"The interest of the drama expires with the fourth act" How far do you agree with this assumption that the life and death of the Duchess is the predominant focus of interest for the audience?
"The interest of the drama expires with the fourth act" How far do you agree with this assumption that the life and death of the Duchess is the predominant focus of interest for the audience? The view as expressed in the question can only be answered after defining the importance, and role, of the Duchess and also whether the other characters are not equally as important. It presumes that she is only influential while she is alive. The idea as expressed by Pratchett in Reaper Man "No one is finally dead until the ripples they cause in the world die away... the span of someone's life they say is only the core of their actually existence" is one that I feel is applicable to the questions and one I shall endeavour to explore. The interest that is inherent with the Duchess I feel lies within the complexity and controversy of her character: Her feministic view to life seen in her valiant effort to remain in control amidst her brothers, "Whether I am doomed to live, or die, I can do both like a prince". She marries for love, "when I choose a husband I will marry for your honour" and is the aggressor in choosing Antonio about for a mate "we are forced to woo because none dare to woo us". A strong female role is uncommon outside comedies and so dominant, monarchic role of the Duchess would have attracted attention. The Duchess could have been seen as an allegory for Elizabeth I;
Bless Me, Ultima
Bless Me, Ultima Religion is a major theme in the story Bless Me, Ultima. Throughout the novel, Tony is faced with different beliefs and traditions that he can live by, and he is often confused about which path to follow. As he grows and is exposed to new people and things, he frequently questions his belief because he sees that there are other paths he can follow. This confuses him because deep inside he knows that he wants to follow God because he is afraid of believing in anything else. Tony's exposure to Catholicism, Ultima's traditions, and his friend's belief in the golden carp contribute to his growth throughout the novel. Tony's mother is a strict catholic and has raised Tony to follow catholic traditions. She hopes that Tony will one day become a priest and she encourages him to follow the way of the Catholic Church. When Ultima moves in, Tony's eyes are opened to a new system of beliefs and superstitions. Ultima has powers that Tony has never seen before and he is confused when his uncles look to her to cure his uncle Lucas. He has been taught that God is the only way and so he is confused that Ultima's power can cure his uncle but God's cannot. Tony's friend also introduces him to his belief in the golden carp. For Tony, this is another path he could chose to follow and his friend is very convincing. The story he tells makes sense to Tony but Tony knows he cannot
Discuss Your Response to Shylock in the Light of Secondary Sources.
Gabriela Belmar-Valencia 12CA 30th November 2002 Discuss Your Response to Shylock in the Light of Secondary Sources "The Merchant of Venice" was first performed in 1597 and the four hundred year period between then and the present day has seen many diverse portrayals of Shylock. Shylock, over the years, has changed from a comical monster, to a complex villain, to a sympathetic victim, each era developing a different aspect of Shakespeare's villain. Shylock provokes a response of fascination and respect. He is a complex villain, a twisted product of an anti-Semitic society whose personality has been reduced to malevolence and vengefulness through the ill-treatment he has suffered at the hands of the frivolous and superficial Venetians. He clings devoutly to his Jewish faith while cleverly scheming revenge against those who have wronged him. Shylock's intellect shows that he is above the derogatory names and petty insults heaped upon him by the Venetians. He is eloquent and calm, losing control only once in the play when he misses his daughter and cries out "Oh my daughter! O my ducats!" He makes powerful speeches demonstrating an intellect that wins the audience's respect when he challenges the Gentiles by asking "Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions?" Shylock is also remarkably clever
Shylock: Villain or Victim in the Merchant of Venice
Jeremy Rodriguez English 152 "Merchant of Venice" 3-6-00 SHYLOCK: VILLAIN OR VICTIM In the "The Merchant of Venice," all of the characters can be viewed from a variety of perspectives. The perspective that one takes therefore directly influences one's point of view on that character. No character fits this theory more than Shylock. Shylock, and his role as a Jewish moneylender, has been analyzed from many different perspectives. He is viewed as a villain by some, a victim by others, but a man to be pitied by both. On the surface Shylock appears to be cruel and unforgiving. However once one begins to analyze the play he begins to find out the "whys." To figure out these "whys" one must thoroughly research both sides of the argument as to whether or not he was a victim or villain. Once one does this they are able to come up with their own educated and valid opinion about this complex character. When one first gets done reading "The Merchant of Venice" a feeling of dislike for Shylock emerges on the reader. He appears to be the major antagonist of the play. He is cunning, unmerciful, and greedy. His cunning capabilities are first seen when he makes the deal with Antonio. He says, "Let the forfeit be nominated for an equal pound of your fair flesh, to be cut off and taken in what part of your body pleaseth me" (Act I, Scene 3). Antonio, thinking that Shylock is either
How is The Merchant of Venice like a soap opera?
