I. LIFE OF AUTOR

William Shakespeare (baptised 26 April 156423 April 1616) was an English poet and playwright, widely regarded as the greatest writer in the English language and the world's pre-eminent dramatist.[1] He is often called England's national poet and the "Bard of Avon" (or simply "The Bard"). His surviving works consist of 38 plays, 154 sonnets, two long narrative poems, and several other poems. His plays have been translated into every major living language and are performed more often than those of any other playwright.
Shakespeare was born and raised in Stratford-upon-Avon. At the age of 18 he married Anne Hathaway, who bore him three children: Susanna, and twins Hamnet and Judith. Between 1585 and 1592 he began a successful career in London as an actor, writer, and part owner of the playing company the Lord Chamberlain's Men, later known as the King's Men. He appears to have retired to Stratford around 1613, where he died three years later. Few records of Shakespeare's private life survive, and there has been considerable speculation about such matters as his sexuality, religious beliefs, and whether the works attributed to him were written by others.[3]
Shakespeare produced most of his known work between 1590 and 1613. His early plays were mainly comedies and histories, genres he raised to the peak of sophistication and artistry by the end of the sixteenth century. Next he wrote mainly tragedies until about 1608, including Hamlet, King Lear, and Macbeth, considered some of the finest examples in the English language. In his last phase, he wrote tragicomedies and collaborated with other playwrights. Many of his plays were published in editions of varying quality and accuracy during his lifetime, and in 1623, two of his former theatrical colleagues published the First Folio, a collected edition of his dramatic works that included all but two of the plays now recognised as Shakespeare's.
Shakespeare was a respected poet and playwright in his own day, but his reputation did not rise to its present heights until the nineteenth century. The Romantics, in particular, acclaimed Shakespeare's genius, and the Victorians hero-worshipped Shakespeare with a reverence that George Bernard Shaw called "bardolatry".[4] In the twentieth century, his work was repeatedly adopted and rediscovered by new movements in scholarship and performance. His plays remain highly popular today and are consistently performed and reinterpreted in diverse cultural and political contexts


Early life

William Shakespeare was the son of John Shakespeare, a successful glover and alderman originally from Snitterfield, and Mary Arden, the daughter of an affluent landowning farmer. He was born in Stratford-upon-Avon and baptised on 26 April 1564. His unknown birthday is traditionally observed on 23 April, St George's Day. This date, which can be traced back to an eighteenth-century scholar's mistake, has proved appealing because Shakespeare died on 23 April 1616.[7] He was the third child of eight and the eldest surviving son.
Although no attendance records for the period survive, most biographers agree that Shakespeare was educated at the King's New School in Stratford, a free school chartered in 1553, about a quarter of a mile from his home. Grammar schools varied in quality during the Elizabethan era, but the curriculum was dictated by law throughout England, and the school would have provided an intensive education in Latin grammar and the classics. At the age of 18, Shakespeare married the 26-year-old Anne Hathaway. The consistory court of the Diocese of Worcester issued a marriage licence on 27 November 1582. Two of Hathaway's neighbours posted bonds the next day as surety that there were no impediments to the marriage. The couple may have arranged the ceremony in some haste, since the Worcester chancellor allowed the marriage banns to be read once instead of the usual three times. Anne's pregnancy could have been the reason for this. Six months after the marriage, she gave birth to a daughter, Susanna, who was baptised on 26 May 1583. Twins, son Hamnet and daughter Judith, followed almost two years later and were baptised on 2 February 1585. Hamnet died of unknown causes at the age of 11 and was buried on 11 August 1596.
After the birth of the twins, there are few historical traces of Shakespeare until he is mentioned as part of the London theatre scene in 1592. Because of this gap, scholars refer to the years between 1585 and 1592 as Shakespeare's "lost years".Biographers attempting to account for this period have reported many apocryphal stories. Nicholas Rowe, Shakespeare’s first biographer, recounted a Stratford legend that Shakespeare fled the town for London to escape prosecution for deer poaching. Another eighteenth-century story has Shakespeare starting his theatrical career minding the horses of theatre patrons in London. John Aubrey reported that Shakespeare had been a country schoolmaster. Some twentieth-century scholars have suggested that Shakespeare may have been employed as a schoolmaster by Alexander Hoghton of Lancashire, a Catholic landowner who named a certain "William Shakeshafte" in his will. No evidence substantiates such stories other than hearsay collected after his death.]
Sources: http: //en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Shakespeare
http://www.shakespeare-online.com/


