! I am lock’d in one of them; If you do love me, you will find me out.– Nerissa and the rest, stand all aloof. Let music sound while he doth make his choice; Then, if he lose, he makes a swan-like end, Fading in music. That the comparison may stand more proper, my eye shall be the stream and watery death-bed for him. He may win, and what is music then? Then music is even as the flourish when true subjects bow to a new-crowned monarch; such it is as are those dulcet sounds in break of day that creep into the dreaming bridegroom’s ear and summon him to marriage. Now he goes, with no less prescence but with much more love, than young Alcides when he did redeem the virgin tribute paid by howling Troy to the sea-monster. I stand for sacrifice; the rest aloof are the Dardanian wives, with bleared visages, come forth to view the issue of the exploit. Go, Hercules! Live thou, I live. With much, much more dismay I view the fight than thou that mak’st the fray.” (3.2.42-64)

This specific paragraph caught my eye. The old text implies that Portia believes fate plays a large role in her father’s system of choosing a husband. She believes that if a guy truly loves her, he will choose the correct box. To increase the suspense, she has music play while Bassanio makes his decision of which box to open. If he loses, the music will be his swan song. If he wins, the music should serve as a majestic trophy. As he approaches the boxes, Portia compares Bassanio to Hercules; Hercules saved a princess from the sea monster and Bassanio is saving Portia from the suitors that would arrive to claim Portia’s hand in marriage if Bassanio loses. This paragraph reveals much about Portia and what she believes.

Discussion Question: Why wouldn’t Portia sabotage the boxes so she would ultimately get to choose her husband?

Merchant of Venice

November 13th, 2011

“You know me well, and are now just needlessly wasting time by making a plea to my affection with roundabout talk. And now you’re certainly doing me more wrong in doubting my willingness to help than if you had spent everything I had. So just tell me what I can do that you think I might be able to do, and I’m ready to help; so speak.” (1.1.156-163) Antonio

In my opinion, this passage shows the type of friendship Antonio and Bassanio have. Antonio genuinely cares about Bassanio, enough to give his life to make Bassanio happy. Antonio is saying that Bassanio is wasting time contradicting him because he has already made his decision. He is actually becoming angry because Bassanio is “doubting” Antonio’s “willingness to help” him. Anything Bassanio would have asked for Antonio would have tried his best to do. Antonio treats Bassanio very well, like he is the most important person in his life, at least in this event.

How would you feel if you were in Antonio’s position?

The Merchant of Venice

November 13th, 2011

Passage: “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.” (Act 3 Scene 1 page 128,130 lines 43-60)

Opinion/Analysis: Shylock gives many reasons, explaining that Jews and Christians are the same. In this speech he acknowledges the humanity of his enemies, and by doing so stoops to the same level as his enemies. Later he promises to behave as badly as the did and do better than is teachers when he says that, I lost all sympathy for this character. His speech showed a different side of him that had never been seen in the play up to this part.

Discussion Question: If Shylock hates Christians so much, why does he explain how similar Jews and Christians are?

Merchant of Venice

November 13th, 2011

Passage (Shylock, Act 3 Scene 1 Lines 44-60): To bait fish withal. If it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgrac’d me and hind’red me half a million, laugh’d at my losses, mock’d at my gains, scorn’d my nation, thwarted my bargains, cool’d 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, heal’d by the same means, warm’d and cool’d 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, do we not seek 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 Chirstian example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.

Analysis: Shylock explains here that he will take Antonios flesh for revenge, seeing as Antonio deeply offended him because he is a Jew. He is says that Jews and Christians are the same, and therefore a Jews only response to an offense is revenge because that’s what a Christian would do.

Discussion Question: Do you think Jessica and Lancelot are justified in leaving Shylock?

The Merchant in Venice

November 13th, 2011

Portia: 1.2.50-58

“God made him, and therefore let him pass for a man. In truth, I know it is a sin to be a mocker, but, he! Why he hath a horse better than the Neapolitan’s, a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine. He is every man in no man. If a throstle sing, he falls straight a-cap’ring He will fence with his own shadows. If i should marry him, I should marry twenty husbands. If he would despise me, I would forgive him, for if he love me to madness, I shall never require him.”

This Passage about Portia and her suitors caught my attention. I thought that it was horrible how she judged the suitors that wanted to be her husband. She judged them without even having a chance to meet them or get to know them. I thought that this was rude of her to have wanted to continue her father’s traditions and then say no to certain people that she thought were annoying. I think that this passage shows that Portia is a picky yet  rude  person, but I think that it also shows that she is trying to wait for the right person that she would want to marry. I think that this passage about her being picky towards the men, shows that she wanted to wait for Bassanio.

Why do you think that Portia is being so picky?

The Merchant of Venice.

November 10th, 2011

“So may the outward shows be least themselves;The world is still deceiv’d with ornament.In law what plea so tainted and corrupt, but, being seasn’d with a gracious voice, Obscures the show of evil? In religion, what damned error but some sober brow will bless it and approve it with a text0, Hiding the grossness with a fair ornament.” Bassanio is saying that what the casket is made of could have very little resemblance on whats inside. So even though the lead casket doesn’t look as nice as the others it could still be just as valuable. I chose this passage because it  shows how wise Bassanio is and it shows his view point on things. This also shows that Portia sees how princes and people that pursue will think about which casket to chose. What do you think this shows about Bassanio. What would your thought process have been if you were Portia trying to pick which casket to put the picture in.

Merchant Of Venice

November 10th, 2011

Salarino: A kinder gentlemen treads not the earth.

I saw Bassanio and Antonio part.

Bassanio told him he would make some speed

Of his return. He Answer’d, “Do not so;

Slubber not business for my sake, Bassanio,

But stay the very riping of the time;

And for the Jew’s bond which he hath of me,

Let it not enter in your mind of love.

Be merry, and employ your cheifest thoughts

To courtship and such fair ostents of love

As shall conveniently become you there.”

And even there, his eye being big with tears,

Turning his face, he put his hand behind him,

And with affection wondrous sensible

He wrung Bassanio’s hand; and so they parted.

Reading this passage, my mood changes to sad.  My opinion on it, is that Antonio really loves Bassanio, and that they are best friends. Since Antonio had tears in his eyes, I feel like he has a deep feeling of affection towards Bassanio and will miss him very much.