How is The Merchant of Venice like a soap opera? The majority of people in Britain adore soap operas. They habitually watch them, read magazines dedicated to them and talk incessantly about them. They discuss the characters as if they were real and get involved with the storylines. When a character is killed off or written out, the general public reacts as if the character is a close friend or acquaintance. The Merchant of Venice is often described as the first ever soap opera as its structure is equivalent to a modern day episode of Eastenders. Elements of the play are similar to a soap opera, such as the way it raises issues and themes in the same way that many soaps do. It has even been said that if Shakespeare were alive today, he would be a scriptwriter on Eastenders. However, it is questionable whether the scriptwriters on this soap, who include Helen Blizard and Simon Ashdown, would be comparable to a playwright of the quality of Shakespeare. In the way soaps raise issues and themes so does The Merchant of Venice. One theme is money. Shylock's obsession with money is obvious from the start as his first line is, "Three thousand ducats, well." This dedication to money is one of the main character traits of Shylock. When his daughter runs off with her father's jewels, and Lorenzo, a Christian, Shylock is more concerned about the loss of his jewels than the loss of
Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' is a comedy with a difference.
** Consider the play as a tragicomedy Shakespeare's 'The Merchant of Venice' is a comedy with a difference. It was written almost certainly between 1596 & 1598. The play is classed as one of the 16 comedy plays but it is also a 'problem' play due to the tragic elements woven throughout the intricate plot. The play concludes with a harmonious ending but all through the plot, reoccurring themes of sadness and tragedy are included. In terms of dramatic structure, "The Merchant of Venice" is undoubtedly a comedy. It follows the typical upward trajectory of comedy (beginning complication to ending resolution}. Act 1 introduces the plays main complication, but it also sets the tone for comic expectation by establishing upward rhythm of comedy in each of its three scenes. Antonio and Portia's melancholy are shortly alleviated by appropriate distractions & hope. Bassanio hopes to thrive, Antonio tries to help his friend, Portia will not have to worry about being chosen by the suitors she has mocked. Bassanio and Antonio get what they mistakenly but happily think is a friendly loan and Shylock mistakenly and happily, he has hit upon a winning scenario. After the opening act has set the rhythm and expectation of comedy, there is increasing fluctuation of the rising and dashing of hopes because of the various characters choices. Raised hopes and satisfaction however outweigh dashed
How does Shakespeare present the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice?
