The Merchant of Venice

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The Merchant of Venice by Mind Map: The Merchant of Venice

1. PLOT Main plot: dispute about a financial loan between Antolio and Shylock Subplot: choise of a husband by the rich Portia in Belmont

2. First Act Bassanio needs money for his courtship Portia's father test Shylock lends Bassanio 3 thounsand ducats If Bassanio fails to repay him, Antonio must give a pound of his flesh

3. Second Act and Third Act Second: Jessica elopes with with her lover Lorenzo taking Shylocks ducats and jewels. Bassanio chooses the leaden caskets with Portia's picture in it, she agrees to marry him. Antonio is put in jail because his ships have been shipwrecked.

4. Fourth Act and Fifth Portia disguised as a lowyer agrees to Shylock's request but no blood must be dropped. The Duke of Venice spares Shylock's life. Antonio asks Shylock to convert to Christianity to keep half of his wealth and give the other half to Jessica and Lorenzo

5. Setting Venice: autonomous trading town, symbol of wealth and greed. Antonio= wealth of Venice (rich but generous) Shylock= greed (jewish and lives in the ghetto) Belmont: world of ideal love, (women more power than in Venice); idyllic place where love reigns.

6. Characters Shylock: portrayed as a villain and marginalised. Shakespeare drew on anti-semitic prejudice. Shylock is a complex character: Shakespeare emphasises his humanity but also his lack of mercy. With the forced conversion, the Venetians carry out the process of Shylock's exclusion.

6.1. Christian characters They differ from Shylock in dealing with business because they consider human relationships more valuable than business ones. However, Christian characters are ambigous because they do not always show mercy, love and charity in their behaviour (Bessanio wants to marry Portia for his debts; Antonio hates Jews).

7. Themes Love: Love for a friend (Antonio and Bassanio; Portia and her father) Romantic love: Lorenzo and Jessica; Portia and Bassanio. Love for money and possessions: Shylock Hate: Christians and Jews. Mercy, justice and revenge: Justice related to mercy: New testament (Christians); Looking for revenge , Old testament (Jews).