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Merchant Of Venice-Acting and Planning out Act 4 Scene 1

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Introduction

Nuisha Vasilieva 10M. -Merchant Of Venice-Acting and Planning out Act 4 Scene 1. We read and discussed the Merchant of Venice. Whilst doing so we focused on how the characters feel as they say their lines. We focussed mainly on the relationship between the Jews and the Christians at the time in Venice and their overall attitudes to each other. We tried to consider what one character felt about the other and so on and how this could be reflected in the ways the actor would act out the characters part. Our coursework task was to plan, direct and act out Act 4 Scene 1 in a small group of seven people. Our main aim was to make the audience feel what the characters were going through and understand them and the way they act at each stage of the play. I as Shylock tried to express his feelings towards the Christians and the hatred that he felt towards them. I tried to do this by making the audience feel differently about my character at different stages of the play. ...read more.

Middle

Despite all that, Shylock still stood tall and content with his bond by his side. We thought this would be a very major part of the stage setting as it shows how much the bond really means to Shylock, without it he has no chance whatsoever, with it he is above everybody and the law is on his side-he doesn't need anyone else's opinions. During the scene, I tried to obtain the audiences interest in Shylock. Right up until the breaking point where Portia says 'Tarry a little...' we had tried to portray Shylock as the villain of the scene and to portray Antonio as the victim. We did this by showing the audience amazing confidence in himself and trying to show Antonio as a very pathetic soul. This was achieved in many way. One of these ways was the way both characters spoke. When Shylock spoke to Antonio he was speaking down on him and didn't care what he said. Antonio spoke in a very small and distant voice as though he knew there was no mercy to be rendered and no hope whatsoever. ...read more.

Conclusion

Our stage was set out like a typical law court. At the front central [part of the stage we put the Duke's desk to show that he was the most importabnt figure present. We had Nerissa's desk on the lef thand side, with her sat making notes and Bassanio, Antonio and Gratiano all on her side. Portia was positioned without a desk or chair in the middle of the stage so she could freely move across the stage making various speeches and confronting different characters. Shylock was isolated on the right hand side of the stage, just him a chair and a desk with the weighing scales, the bond, a knife and a knife sharapener placed upon it. The front of the stage, there were two candles, one placed on the right hand side and one placed on the left. When the scene was finished Bassanio walks up and blows out the right handle to signify the defeat of Shylock and he keeps the candle on the left burning to signify Antonios success. Both Portia's and Shylock's entrances were made through the audience and the centre of the stage through the two candles to signify their importance. The minor characters entered and exited through the curtains. ...read more.

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