How does Shakespeare present the relationship between Antonio and Bassanio in The Merchant of Venice? In Elizabethan society it seems that although gender roles were expected to be fixed and distinct, sexuality was far more fluid than the strict categories which we impose on it now. It was commonly known for men to have male 'bed-fellows' and, with Queen Elizabeth's liking of the Petrarchan form of address, it was not unusual to express these friendships in terms of love. It is obvious throughout the play that Antonio and Bassanio have a great affection for one another. Antonio is willing to lend money to Bassanio even though he is likely to squander it on his lavish lifestyle. There has been a history of debt through which Bassanio has 'disabled [his] estate,/ By something showing a more swelling port/ Than [his] faint means would grant continuance' (I.i.123-5).1 The fact that Antonio is still prepared to wager everything for his friend despite his proven record suggests that this may be the act of one in love, rather than of an objective friend. The theme of love as an economy runs throughout the play. Bassanio, despite having a rather childlike attitude towards money, seems to appreciate the loan from Antonio, saying, 'to you Antonio/ I owe the most in money and in love' (I.i.130-31). It is interesting that the word 'money' precedes 'love'. This seems to show
The Merchant of Venice
Anti-Semitism and the cruel treatment of the Jewish people has been a reality for thousands of years. In William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, one of the characters is the symbol of anti-Semitic feelings that was prevalent in Elizabethan society. Shylock the Jew, one of Shakespeare's more ambiguous and debatable antiheroes, is an isolated character because he is a Jew. Shylock is portrayed as "cheap" and interested only in money and possessions. Jews were seen to have no Christian values like mercy and forgiveness and that is portrayed by Shylock's relentless pursuit of revenge through the blood of a Christian, Antonio. Even though anti-Semitism in the play seems harsh, there is some sympathy for the Jews. Shylock seems like a heartless creature because of his relentless pursuit of flesh from Antonio. However, Shylock frequently mentions the cruelty he has faced by the Christians, so it is difficult to label just as a natural born monster. Throughout The Merchant of Venice, Shylock is referred to by his name only three times: in the trial scene, Portia identifies Shylock by name once, and the Duke does twice. During the rest of the play, Shylock is most often called simply "the Jew." In other cases, even the title "Jew" is not used, and Shylock is no longer a man, but a beast. Gratiano belittles Shylock with "O, be thou damned, inexorable dog!" (IV,i,128) and whose
Critical assessment of Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night and Michael Radford's The Merchant of Venice
Critical assessment of Trevor Nunn's Twelfth Night and Michael Radford's The Merchant of Venice In this essay I will critically assess two adaptations of Shakespeare plays; Twelfth Night directed by Trevor Nunn (1996) and The Merchant of Venice directed by Michael Radford (2004). Both performances use famous British and American actors. Both plays confront the idea of girls dressing as boys, which was common theme in Shakespeare's plays also used in As You Like It and used in Shakespeare in Love as a fictional a basis for Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. This essay will explore the character representation and mise-en-scene of each film. Twelfth Night was directed by Trevor Nunn and made in 1996. It was filmed entirely in Cornwall. The costume and set it simple there is little to distracted the viewer from the story. The music used in Twelfth Night is quite varied there are military extracts used for Sebastian and when Sir Andrew picks a fight with Cesario and more romantic parts for Olivia. All of the non-diegetic sound is instrumental but songs sung by Feste, the fool are also used onscreen as diegetic music. Viola is, in this film played by Imogen Stubbs, represented as a rather weak character. In the play I believe she is meant to be a conventional Shakespearean strong female character, because of the weakness of her character, Cesario is more effeminate than I believe
A detailed study of Act III, Scene II of 'The Duchess of Malfi' (until Ferdinand's exit)
A detailed study of Act III, Scene II of 'The Duchess of Malfi' (until Ferdinand's exit) The scene in question is a particularly pivotal scene in terms of plot and character development, as it entails the last meeting between the Duchess and her husband Antonio, as well as a major brawl between the Duchess and her brother Antonio. The scene also brings out the true essences of the Duchess' relationship with both Antonio and Ferdinand, as in each case all characters are exposed through either immense love, or hatred. One of the main themes developed in this scene is female empowerment through the Duchess. This is shown through her dominant nature in her relationship with Antonio, and her brave and profound response when she is verbally threatened by Ferdinand. The scene is clearly divided into two; the Duchess' meeting with Antonio and Cariola, followed by her encounter with Ferdinand. It begins with the Duchess and Antonio having a light-hearted conversation, with a somewhat sexual tone. Tied in with the theme of secrecy throughout the play, this event proves the success of their love to the audience. This secret that they have kept has put the Duchess under much scrutiny, as well as jeopardising both of their lives for several years, and yet they still manage to sustain a loving relationship. "I must lie here. Must? You are a lord of misrule. Indeed, my rule is only in