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

Why is Act IV scene 1 of "The Merchant of Venice"so powerful? Examine how the dramatic tension is built up in this scene.

Extracts from this document...


Why is Act IV scene 1 of "The Merchant of Venice" so powerful? Examine how the dramatic tension is built up in this scene. This scene is so powerful because it is the climax of the whole plot. We know that Shakespeare gives it a lot of importance because it is a very long scene. It is given great importance because all the characters are there. Its location is very important because it is set in a court and as soon as the certons are lifted, the audience know this is a serious scene. It is also important about the location because in the olden days the Venetian court were seen as a powerful place so this means that they could not show mercy to Antonio because this would make the court look week. It is also a very serious scene it is a dispute over another persons life. The language in this scene provides lots of opportunities for action. Conflict plays a very big part in this scene because of the hostility between Antonio and Shylock. There is lots of contrast in this scene. ...read more.


The reason these two are missing at the start of the scene is because it creates a lot of suspense in delaying their arrival. The reason for this suspense is because Shylock and Portia arrivals will determine whether Antonio will live or die. Then reason they have the power to decide if Antonio dies or lives is because Portia is the lawyer and could pull him out of this predicament and Shylock has the power to show mercy or let him carry out his punishment. Shylock and Portia not being there creates a lot of dramatic tension because if they don't show up then the court has to be adjourned. This is what the audience would be hoping for because this would mean that Antonio's life would be safe for another day. The director could emphasise that the court is on Antonio's side by having the Duke, the Magnificoes, Antonio, Bassanio and the guards on the right side of the stage and only Shylock on his own central left of the stage. The director could also emphasise that having two guards chained on to him, one on each arm, traps Antonio. ...read more.


In this scene Portia is disguised as a male lawyer this creates a lot of dramatic irony because of the audiences awareness of this. There is a lot of dramatic irony at line 280 when Bassanio says that he would give up his wife and his world to Shylock to free Antonio there is a lot of dramatic because he does not know that he is saying this in front of his wife. At the end of this scene there is a lot of dramatic irony when Portia tests out Bassanio loyalty by asking for the ring the audience would find this comical because they would know he is being tricked. Shakespeare creates suspense at the end of the scene by giving us half a plot that we know is not over and we expect something to happen and we want to find out how it is going to happen and what the outcome will be. This is different from the tensions built up in the earlier scenes because in is a different feeling before you were worried about the out come this time it is a pondering feeling instead. Woodhouse High School Simon Dearne 10k2 Set : 10B1 (Sm) ...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 ...

    When Jessica runs away with a Christian this makes him more revengeful towards Antonio 'I'll plague him, I'll torture him, I'm glad of it'. In the scenes directly before the trial scene, Act 4 Scene 1 we really learn how revengeful Shylock is.

  2. How does Shakespeare create tension in the trial scene of The Merchant of Venice?

    and is called 'the Jew' then they could begin to see him as an inhumane, irrational man who is becoming too obsessive with taking revenge, therefore changing the audiences mind about who to sympathise with. After Antonio gives his poignant speech as he is prepared to die, Shakespeare uses irony

  1. The Merchant of Venice- Act IV Scene I - Summary

    This absolute power is appropriate for her character as she alone has the strength to wield it. None of the men seem a match for Shylock. Graziano shouts anti-Semitic curses; Bassanio pleads uselessly while Antonio seems to have given up all hope and is preparing for his fate.

  2. Free essay

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

    However Shylock's response to this is, "On what compulsion must I?" evokes the quality of mercy speech which sums up the values of Belmont and how the values of mercy remains strong, "The quality of mercy is not strain'd, It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven Upon the place beneath."

  1. Describe the characters and relationships in act 1 scene 3 of

    Act 1 scene 3 line 168 However, previously he has stated that this flesh would be '...cut off and taken In what part of your body pleaseth me' Act 1, scene 3, lines 151-2 After agreeing to meet at the notary later, Shylock leaves.

  2. Direct Act 4 Scene 1 of Shakespeare's - 'The Merchant of Venice'

    This is important because it is the last attempt to get Shylock to be merciful, and it fails. This is also the strongest attempt - trying to get Shylock to think of the consequences to himself rather than trying to reason with his conscience.

  1. Merchant of Venice- Scene by Scene summary & analysis

    Portia as a character is an odd mixture of various traits. She is first presented as the ruler of Belmont, clearly in charge of both herself and those around her. However, we soon discover that she is not in charge, indeed it is "the will of a living daughter curbed by the will of a dead father" (1.2.21).

  2. How does Shakespeare make this passage from Act 3 Scene 1 dramatic and ...

    through the use of repetition, creating a dramatic and powerful start for the audience. Salarino and Solanio completely disregarding Shylock?s problems and sorrow at the loss of his daughter, begin talking about the obviously more important Antonio. It aggravates Shylock into another angry response in how he will take revenge

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