What is a comedy? A comedy has a happy ending, three marriages, and a clown. Also, the audience watches a comedy, the spectator’s viewpoint is one of detached amusement, and finally, the characters make mistakes and can turn back.
What is a tragedy? The audience experiences a tragedy and shares in the protagonist’s tragedy. Everything is up close and personal, immediate, and intense. The protagonist is a fierce absolutist for whom no compromise is possible. The protagonist lives life to the fullest and falls. A fatal flaw in an otherwise noble person leads to the protagonist’s personal destruction. Finally, the protagonist is pushed to the furthest limits of human endurance.
How does dramatic irony create humour in the Merchant of Venice? 1. There is dramatic irony when the audience knows that Portia’s picture is in the led casket. However, none of the choosers know this. It creates humour because Portia is trying to tempt the choosers to pick certain caskets. For example, she plays a song that gives hints to Bassanio while he is choosing to tempt him into picking a certain casket.2. There is dramatic irony when the audience knows that Portia and Nerissa are disguised as the lawyer and the clerk. However, none of the characters know this. It creates humour because Bassanio and Gratiano had told Portia and Nerissa that they would never lose their rings. Portia and Nerissa (as the lawyer and the clerk) ask for their wedding rings as a gift of repayment for helping Antonio. Bassanio and Gratiano end up giving the rings to the ladys.3. There is dramatic irony while the Prince of Morocco is choosing. It create humour because Portia is being polite, however she is making racist comments without him knowing.
Shylock is an interesting character. Some believe him to be a tragic hero who suffers a tragic downfall. If so, the Merchant of Venice could be considered a tragedy. Support the following statement. The Merchant of Venice could be a tragedy if Shylock were the protagonist. Shylock begins his story by making a deal with Antonio and generally has a good life. He lives to the fullest, until he loses his pound of flesh. In the end, his revenge does not allow him to compromise. He wants his pound of flesh. Therefore, he has to suffer consequences by becoming Christian and losing his daughter Jessica. Shylock would have to die for it to be a tragedy. However, they are taking away his religion, therefore, he is already dead inside.
How does Portia outwit the other characters? – Tricking the men by pretending to be a male lawyer- Outwits her suitors (by playing the song, making racist comments, etc)- Outwits Shylock in the court room
How is Portia still innocent and naïve? – When Bassanio shows up, she portrays a girl who is in love- When she pouts to Nerissa because she can not pick her suitor- She can still be judgemental (racist, ect.)
Outline the Bond plot Bassanio, a young venetian, needs three thousand ducats in order to court Portia. He asks his good friend Antonio to lend him the money, however, all of Antonio’s money is invested in his ships that are abroad. Even so, Antonia agrees to help his friend. They go see Shylock, a jew, for money. Shylock holds a grudge, but eventually says he can have the three thousand ducats without an interest. The catch is that if Antonio does not pay it back in three months, Shylock can claim a pound of his flesh. When Antonio does not pay it back, Shylock is about to take the pound of flesh. However, the court says he is only allowed to take a pound of flesh and not one drop of blood. As this is impossible, Shylock suffers consequences.
Outline the Elopement Plot Jessica gives Launcelot a letter to secretly deliver to her love, Lorenzo. Jessica is planning to disguise herself as a torchbearer and run away to elope with Lorenzo. Lorenzo is Christian, and so Jessica is planning on renouncing her fathers faith and becoming a Christian as well. She is also planning on stealing some of her fathers gold and jewels. When her father, Shylock, leaves the house for Bassanio’s dinner, he gives her specific instructions to stay inside. That is the time when she decides to escape.
Outline the Casket Plot Portia’s father set up a choosing system for her suitor. There are three caskets: gold, silver and led. One of these caskets contains a picture of Portia. If the man chooses that casket, they will have the honour of being Portia’s husband. However, there are some catches. If someone chooses wrong, that person can not tell anyone which casket they chose, they can never marry again, and finally, they have to leave immediately. First, Prince Morocco chose. He chose the gold because he believes it is the only one that is worthy enough to hold Portia’s picture. He chose wrong. Second, Prince Arragon chooses the silver casket because he deserves Portia. He also chose wrong. Finally, Bassanio comes to choose and he chooses the led casket, which is the correct casket.
Outline the Ring Plot Portia and Nerissa give Bassanio and Gratiano rings in order to seal their love in marriage. They give strict instructions to never lose these rings. Later on, Portia and Nerissa disguise as a male lawyer and clerk and help Antonia, Bassanio and Gratiano’s friend, in the court room. Antonia, Bassanio and Gratiano are very grateful and ask the lawyer and clerk what they want as a gift of repayement. Portia and Nerissa, as the lawyer and clerk, state that they want the rings. After Antonio persuades Bassanio and Gratiano, they give them the rings. In the end, Portia and Nerissa explain how they were the lawyer and clerk and make them feel guilty.