I. CLASSIFICATION

Merchant of Venice is on the famous Shakespeare’s comedies, It is classified into comedy because the main focus of the story is to entertain people, to make people happy and to create humors.
Merchant of Venice also focus about love story and marriage, in this story we can easily recognize that it is belong to comedy because there are part in the story that can be found in some act and scenes that can make you laugh and brighten your day. If you read the whole story the story ends happily even though there are trials that the main characters encountered but still at end they committed the victory.
The character in the story performed very well as what role and they have, in acting comedy drama there are only few characters in this story that performed more comedy like Lancelet Gobbo and Shylock, he act as a clown in this story because the center of comedy is from him. In act 2 scene 2, Lancelet and his father Old Gobbo conversation showing the humor of comedy. When Lancelet trying to confused his father that cannot see clearly by pretending as a stranger and not his son. Their conversation showing comedy act and give fun to the reader. Another Act and scene that is fun for me when Shylock pursuing Anotonio to pay hes debt according to the contract they made and signed. As a legal settlement they are going under legal investigation on trial courts, the funny events happened in this scene when shylock lost the case and lost his wealth as well, it can be found in act 4 scene 1 the trial scene.
The whole story not only dealing comedy, but it also focuses on how love works between the characters in the story. This story can be also called comedy love story. Why this is comedy love story? Because there are parts that showing funny scene or events there are also some parts that mostly dealing about love. Example of this love scene, when Bassanio fight his love for Portia against the rich suitor of the beautiful girl, he made everything just to own the girl. He tried his chance and luck to choose among 3 caskets, and if he choose wrong caskets that would change their life into miserable but love is with them because of determination and trust to his self he got the correct caskets and he own the a beautiful girl that he love so much, this scene showing the love story of main characters to each other.
Another love story, when Lorenzo and Jessica, In act 2 scene 6, Jessica escape from his father just to fulfill her need and to follow his feeling to love Lorenzo no matter what happen. Shylock the father of Jessica is against their relationship that’s the reason why they prefer to escape.


II. PLOT

The merchant of Venice is very long story, because it composed of some threads or different stories with in the story but still in is connected at end, the threads are very important in the whole story, the story of Antonio with his company is one another thread from the story of Portia In Belmont, and from the story of Shylock a Jewish money lender.
In Belmont Portia waiting for suitors to be her husband if they luckily choose the right caskets, but most of her suitors failed to choose like prince of morocco and prince of Arragon, and the last person who Bassanio the lucky guy who own Portia, can be found in act 1 scnene 2.
Another threads, about Antonio and Bassanio and their company, they are from Venice and planning to have trip going to Belmont because Bassanio want to own Portia by choosing the caskets, the story of Bassanio and Antonio is different from the story of Portia, it can be found in act 1 scene 1.Another threads, the story of Shylock a Jewish moneylender , Shylock is a pagan and have a daughter named Jessica, Shylock is not so villain in this story but he is considered as one, his character became bad and threat his servants badly. Lancelet a servant of Shylock soon became the servant of Bassanio because Lancelet cant take the attitude of Shylock and he leave it. It can be found in Act 2, scene 2.
The story can be probable according to its contents and can be not, but I choose that the events in the story can be happen or possible to happen, since Venice is a real place in Italy it is one prove that the story can be true. The story telling the real situation that it possible to do bye the people, there is no supernatural events happened in this story that can create confusion to the readers either its true or not. Like Macbeth, the story is impossible because there are supernatural involve though its part of Shakespeare strategy.
The story is vey easy to follow and at the same time it is very interesting story. Comedy which the most people prefer to read, because for them it can help to forget their problems and weary. It is also entertain people and give lot of fun or the readers. The story is easy to understand since it is comedy and love story as well.
The story or play is written to be acted on stage and to be read. But this is more interesting if it play on stage since this is comedy people want to see the action of characters act as comedian. It is more easily for the people to understand if it is play on stage than to read it. The dialogue is written to be spoken by the actors at the same time are amusing, gesturing, picking up objects, weeping and shaking their fist. Some stage action is described in what are called “stage direction”.
There are parts of the story or play that showing stage direction and prove that this story must play on stage. In Act 2 scene 6 line 35, when Jessica says “here catch this casket; it is worth pains” it is clear that she throws a chest of jewels and money from the window of her house. Another scene, in Act 4, scene 1 line 115, during the trial scene Bassanio says “why dost thou whet thy knife so earnestly?” it is clear from Gratiano’s line when he says in line 125” Not on thy sole but on they soul, harsh Jew” Shylock was sharpens his knife on the sole of his shoe.
Merchant of Venice is originally written by William Shakespeare, but the he borrowed several details from Italian story collection, like a poor suitor, a fair lady and a villainous jew and the choosing of chest that Portia inflicts on all suitors, it can be found in Italian story collection. Merchant of Venice was first printed in 1600 as a Quatro but in 1619 someone edited a copy of 1600 quatro to make it bases of second quatro-edition of the play. From 1600 quatro edited into 1619 with unknown editor.
In the story Merchant of Venice there are some words that has changed into modern words, since the original text of this story is written in Old English version it was edited into Modern English but not all words has been change only a few words that are not usually using now. This change help people to understand well the whole story.

