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Can you do my homework?

 
 
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 12:36 am
The Merchant Of Venice by Michael Radford (10 points)

1. Is the 3,000 ducats that Shylock lends to Antonio usury--that is, lent at interest--if the forfeiture is not money but flesh? What does Shylock lose or gain by such an agreement? See the scenes in which he justifies his "merry sport" (see 1.3.135-63).

2. To what extent can the attack on Jewish money-lending be seen as a projection by a Christian culture, long ambivalent about charging money at interest, but now doing so, given its necessity in an age that increasingly depended upon the investment of capital?

3. Is Shylock's conversion sincere? How might we tell? What evidence does the play or film offer in support of this? How can we tell since it doesn't take place onstage?

4. What is the nature of the bond between Antonio and Bassanio? Is Antonio in love with Bassanio? If so, what kind of love is this? Is it reciprocated? Compare how the relationship is portrayed in the film with how it comes across in the play text.

5. Compare the friendship of Portia and Nerissa with that of the friendship of the men in the play. What are the main differences? Does marriage change the women's friendships in the play?

6. Why is the second exchange of rings--this time with Antonio's participation--so crucial to the resolution of the play? What happens when this scene is acted out that doesn't happen on the page?

7. Think about how Jeremy Irons portrays Antonio: What emotions does he project? Does he elicit our sympathy? Does Irons' interpretation of the role suggest that he is in love with Bassanio, and heartbroken about his friend's marriage? How so?

8. When Shylock delivers the speech that begins "I am a Jew" (3.1.46), to whom are his words addressed? Is he provoked into saying these words? If so, by what? How do those within earshot respond? Is Shylock in a calm or a distracted mood when he encounters Salerio and Salanio? What do you think of productions that have him bruised and bloodied at this point, having been beaten up by ruffians who harass him offstage? Why do you feel that way?

9. Consider how Al Pacino delivers the words of the speech that begins,
"I am a Jew . . ." What do his choices and the director's, in this scene, reveal abut their interpretation of these lines? What gestures and facial expressions of Pacino are significant in conveying his interpretation of the speech? How so?

10. In the trial scene, how does Shylock enter the court, and what are we to make of his props--especially the knife and the scales that he carries?

11. Does Shylock really intend to cut a pound of Antonio's flesh from the outset of this scene, or does he merely intend to terrify him? What convinces you of your conclusion on this issue?

12. At what point does Portia figure out how to defeat Shylock? Has she known what she is going to do all along? What evidence do the play and the film give on this issue?

13. What is on Shylock's mind as he exits the court?

14. What does the film's ending say about its view of the resolution of Shakespeare's story? What is going on in the minds of these characters at this point? Is it more comic or more tragic? Why?

15. What is resolved at the end of the play, and what is left unresolved?
What happens to the various characters at the end of the play? What will happen to each of the marriages? What lies in Antonio's future?
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Type: Question • Score: 0 • Views: 2,032 • Replies: 12
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ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 01:01 am
@free2rhyme214,
May the bird of pardise land on your belly button.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 01:24 am
@free2rhyme214,
Honey, we don't do people's homework.
We do comment from time to time.
0 Replies
 
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 05:45 am
@free2rhyme214,
youve cut me up

do i not bleed

for you
0 Replies
 
mister kitten
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 07:37 am
Grab a cup of tea, and finish your own homework (it's better for you to do).
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:22 am
@free2rhyme214,
I'll do your homework if you'll do something for me. Will you kick Anthony's ass tomorrow after school? He broke my Eminem CD.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:34 am
@free2rhyme214,
Quote:
The Merchant Of Venice by Michael Radford
- uh, I think the guy who wrote this play was called William Shakespeare.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:40 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

Quote:
The Merchant Of Venice by Michael Radford
- uh, I think the guy who wrote this play was called William Shakespeare.


You are, of course, correct in that William Shakespeare wrote The Merchant of Venice.

Michael Radford, however, adapts literary classics to film. He did this with Shakespeare's THE MERCHANT OF VENICE, starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons which showed to critical acclaim.
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 09:56 am
@Intrepid,
So this is even more pathetic. The kid gets to watch and analyze a movie and still can't do his own homework? I think he should starting learning how to clean toilets because that is going to be the only job open to him when he grows up.
Intrepid
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:01 am
@Green Witch,
Maybe he didn't see the movie. Maybe he/she actually thinks that it was written by Michael Radford. That is even more pathetic.
0 Replies
 
Gargamel
 
  2  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 10:37 am
@Green Witch,
Green Witch wrote:

So this is even more pathetic. The kid gets to watch and analyze a movie and still can't do his own homework? I think he should starting learning how to clean toilets because that is going to be the only job open to him when he grows up.


Noted, but studying Shakespeare extensively can also lead to a profession in the custodial arts.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 12:00 pm
@Gargamel,
Talk about dumbing down. It used to be sanitation engineering.
0 Replies
 
Green Witch
 
  1  
Reply Mon 26 Jul, 2010 12:06 pm
@Gargamel,
Not true. Those people become street mimes.
0 Replies
 
 

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