Merchant of Venice Evaluations

Merchant of Venice

Below are some really great example evaluations that my S3 class produced today.

Group 1 – Tee-Jay, Ben, Nicole & Erin
Shakespeare uses word choice in Act 1, Scene 3 when Shylock states, ‘Fair sir, you spat on me Wednesday last, you spurned me such a day, another time you called me dog: and for these courtesies I’ll lend you thus much monies.’ This conveys the theme of hatred towards Jews. Shylock’s tone demonstrates the hatred between him and Antonio and how he feels about being treated like an animal in the community he lives in. This is effective because it makes you sympathise for Shylock at this point in the play. This clearly shows that Shylock has encountered difficulties within his community.

Group 2 – Megan L, Jennifer, Megan B & Lucy
The playwright uses a key scene in Act 1, Scene 3 to convey the theme of irony when Shylock states ‘Should I not say, Hath a dog money? Is it possible a cur can lend three thousand ducats?’ Shakespeare’s use of the words ‘dog’ and ‘cur,’ have negative connotations and makes the audience realise that Antonio and Bassanio see Shylock as being beneath them. This makes the audience feel sympathy for Shylock which does not happen a lot during the play. This shows the treatment of Jews in the community Shylock lives in.

Group 3 – Michael, Ross, Shelby, Caitlin & Alannah
Shakespeare uses characterisation in Act 1 Scene 3, to convey the themes of discrimination and revenge when Shylock states ‘you call me a misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gabardine.’ This is effective as it clearly shows the discrimination against Shylock because of his religion. This clearly portrays to the reader how acceptable discrimination was in Shakespearian times and the difficulties Shylock encounters in his community due to his religion.

Group 4 – Joshua, Rebecca, Tegan & Emma
Shylock encounters difficulty in his community due to the fact that he is Jewish. In Act 1, Scene 3, Shylock says: “You call me misbeliever, cut-throat dog, and spit upon my Jewish gabardine.” Shakespeare’s characterisation conveys anti-Semitism, whilst his word choice also demonstrates how Antonio treated Shylock, which is effective because it enlightens the audience to the plight of Jewish people at the time. This makes the audience feel sympathy towards Shylock and shows the suffering that Shylock endures everyday and how the difficulties affect his behaviour.

Group 5 – Katy, Eve, Louise & Megan H
Shakespeare uses key scene in Act 3 Scene 1 to convey the theme of inequality when Shylock states, “He hath disgraced me … And what’s his reason? I am a Jew.” Shakespeare’s use of rhetorical questions forces the reader to consider the question of why Antonio treats Shylock so disrespectfully. This is effective because it shows Antonio’s disrespect towards Shylock stems solely from Shylock being Jewish.
This forces the audience to sympathise with Shylock and understand the reason behind his hatred of Antonio.
This is a clear example of Shylock encountering a difficulty within the community in which he lives.

Group 6 – Leanne, Aimee, Georgina & Elizabeth
Shakespeare uses word choice in Act 2, Scene 3 to convey how Jessica feels about her Jewish father. “Alack, what heinous sin is it in me, to be ashamed to be my father’s child!” Words such as “heinous” and “sin” have connotations of religious guilt. Shakespeare conveys the themes of shame and religious intolerance effectively through his use of these words. This forces the reader to sympathise with Shylock about his failing relationship with his daughter. This also shows the difficulties Jessica experiences in her community due to her religion.

Group 7 – Sam, Gary, Nathan, Skye
A character in ‘The Merchant of Venice,’ who encounters difficulties because of the community she lives in, is Portia. Portia has had to live her life under the restrictions of her father’s will and because of her community and status, unknown gentlemen ask for her hand in marriage. This contributes to both themes of comedy and forbidden love which are conveyed successfully through Portia’s actions. In Act 3, Scene 2, Shakespeare uses several techniques, such as setting, word choice and tone. The scene itself, set in the great hall of Portia’s home in Belmont, is a far off land, adding to the idea of romance within this scene. Portia’s word choice in Act 1, Scene 2, reflects the difficulties she faces with suitors: “I would rather be married to a death’s head with a bone in his mouth than to either of these.” Portia encounters difficulties because of where she lives and the reader is forced to both sympathise and find comedy in her situation which is shown when she was considering and rejecting the various suitors, who she could neither choose, nor refuse

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