III. SETTINGS
In the story the time was not stated when the events supposed to occur, but probably it happens during 16th century. But when we focus in the story we can conclude that the story takes long time in history. There are places mentioned in the story, the famous place mentioned are Venice and Belmont, this places are real and can be found at Italy. Venice in the story where Antonio and Bassiano and Company came from, with their ships they travel going to Belmont for some important reason, For Antonio to travel anywhere is part of his business, Bassanio travel to Belmont to follow his dreams to marry a beautiful woman named Portia.
In Belmont where the Events usually happened, Portia lived and the place where she is also waiting for the lucky guy to marry here, if they pass the test, by choosing the right caskets among the 3, one of the caskets is the future with Potria. It can be found in Act 2 scene 2.
The places mentioned in the story are definitely true, like Venice and Belmond that can be found in Italy. Shakespeare used real places in the story “Merchant of Venice” because people can easily understood if they can figure out the places used in the story as a setting.


IV. CHARACTERS


Character list:
Antonio – A merchant, Antonio’s love for his friend Bassanio prompts him to sign a contract with shylock and almost lose his life. A
Bassanio – A kinsman and dear friend of Antonio. Bassanio’s love for the wealthy Portia leads him to borrow money from shylock with Antonio as his guarantor. Bassanio is an ineffectual businessman but a worthy suitor.
Portia- a wealthy heires rom Belmont, Portia’s beauty is matched only by her intelligence. Bound by a clause of her father’s will that forces her to marry whichever suitors chooses correctly from among three caskets; Portia is nonetheless able to marry her true love, Bassanio. Portia, in the disguise of a young law clerk, saves Antonio from shylock.
Shylock- A Jewish moneylender,. Angered by his mistreatment at the hands of Venice’s Christians, particularly Antonio, shylocks schemes to take revenge by demanding a pund of Antonio’s flesh in a payment a debt.
Jessica- Shyclock’s daughter, Jessica hates life in her father house and elopes with young Christian gentleman, Lorenzo.
Graziano –a friend of Bassanio. A course young man, Graziano is Shylocks most vocl and insulting critic during the trial. Graziano falls in love with and eventually weds Portia lady in waiting, Nerissa.
Nerissa- Portia lady in waiting and confidante. Nerissa marries Graziano and escorts Portia to Venice by deguising her self law clerk.
Lancelot Gobbo- Bassanio servant. A comical, clownish, running figure, Lancelot leaves Shylock service in order to work or Bassanio.
Old Gobbo- Lancelot’s father. Old Gobbo is a servant in venicew
Salerio – a Venetian gentleman and friend to Antonio , Bassanio, and Lorenzo, Salerio escorts the newly weds Jessica and Lorenzo to Belmont, and returns with Bassanio and Graziano for Antonio’s trial. He is often almost indistinguishable from his companion Solanio.
Solanio- A venetian gentlemen. Solanio is a frequent companion to Salerio.
Lorenzo – A friend of Bassanio’s and Antonio’s. He is inlove with Jessica Shylock daughter.
For me the characters is clearly distinguished in the story “ merchant of Venice” and all characters has been identify according to their role and it is easy to identify them by the readers.
All characters in the story occupy the chief place; they act well according to their given role. They entertain people and give life to the story. The men occupy the story as men, and doing role as men and brave as men. The women also act as a women, in the story Portia has many suitor and at the end Bassanio and Portia got married this is showing that the characters doing their task as what they are in the story.
Ruskin says; Shakespeare has no Heroes, he has only heroines. It is true, Shakespeare story give more emphasize to the women as his heroine, in the story Merchant of Venice Portia and Nerissa is consider as the Heroines of Antonio from Shylock during the trial. In this scene Portia and Nerissa disguise as the legal expert and the legal clerk, both Portia and nerissa do their job as a heroines. Antonio saved from Shylock and his life is now free from debt. It can be found in Act 4 scene 1.
There are characters in the story that are Humorous, example:
Lancelet- He is clown in the story, he make the story more fun and comedy. In act 2 scene 2 when Lancelet makes fun with his father Gobbo, this scene Lancelet shows his personality as a comedian. He confuses his father by pretending not Lancelet.
Shylock– Known as villain in the story, he is also acting humorous situation. Like in Act 3 scenes 1, during the conversation of Shylock and Tubal, Shylock also making fun with his thoughts. He is so happy knowing the news about Antonio ship wreck. In act 4 scene 1, the story became more interesting at this scene. During the trial Shylock don’t give up the right he have, to take his part from Antonio as part of their agreement. He will cut one of the Antonio’s body. But at the end of the trial Shylock lose.
In the story “Merchant of Venice” there is only one character which is developing, he change from bad to good. In act 4 scene 1, during the trial Shylock lose against Antonio, as a punishment Shylock well become a Christian, this changes help him to became good person from what he is before. The other character is remaining as what they are, only they suffer changes from fortune or they are still stationary.

