Analyzing The Merchant Of Venice English Literature Essay

In this paper the writer foremost attempts to analyse and discourse how the linguistic communication of The Merchant of Venice was adjusted or adapted to suit in the mark histrions and audiences without impacting upon the subjects embedded and logical secret plan ‘s development.

Then paper is traveling to discourse the challenges of utilizing the book on these histrions and set frontward some corresponding suggestions.

For 100s of old ages after the first public presentation, The Merchant of Venice is still continually pulling audience and new remarks. Conventionally, this great work contributed by Shakespeare is categorized into comedy, but more and more new unfavorable judgments have probed into its tragic nature ( Mahon, 2002 ) .

How I adapt the linguistic communication of the book and why.

First, I attempt to set this drama into a phase public presentation in a high school chief land China. As Gill ( 2008 ) suggested, the play public presentation in English acquisition can profit mark scholars psychologically, socially and linguistically. The end of making the drama is to affect immature EF scholars into interesting and heuristic English linguistic communication context to larn linguistic communication and learn them the subjects embedded, particularly the friendly relationship and justness.

1.1 Actors

The histrions are these 14 to 16-year about high school pupils who are EFL scholars with about 8-year schoolroom EFL acquisition experiences. Though they have 8-year EFL acquisition experience, those immature EFL scholars are comparatively hapless in unwritten English than their opposite numbers in Hong Kong. Meanwhile, they have rather limited vocabulary with around 3000 words.

1.2 Audiences

These immature histrions ‘ schoolmates in the same class will be invited to be the audience. The EFL instructors will be invited excessively but accounting for a really little proportion of audiences. Parents will be invited by their kids but they are non the chief intended audience. Surely the bulk of the audience portions the similar English linguistic communication proficiency degree with the histrions. And the intermediate degree of English proficiency with around 3000- word vocabulary do non let them to so the preliminary undertaking for accommodating original linguistic communication is to simplify the linguistic communication in order that the information in the drama can be conveyed accurately and expeditiously between the histrions and the audience.

1.3 Language version and accommodation

First, much attempt is devoted to simplify and clear up the original linguistic communication into a modern one with easy apprehensible modern-day rhetorical features. The Merchant of Venice is a typical Shakespeare ‘s manner, which is full of the words of ancient English and non so confined into our modern grammatical regulations. Besides this, in Shakespeare ‘s plants, there are many deliberately obscure looks, therefore I besides attempt to try to accommodate these looks in The Merchant of Venice into easily- understood 1s because both my immature histrions and audience would turn off if they found they have no entree to apprehension of the narrative. For illustration, when Bassanio met his Portia in Berlmont after completing the tribunal ‘s personal businesss, he greeted or even fawned with the words “ We should keep twenty-four hours with the Antipodes, if you would walk in absence of the Sun ” ( Act 5, Scene 1, line 127 ) . Young histrions with less emotional experiences are difficult to plunge in the moving context since those words are rather nonliteral. Besides some hard words like “ Antipodes ” ( Act 5, Scene 1, line 127 ) should be explained clearly. Therefore, for my mark immature histrions and audiences, it is more proper if I transformed the words into “ We can portion the sunlight with the universe on the other side, if youaˆ¦ ” , which lacks of literature ‘s touching and aesthetic power to some extent, but advocates the practicality for linguistic communication acquisition and besides implies the subject of love embedded. Meanwhile, the deep esteem of Bassanio to Portia is besides strengthened. Additionally, the rime at the terminal of sentence is besides used for easier memorizing and preserving literature spirit.

There are besides some impolite words particularly in Shylock ‘ lines and on occasion in Gratiano ‘s lines. For illustration, In Act 5, Scene 1, line 144, Gratiano argued with Nerissa about the ring she gave him, he merely said “ Would he were cut that had it, aˆ¦ ” . Since it is inappropriate and a small misleading for Chinese immature histrions to express these words straight and publically in forepart of their instructors, I tend to alter the word “ boodle ” into “ dead ” .

How I handle the linguistic communication as it impacts characters, subjects and secret plans.

2.1 Fictional characters

The simplification and elucidation I discussed supra do non intend all words of all characters should be wholly simplified. Wordss are the chief tool in a book to set up and typify a character. Then the linguistic communication version must back up or beef up the original characters instead than sabotage them. In The Merchant of Venice, for illustration, Portia can non portion the same simple manner of words with Nerissa because “ a lady richly left ” ( Act 1, Scene 1, Line 161 ) , a lady who can decide the Antonio ‘s job with Shylock really cleverly, besides a lady who can win Bassanio from Antonio measure by measure, decidedly should non talk in a similar manner with her amah. Therefore more original rhetorical features in Portia ‘s words should be preserved, while for Nerrisa, the linguistic communication can be simplified in a wider scope.

