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

The Merchant of Venice The Director’s Interpretation.

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

The Merchant of Venice The Director's Interpretation. The play "The Merchant of Venice" was written about 1596 by the great English playwright William Shakespeare. Although the play has gone through some revisions it has never been changed a great deal. In the past fifty or so years as Hollywood has come into light and the movie adaptations of some of Shakespeare's greatest plays have been shown in a different perspective, they have given us other peoples pre-conceptions of the play. The Merchant of Venice is no different with several variations of the play on the silver screen. In this piece of work I am going to show how the director of the play has changed it in any way from what I thought of the original text. It was directed and produced by Jonathan Miller and starred Lawrence Oliver. As I read the text I had many of my own pre-conceptions about setting, characters, personalities, traits and how they moved around the stage, and that the play would remain intact on the big screen-how wrong I was. First I will deal with the characters how the text made me feel towards them and how I thought they would look. Lawrence Oliver portrayed Shylock enigmatically as he always had the presence of power and forcefulness on screen through his actions and words. I imagined Shylock to be a short, withered man who was quite plump, greedy, bald and of no conscience what so ever. ...read more.

Middle

I pictured a man in his late twenties, tanned and of high stature in society as he had a lot of money and his personality was that of happiness and of the joy of life which was being taken away from him by the cruel and tyrannical Shylock. Whenever I saw him in the film I saw a man of about 65 standing sullen as a priest at a funeral who was uncaring as to whether he lived or died at the hand of Shylock he kept, "Saying take your bond". I felt no sympathy whatsoever for him as he didn't particularly want it. I felt his being cast as Antonio was all-wrong and that he was there as more of a sidekick to Shylock whom I felt was the main character. Portia I imagined to be a fair maiden in her early twenties with blonde hair and blue eyes who disapproved of all her suitors and must be a looker as she had so captively won the heart of the young Bassanio the prince of Arragon and Morocco. My preconception was all wrong as there was a woman who was about 40 wasn't that nice looking and to all viewers her personality towards everyone except Bassanio was less than pleasant. She constantly acted as a snobbish spoilt brat towards her servants and also her guests as she constantly forgot Jessica's name. ...read more.

Conclusion

I also found that characters lines were shortened and that very often scenes such as the one with Old Gobbo and Lancelot were completely cut out. The director was able to convey different emotions through the words than what I thought, such as whenever Shylock is referred to as that Jew. In the play I imagined it to be said without an ounce of prejudice. It was said in the play with contempt of Shylock and could change what people think the play's theme is about from the bonds that exist between people to anti-Semitism. I also felt the play changed what my view of Jessica and how Important she was as Portia kept forgetting her name as if she was insignificant. Also of her father and how I thought she was happy about leaving him but after the trial of Antonio and the downfall of the Jew her father who was humiliated due to the fact that he had to become a Christian as this is unfair punishment. She is upset and looks sad, and there is nothing in the text to support these two things even happening. All in all the play didn't live up to my expectations and I believe the director took too many liberties when making the film. But it is true that my pre-conceptions of a book or play are different than the next mans. By Charles O' Loan S1F ...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. Free essay

    Belmont is a place of youth, happiness and concord, Venice a place of age, ...

    "To have the due and forfeit of my bond If you deny it, let the danger light Upon your charter and your city's freedom!" This ancient precedent of the law again represents the age in Venice. "If you deny me, fee upon your law There is no force in the decrees of Venice."

  2. The Merchant of Venice.

    Tubul also informs a delighted Shylock that Antonio has lost another ship, this time "coming from Tripolis" (Line 109).Tubul's news that Jessica had spent on one night some "fourscore ducats" (Line 117) enrages the previously jubilant Shylock who says that he is glad Antonio cannot repay his debt since now

  1. Why is the trail scene so important and how would you bring the drama ...

    When addressing Antonio the duke refers to as '' what is Antonio here'', however he refers to shylock as the Jew '' go on and call the Jew''. We can see in these lines prejudice and Anti-Semitism views. The duke doesn't see shylock as worthily of having a name and just calls have by his race even thought justice.

  2. The merchant of VeniceWhy is the trail scene so important and how would you ...

    thwarted my bargains cooled my friends and heated mine enemies: and what reason? I am a Jew. Paragraph 2 '' let him stand before our face''- against is the duke is a prejudice man who only has care for Christian.

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

    Lorenzo doesn't care about the consequences to Shylock as Shylock is a Jew and Lorenzo doesn't respect him because of this. He describes Shylock as "A faithless Jew". Jessia doesn't respect her father either and dislikes being a Jew. Jessica tells the audience how she is "ashamed to be my

  2. Imagine you are the theatrical director of a production of

    Bassanio should generally approach his speeches with a desperate voice, which turns to anger towards Shylock when he starts taking his time and mocking with him over his decision. Shylock's opening sentences of act 1 scene 3 should be spoken in a slightly bewildered way.

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

    This bond seems to come out of friendship from Shylock and he describes "I would be friends with you, and have your love...". The audience, however, knows at this point that Shylock is deceiving Antonio; although Shylock pretends to like Antonio "Antonio is a good man" and wants to be

  2. Shakespeare's "The merchant of Venice". How can an audience's sympathies towards the characters ...

    If I was the director I would portray Shylock to be the villain in this scene, I think Shylock has great potential to be such an evil character, and it would be an effective image on stage to have evil Shylock's power, rise and fall dramatically.

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