BBC - GCSE Bitesize: Gratiano
bond of friendship that lies between Antonio and Bassanio, and in this The plot, characters, and relationships present in William Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of . “Come, come, Nerissa, for I long to see quick Cupid's post that comes. In the Merchant of Venice, Nerissa, Portia, and Jessica are foils. Here's what I have, and its long, so please bare with me. compare, or “shadow” the relationship of Nerissa and Gratiano, with that of Portia and Bassanio. bond of friendship that lies between Antonio and Bassanio, and in this The plot, characters, and relationships present in William Shakespeare's play, The Merchant of . “Come, come, Nerissa, for I long to see quick Cupid's post that comes.
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?
If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example?
The Merchant of Venice
The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. One of the reasons for this interpretation is that Shylock's painful status in Venetian society is emphasised. To some critics, Shylock's celebrated "Hath not a Jew eyes?
The Christians in the courtroom urge Shylock to love his enemies, although they themselves have failed in the past. Jewish critic Harold Bloom suggests that, although the play gives merit to both cases, the portraits are not even-handed: In his plays and poetry Shakespeare often depicted strong male bonds of varying homosocialitywhich has led some critics to infer that Bassanio returns Antonio's affections despite his obligation to marry: Commend me to your honourable wife: Tell her the process of Antonio's end, Say how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death; And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
But life itself, my wife, and all the world Are not with me esteemed above thy life; I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all Here to this devil, to deliver you.
Foils:comparing and contrasting?
Auden describes Antonio as "a man whose emotional life, though his conduct may be chaste, is concentrated upon a member of his own sex. Antonio's frustrated devotion is a form of idolatry: There is one other such idolator in the play: There was, states Auden, a traditional "association of sodomy with usury", reaching back at least as far as Dantewith which Shakespeare was likely familiar.
Auden sees the theme of usury in the play as a comment on human relations in a mercantile society. Other interpreters of the play regard Auden's conception of Antonio's sexual desire for Bassanio as questionable. Michael Radford, director of the film version starring Al Pacinoexplained that, although the film contains a scene where Antonio and Bassanio actually kiss, the friendship between the two is platonic, in line with the prevailing view of male friendship at the time.
Jeremy Ironsin an interview, concurs with the director's view and states that he did not "play Antonio as gay". Joseph Fienneshowever, who plays Bassanio, encouraged a homoerotic interpretation and, in fact, surprised Irons with the kiss on set, which was filmed in one take.
Fiennes defended his choice, saying "I would never invent something before doing my detective work in the text. If you look at the choice of language … you'll read very sensuous language. That's the key for me in the relationship. The great thing about Shakespeare and why he's so difficult to pin down is his ambiguity. He's not saying they're gay or they're straight, he's leaving it up to his actors. I feel there has to be a great love between the two characters … there's great attraction.
I don't think they have slept together but that's for the audience to decide. Performance history[ edit ] The earliest performance of which a record has survived was held at the court of King James in the spring offollowed by a second performance a few days later, but there is no record of any further performances in the 17th century.
This version which featured a masque was popular, and was acted for the next forty years.
Granville cut the clownish Gobbos  in line with neoclassical decorum ; he added a jail scene between Shylock and Antonio, and a more extended scene of toasting at a banquet scene. Thomas Doggett was Shylock, playing the role comically, perhaps even farcically. Rowe expressed doubts about this interpretation as early as ; Doggett's success in the role meant that later productions would feature the troupe clown as Shylock.
InCharles Macklin returned to the original text in a very successful production at Drury Lanepaving the way for Edmund Kean seventy years later see below. Shylock on stage[ edit ] See also: Shylock Jewish actor Jacob Adler and others report that the tradition of playing Shylock sympathetically began in the first half of the 19th century with Edmund Kean and that previously the role had been played "by a comedian as a repulsive clown or, alternatively, as a monster of unrelieved evil.
The question is asking you to find out how these characters are opposites of each other. So your contrast between Portia and nerissa in the marital situations is a good one. You don't actually make a point with the rings. As far as Jessica is concerned, focus on her religion as the thing that separates her.
The lack of power she has in this world because she is a Jewess. Also her relation with Lorenzo, how is it different from both Portia and nerissa's relationships? Best of luck I thank you. The words seem to warn him not to judge by external appearance.
When Bassanio's choice is made, Portia prays in an aside for help in containing her emotions. She watches rapturously as Bassanio opens the lead casket and finds in it a picture of Portia, which, though beautifully painted, fails to do her justice, in Bassanio's opinion. She also presents him with a ring, a symbol of their union, which he is never to "part from, lose, or give away.
Nerissa and Gratiano congratulate the lovers and announce that they also have made a match and ask permission to be married at the wedding ceremony of Portia and Bassanio.
Portia agrees to the double wedding, and Gratiano boastfully wagers that he and Nerissa produce a boy before they do. While the lovers are enjoying their happiness, Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salerio arrive.
Salerio says that he has come with a letter from Antonio to Bassanio, and that he met Lorenzo and Jessica, whom he persuaded to come with him. He reads it, and Portia notices that he has turned pale; the letter contains bad news. Turning to Salerio, Bassanio asks, "But is it true? Hath all his ventures fail'd? Not one, Salerio replies, and besides, even if Antonio now had the money to repay Shylock it would do no good, for Shylock is already boasting of how he will demand "justice" and the payment of the penalty for the forfeited bond.
Jessica testifies to her father's determination to "have Antonio's flesh" rather than accept "twenty times the value of the sum" that Antonio owes.
When Portia understands that it is Bassanio's "dear friend that is thus in trouble," she offers to pay any amount to prevent his suffering "through Bassanio's fault. Antonio says that he wishes only to see Bassanio before he dies; his plans "have all miscarried," he says; his "creditors grow cruel"; his "estate is very low"; and his "bond to the Jew is forfeit.
Bassanio must leave at once. Analysis This long scene brings the casket story to its climax with Bassanio's choice. She continues, and her attempts to verbally circumvent stating outright her feelings for Bassanio lead her to utter absolute nonsense. Bassanio is obviously relieved to see that his love is returned.