The same consideration is besides taken for other chief characters. By Shakespeare, Antonio was depicted as a devoted and loyal friend, a responsible and courageous Christian. Thus in linguistic communication adaptation and simplification, I will follow the personality ‘s features. When speaking with other characters except for Bassanio, Antonio ‘s words should be more manfully and strong, like the lines of confronting Shylock. However, when confronting Bassanio, Antonio ‘s words should be preserved or adjusted in to a softer and emotional manner, consistent with Shakespeare ‘s possible accent on Renaissance friendly relationship.

For the Gratiano ‘s illustration discussed in the portion 1, I do non be after to cancel the exact line including the word “ boodle ” , because Gratiano is a loyal, warm-hearted, and blunt friend to Bassanio and Antonio. Gratiano even wished his darling Nerissa were dead to interchange for Antonio ‘s life at the really minute Shylock was traveling to cut. Therefore, the omission of the line discussed above may sabotage Gratiano ‘s blunt character. That ‘s why I used “ dead ” to replace “ gelt ” in that illustration.

2.2 Plots and Subjects

It is necessary for us to be really clear about the subjects embedded: friendly relationship, forfeit, spiritual inclusion and exclusion, love affair, justness, clemency, authorization, promise, etc.

Any version must maintain conformed with these subjects. Specifically, we can happen that the secret plans in Venice are full of subjects of forfeit, justness, ferociousness, vigorish, retaliation, while in Belmont everything turns out to a fairy narrative. All jobs antecedently stated semen to a happy stoping at Belmont and are resolved in a perfect manner: “ love and forgiveness conquer all ” ( Bemis, 2009, P: 126 ) .

In original text, there are some lines aesthetically important. But as to practical play drama for EFL linguistic communication acquisition, those lines may be a small redundant to forestall the EFL immature histrions and audiences from understanding and memorizing of the whole narrative. What I tend to make is to cut portion of these lines, by which I non merely can continue the complete secret plan, but besides relieve the load for the histrions ‘ memorizing.

For illustration, when it comes to the beginning of Act 5, Scene 1, when Jessica and Lorenzo were listening to the music under the sweet starry sky in forepart of the Portia ‘s house, their sweet conversations ( Act 5, Scene 1, line 1-24 ) include so many narratives of devoted lover that 16-year old Chinese EFL pupil may happen is really hard to understand due to the deficiency of relevant literature cognition. But I do non intend all these 24 lines between Jessica and Lorenzo ( Act 5, Scene 1 ) should be deleted. My adapting is to cut the portion from the line 7 to 14, all of which are speaking about devoted lovers in literature plants. The remainder, the line 15 to 24 should be preserved since it is logically of import. Namely, the conversation secret plan between Jessica and Lorenzo reminded audiences of the lover ‘s old experience, which is good for audience ‘s understanding about the whole narrative, and it serves as a logical readying for the good intelligence about Antonio ‘s concern from Launcelot.

Second, the distribution of lines should be balanced. For illustration, in the last portion of Act 5, Scene1, among those chief characters-Portia, Bassanio, Nerissa, Gratiano, Antonio, Jessica and Lorenzo, the lines distributed to Antonio are evidently less than others ‘ , few lines really.

For my portion, I attempted to rearrange some lines to Antonio in order to accomplish the balance of lines ‘ burden. Specifically, I tend to do a redistribution of lines that Antonio is responsible for specifically explicate why the rings were given as wagess at the tribunal. These lines of explicating this secret plan were originally distributed to Bassanio ( line 209- 222, Act 5, Scene 1 ) . Surly, my redisturibution was logical for the secret plan flow because Antonio knew the ground of losing pealing clearly since he witnessed what happened at the tribunal. Additionally, since these lines were chiefly narrative, the redistribution of them would non impact the love affair subject and relevant secret plan between Portia and Bassanio. Namely, in my adaptation, when Portia purposefully blamed Bassanio for his failure to maintain promise, it is Antonio alternatively of Bassanio should step frontward to explicate. In this manner, the alteration besides can farther stress the subject of Renaissance male friendly relationship between Bassanio and Antonio, and Antonio ‘s trueness to Bassanio ‘s friendly relationship is besides clambering once more.

What would the challenges be of making the book with 2nd linguistic communication scholars.