V. STRUCTURE

The principal Character in the story “The Merchant of Venice “ are Antonio, Bassanio and their company, Shyclock, Portia and his company. This character is very important in the story, without them the story would not completely state.
In part of Antonio and Bassanio, they travel going to Belmont for important purpose, this purpose well be the accomplishment of the story, because Bassanio want to marry the Girl name Portia, he will try his luck to choose among 3 caskets, and this is the reason why they will travel to Belmont, because Bassanio don’t have money to won against Portia’s suitor he asked for help from Antonio, since Antonio don’t money to give to Bassanio because his money was in his ship who are traveling from any direction of the world, he told Bassanio to find money lender and he will be the Guarantor. Shylock at this scene is the moneylender, and soon became the villain of the story. They borrowed money from shylock with agreement, if they cant pay with in 3 months, He will take one part of Antonio’s body.
In Belmont where Portia lived, She is waiting for someone to be her husband, in part of the story the accomplishment of this, if Bassanio choose the right casket and he will became the Husband of Portia which is Portia dreamed.
major conflict · Antonio defaults on a loan he borrowed from Shylock, wherein he promises to sacrifice a pound of flesh. It can be found in act 1. Scene 3

rising action · Antonio’s ships, the only means by which he can pay off his debt to Shylock, are reported lost at sea. Can be found in Act 3, when tubal reported it to Shylock that Antonio cargo shipwrecked.

climax · Portia, disguised as a man of law, intervenes on Antonio’s behalf.

Can be found in act 3, scene 4 line 65-80, they disguised their self as a boy. A legal expert and a legal expert clerk.

falling action · Shylock is ordered to convert to Christianity and bequeath his possessions to Lorenzo and Jessica; Portia and Nerissa persuade their husbands to give up their rings. Can be found in act4 scene 1 line 400-405, when shylock lose the case and became a Christian as punishment.

VI. CONTRAST

In the story “The Merchant of Venice” there are contrasting scene, contrast between two person who are different in action and occupations. The contrast where the defeat is closely followed by a victory, in the story there are contrasting scene happened.
The contrast between Christian and the Jew, Christian which is Antonio and his company and the Jew which is Shylock, there characteristics of being Christian is different from a Jew, Shylock became the villain of the story his character as a person is different from Antonio and other people who are Christian in the story.
Another contrast between Bassanio and the rich suitors of Portia, They are both suitor of Portia but the different is, Bassanio is not rich while the Other suitor of Portia are rich, but at end Bassanio won Portia.
The most popular contrast, when the defeat is closely followed by a victory. In act 4 scene 1 during the trial, Antonio is closely to defeat against Shylock, he almost lose the case and his life is in danger under Shylock. But at the end Antonio won the case and free from danger accusation and punishment of Shylock.
Allied to the contrast is the principle of parallelism, or introducing characters or incedents that are similar in many respects. Example, Bassanio’s wooing is paralleled by Gratiano’s and both won their wives by the same lol, both receive rings and both gave them away.


