• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare makes Act 1.1 of Merchant of Venice such a dramatic and interesting start to the play?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

Explore the ways in which Shakespeare makes Act 1.1 such a dramatic and interesting start to the play? The Merchant of Venice is a play written by William Shakespeare, believed to have been written between the years 1596-1598. It is classified as one of Shakespeare?s romantic comedies. Shakespeare both begins and makes the play both dramatic and somewhat surprising, In Antonio (the Merchant of Venice) first few lines, with Antonio confessing to his friends that lately he has been feeling unaccountably sad. Shakespeare opens with, ?In sooth I know not why I am so sad. It wearies me, / you say it wearies you.? Antonio later goes onto say, ?I am to learn, / And such a want-wit sadness makes of me.? One would think that a Merchant of Venice would be power hungry and energetic man however on the contrary Shakespeare presents Antonio in a completely different way; as to being sad and depressed. Furthermore, Shakespeare uses iambic pentameter to emphasise certain words in Antonio?s opening speech. Words like, ?sad?, ?wearies? and ?want? jump out to the audience and suggests that all is not well with Antonio. ...read more.

Middle

The simile that Shakespeare uses emphasises the scale of the undertaking and once again here, Shakespeare compares people to ships, in ?like signiors and burghers?. Solanio builds upon Salarino point, on how Antonio is worrying about his merchant ships out at sea. Solanio says, ?Plucking the grass to know where sits the wind.? Shakespeare uses the word ?plucking? connotes as a sought of nervous action; the line mainly refers to Antonio?s mental and even perhaps to his physical state. He also goes onto say, ?And not to bethink me straight of dangerous rocks, / which touching but my gentle vessels side.? Shakespeare?s contrast between the sharp, hard rocks and gentle bottom of the ship, emphasise how vulnerable the ships are and also may give the audience an insight into why maybe Antonio is worrying about his ships. By using different techniques, such as contrast, metaphors, imagery and personification Shakespeare is able to create a dramatic and more importantly an interesting conversation. This engagement of the audience is however increased when Antonio denies that he is sad because of his ships. ...read more.

Conclusion

And creep into the jaundice.? Shakespeare?s use of the simile at the start of line gives the sense that Antonio is old-fashioned and that perhaps Gratiano is taunting him. It also refers back to the point I made earlier about coldness and that Shakespeare is hyperbolizing the idea of coldness. Gratiano makes Antonio seem rather pathetic in the last line and the use of the worlds ?creep? and ?jaundice? conjure up the sense of disease and deformity. Gratiano's crass jokes reveal him to be less sensitive, despite the fact that he's a noble Venetian. This part of the play is interesting because Shakespeare creates an interesting conversation between the two men and perhaps gives an insight into Venetian society and perhaps poses the question about who is civilised and who is not. The last section of the play is when Antonio?s friend, Bassanio enters and discusses his plans to woo Portia, a wealthy but also a beautiful woman. Shakespeare here introduces the vivid idea of love and money and remarkably builds begins to build up upon the Antonio Bassanio relationship. Bassanio says, ?Hath left me gaged. To you, Antonio, / I owe the most in money and in love,/ And from you love I have a warranty. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE The Merchant of Venice section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE The Merchant of Venice essays

  1. Act 4 Scene 1 is the dramatic climax to the play. Analyse how Shakespeare ...

    She tells him he can have a pound of flesh but no more no less and not a single drop of blood and if he does Venice will confiscate his goods. Here Shylock is shocked and can only come up with 'Is that the law?'

  2. English - Merchant of Vencice

    In many of the older productions (when Jews were looked down on) Shylocks character would spend a lot of time and effort deciding on a bond for Antonio. This would make Shylock seems more malevolent. However newer versions of the play may show the bond as being almost a joke,

  1. 'The Merchant Of Venice' - Shakespeare

    Therefore, this era would look at Shylock as a victim because of the abuse he is put through, an example being that he is not addressed by his name throughout the play, even reduced to a dog at times. "Hie thee, gentle Jew!", "O, be thou damned, inexorable dog."

  2. How does a close study of two speeches reveal the themes and ideas in ...

    He then goes on to say what is considered to be the most powerful thing he says throughout his entire speech and it is also a triplet and at the end of it there is a sudden mood change which continues throughout the rest of his speech.

  1. How does Shakespeare build dramatic tension?Shakespeare wrote the Merchant of Venice, it is one ...

    a Christian was a fate worse than death because it is a spiritual death and some people would say if you cant be yourself what's the point of life. But in our time death is much worse because we are not so religious.

  2. How does Shakespeare portray character and relationships in Act 1 Scene 3 of 'The ...

    Bassanio mentions that Portia is rich before he says that she is beautiful, "In Belmont is a lady richly left". He seems as interested in her wealth, as in her. Several of the references he uses to describe her are related to wealth, e.g.

  1. You'd think Shakespeare had titled the play

    I don't think there has ever been a Shylock like his. People might love it or hate it, but he is not imitating Laurence Olivier or anybody else, that's for sure. His performance is going to be completely original." Serban points out that Shylock and the mean and mercantile world

  2. "All that glistens in not gold" Explore the theme of deception in the Merchant ...

    friends he has already expressed to the audience his hatred for Antonio. Shylock also describes the bond as "this merry bond". A merry bond is a bond which is not serious, a joke, and if the terms of the bond were broken you would not expect to see Shylock wanting to take up the strict terms of it.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work