It is questionable whether my immature scholars can afford the complicated emotional alterations behind the verbal bringing. For case, as some unfavorable judgments ( Menkel-Meadow, 2005 ; Cox, 2009 ) indicated, Portia loved Bassanio really much and cleverly won him from Antonio, which implies the equity of viing with the male from a perspective position of feminism. It is time-consuming and abashing for a category activity to explicate why a adult female must vie with a adult male for winning another adult male ‘ love to 16-year pupils of mainland, due to the more conservative larning context at that place. Therefore, specifically, it is rather disputing for the actress of Portia to show Portia ‘s complicated interior emotions when she was introduced to Antonio for the first clip and said “ You should in all sense be much bound to him, for as I hear he was much bound for you. ” ( Act 5, Scene 1, line 136-137 )

Additionally, EFL learners as non-professional histrions, decidedly, are traveling to come across the job of verbal vocalization and physical public presentation, proper gestures and motion. Possibly we may happen that the immature histrions are so devoted themselves to the remembering verbal content that organic structure public presentation is neglected to some extent, or frailty versa. And it is non usual to see an histrion merely tells the manager he or she can non execute at all on the phase. Actually, immature EFL histrions may acquire lost both physically and psychologically. They are so nervous about everything on the phase and merely momently bury where to stand, when to talk, how to travel, etc. By the manner, particularly for immature EFL scholars, there is ever a hazard for histrions to fire into laugh when executing. In The Merchant of Venice, a immature histrion is hard to move as a greedy, barbarous scoundrel but recommending sensible justness and racial equity at the same clip. If the immature dislikes the bad from the underside of bosom, so how can he or she be a successful Shylock?

How I overcome the challenges in dry run, and with histrions.

First, the elaborate function reading must be done by the instructor in progress. The equal function reading is a powerful helper to assist immature histrions understand the book. The function reading should include single characters, and the synergistic relationship between them. It is better to plan a secret plan map for these immature histrions ( see Appendix 2 ) . Meanwhile, the improvisation can be used to alleviate those immature scholars ‘ uncomfortableness of exposure to the populace and actuate them to be originative so that they can willingly and easy plunge into the public presentation context, because the improvisation, to a big extent, like games, which involves self-generated drama in a dry run room ( Perry, 2001 ) .

Second, public presentation involves every histrion as an entireness. An single error can destroy the whole. Therefore, on the one manus, the manager should clear up histrions ‘ motion on the phase every bit specific as possible. For illustration, in the Act 5, Scene 1 of The Merchant of Venice, Portia ‘s motion should be confined into the cardinal country of the phase. For some highly of import minutes in the drama, the manager even needs to modulate the exact way and steps the actress can walk off and back, like the celebrated tribunal scene including so many characters one time. On the other manus, for each of import minute, there are one or two cardinal characters, who really manage the public presentation for the manager. For case, at the terminal of the narrative, the other characters should pay much attending to the Portia ‘s words, gestures, and motions because it is Portia in this public presentation ( Act 5, Scene 1 ) to originate, complete, and switch the way of conversation subject and mark. For illustration, Portia initiated the farther oppugning about the ring by organizing the statement between Gratiano and Nerssia, and so switch the conversation mark to Bassanio, specifically by supporting for Nerssia.

( 2226 words )


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Bemis, J. ( 2009 ) . The merchandiser of Venice on movie. Ed. by Joseph Pearce, The Merchant of Venice With Contemporary Criticism, San Francisco: Ignatius Press. 119i??139.

Cox, V. , ( 2009 ) . Gender and Eloquence in Ercole de ‘ Roberti ‘s Portia and Brutus, Renaissance Quarterly, 62 ( 1 ) , 61-101.

Ed. by Joseph, P. , ( 2009 ) . The Merchant of Venice With Contemporary Criticism, San Francisco: Ignatius Press

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Rastelli, L. R. ( 2006 ) . Drama in linguistic communication acquisition, Encuentro 16, 82-94.

Menkel-Meadow, C. ( 2005 ) . Portia redux: another expression at gender, feminism, and legal moralss, Ed. by Carle, S. D. , Lawyers ‘ Ethical motives and the Pursuit of Social Justice, A Critical Reader. NYU Press.

Wei, J. , Mi, J. , & A ; Zhu, C. , ( 2009 ) . Application research of play in college English instruction of China, 2009 Second Asia- Pacific Conference on Computational Intelligence and Industrial Applications. Available at hypertext transfer protocol: // tp= & A ; arnumber=5406534 Accessed on Mar,29, 2011.

Appendix 1

( Back-to-back 3 pages in Act 5, Scene 1 )

Enter BASSANIO, ANTONIO, GRATIANO, and their followings


We should keep twenty-four hours with the Antipodes ( the universe on the other side )

If you ( beautiful lady ) would walk in absence of the Sun.


Let me give visible radiation, but allow me non be light ;

For a light married woman doth ( does ) do a heavy hubby,

And ne’er be Bassanio so ( do Bassanio be like this ) for me:

But God sort all ( But it is God decides everything ) ! You are welcome place, my Godhead.


I thank you, madam. Give welcome to my friend.

This is the adult male, this is Antonio,

To whom I am so boundlessly edge.


You should in all ( every ) sense be much bound to him.

For, as I hear, he was much bound for you.


No more than I am good acquitted of ( released from ) .


Sir, you are really welcome to our house:

It must look in other ways than words,

Therefore I scant this external respiration courtesy ( cut short these courtesy words ) .


[ To NERISSA ] By yonder Moon I swear you do me wrong ;

In religion, I gave it to the justice ‘s clerk:

Would he were gelt ( dead ) that had it, for my portion,

Since you do take it, love, so much at bosom.


A wrangle, Ho, already! What ‘s the affair?


About a hoop of gold, a paltry ( valueless ) ring

That she did give me, whose bouquet ( inside lettering ) was

For all the universe like cutler ‘s poesy

Upon a knife, ‘Love me, and go forth me non. ‘


What talk you of the bouquet ( lettering ) or the value?

You swore to me, when I did give it you,

That you would have on it till your hr of decease

And that it should lie with you in your grave:

Though non for me, yet for your fierce curses ( devout promise ) ,

You should hold been several ( careful ) and have kept it.

Give it a justice ‘s clerk! no, God ‘s my justice,

The clerk will ne’er wear hair on ‘s face that had it.


He will, and if he live to be a adult male.


Ay, if a adult female unrecorded to be a adult male.


Now, by this manus, I gave it to a young person,

A sort of male child, a small scrubbed ( short immature ) male child,

No higher than thyself ( you ) ; the justice ‘s clerk,

A prating ( chatty ) male child, that begg ‘d ( begged ) it as a fee:

I could non for my bosom deny it him.


You were to fault, I must be plain with you,

To portion so somewhat with your married woman ‘s first gift:

A thing stuck on with oaths upon your finger

And so riveted with faith unto your flesh.

I gave my love a ring and made him curse

Never to portion with it ; and here he stands ;

I dare be sworn for him he would non go forth it

Nor tweak it from his finger, for the wealth

That the universe Masterss ( possesses ) . Now, in religion, Gratiano,

You give your married woman excessively unkind a cause of heartache:

And ’twere ( If it were ) to me, I should be huffy at it.


[ Aside ] Why, I were best to cut my left manus off

And curse I lost the ring supporting it.


My Lord Bassanio gave his ring off

Unto the justice that begg ‘d ( begged ) it and so

Deserved it excessively ; and so the male child, his clerk,

That took some strivings in authorship, he begg ‘d ( begged ) mine ;

And neither adult male ( the clerk ) nor maestro ( justice ) would take nothing ( anything )

But the two rings.


What pealing gave you my Godhead?

Not that, I hope, which you received of me.


If I could add a prevarication unto a mistake,

I would deny it ; but you see my finger

Hath non the ring upon it ; it is gone.


Even so null is your false bosom of truth.

By Eden, I will ne’er ( ne’er ) come in your bed

Until I see the ring.


Nor I in yours ( bed )

Till I once more see mine.


Sweet Portia,

If you did cognize to whom I gave the ring,

If you did cognize for whom I gave the ring

And would gestate for what I gave the ring

And how unwillingly I left the ring,

When zero ( nil ) would be accepted but the ring,

You would slake the strength of your displeasure.


If you had known the virtuousness ( power ) of the ring,

Or half her worthiness that gave the ring,

Or your ain honor to incorporate the ring,

You would non so hold parted with the ring.

What adult male is at that place so much unreasonable,

If you had pleased ( been willing ) to hold defended ( defend ) it

With any footings of ardor, wanted the modestness

To impulse ( would hold been so desiring in modestness as to demand as a gift ) the thing held as a ceremonial ( promise ‘s item ) ?

Nerissa Teachs me what to believe:

I ‘ll decease for’t but some adult female had the ring.

BASSANIO ( replaced by Antonio for these lines )

No, by my honor, dame, by my psyche,

No adult female had it, but a civil physician,

Which did decline three thousand ducats of me ( your Godhead, my beloved friend ) .

And begg ‘d the ring ; the which Bassanio did deny him

And endure ‘d ( allowed ) him to travel displeased off ;

Even he that did continue the really life

Of my beloved friend ( mine ) . What should I ( your Godhead ) say, sweet ( baronial ) lady?

I ( He ) was enforced to direct it after him ( the justice ) ;

I ( Our beloved Bassanio ) was beset with shame and courtesy ;

My ( His ) honor would non allow ingratitude

So much besmear ( pollute ) it. Excuse me ( him ) , good lady ;

For, by these blessed tapers of the dark,

Had you been at that place, I think you would hold begg ‘d ( begged )

The ring of me to give ( appreciated much toward ) the worthy physician.

PORTIA ( after listening to Antonio ‘s account, turn to Bassanio )

Let non that physician e’er ( of all time ) come near my house:

Since he hath ( has ) got the gem that I loved,

And that which you ( my Godhead ) did curse to maintain for me,

I will go every bit broad as you ;

I ‘ll non deny him any thing I have,

No, non my organic structure nor my hubby ‘s bed:

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