VII. STYLE


The language is appropriate in the story, it is original language used by William Shakespeare, and he used old English in the story in its original text. Old English used some words which are no longer used in modern world, Modern English is different from old English that’s why some readers cant easily understand some word, but because of some editor and author they translate the story into modern English in order for the reader to read it and understand it clearly.
In the story “ Merchant of Venice” there are Biblical style that can be found in play, in act 1 scene 3 line 70, Shylock said to Antonio
When Jacob grazed his uncle Laban's sheep—
70
This Jacob from our holy Abram was,
As his wise mother wrought in his behalf,
The third possessor, ay, he was the third—

In line 85-95 Shylock said,
No, not take interest—not as you would say
75
Directly interest. Mark what Jacob did:
When Laban and himself were compromised
That all the eanlings which were streaked and pied
Should fall as Jacob's hire, the ewes, being rank,
In the end of autumn turnèd to the rams.
80
And when the work of generation was
Between these woolly breeders in the act,
The skillful shepherd peeled me certain wands.
And in the doing of the deed of kind
He stuck them up before the fulsome ewes,
85
Who then conceiving did in eaning time
Fall parti-colored lambs—and those were Jacob's.
This was a way to thrive, and he was blessed.
And thrift is blessing, if men steal it not.

He compares the Jacob life which can only be found in the Bible and situation to their situation now.
In the story “Merchant of Venice” Shakespeare used dictions and phrases which are no longer found or used today. This diction and phrases is written in old English.
Ex:
Misconstered – means “ misunderstoon" it is found in act 2, scene 2, line 190. Said by Bassanio
to Gratiano “ I be misconstered in the place I got to”
“ How say you by” – when we look this phrase we can say that this is wrong grammar, it is no
longer today because it is written in old English and no one used it in sentence. The meaning of this phrase is “ what do you see about”. It is said by Nerissa to Portia in act 1, scene 2, line 55. “ how you say you by the frence lord, Monsiour le Bon?”
Gramercy - means “thank you”, said by Bassanio to Gobbo found in act 2, scene 2, line 120.
“Gramecy. Wouldst thou aught with me”.
Methoughts – means “ I thought” said by Shylock to Antonio in act 1, scene 3, line 75.
“metoughts you said you neither lend nor borrow upon advantage”
Was wont to call – Means “ used to call” said by Shylock to Salarino in Act 3 scene 1 line 45.“He was wont to call me asurer”
Hindered me –means “ kept me from making” said by Shylock to Salarino in Act 3 scene 1.
“he hath disgraced me and hindered me half a million”

VIII. COMPARATIVE STUDY

In comparative study, I compare Merchant of Venice into Macbeth. The story has more difference with each other between tragedy and comedy. In Macbeth the story focus on tragedy which the character encounter different kinds of trials and difficulties in their life, while the Merchant of Venice is comedy which is there’s humor in the story even they encounter trials. In the story Macbeth, there are supernatural in the scene with in the story, like the appearance of Banquo as Ghost and the 3 witches in the story. In Merchant of Venice we cannot find supernatural in the scene. For me Merchant of Venice is more interesting than Macbeth because its dealing with Humorous comedy and it is easy to follow every scene in the story. In Macbeth the story contains of more characters than the story of Merchant of Venice, but still the story is very interesting and the contents of the story seems to be the most beautiful among works of William Shakespeare. The story of Macbeth at the first scene it showing the real tragedy, in the opening scene the battle between Scots and Norwegians Invaders which is described in harrowing terms by the wounded captain in Act I, scene ii. The story of Macbeth is more seriously than the story of Merchant of Venice. While in Merchant of Venice the Opening scene introducing the main characters by revealing their plans to Belmont, in this scene there are few Humors but still this is important in the story. In the story both the characters had important role in the story and both characters have its own important parts. The settings of the two stories between Macbeth and Merchant of Venice have different settings, and this settings help the story became more colorful.
IX. COLLATERAL READING
The story Merchant of Venice is a study in inversion for the Newman, because in early modern England “A women occupying the positions of lawyer in a Renaissance Venetian Courtroom, in the story Portia and Nerissa became the lawyer and lawyer clerk in the story during the trial of Antonio in Act 4 scene 1. The play in this term resists the traffic in women and interrogates the Elizabethan sex/gender system.
During 6th century, trading system from place to place using their Galleon is very common; this is the lifestyle of the people during this era. William Shakespeare bases his story from the life style of the people during that time, Venice known also as the place of Merchant.
In the story, the Jewish religion and Christian religion has given emphasize, since this era Christian and Jew has a conflict with each other, we can see in the story how Jewish people tolerate the Christian people or on how they tolerating each other. In Act 4 scene 1 during trial, showing how bad the Jewish are, especially Shylock, he don’t even give chance or mercy to Antonio take his self against punishment and pay by money. In Jewish side shylock centers initially on the question of the plays Anti-Semitism, the history of the Jewish people during this era, Ben-Jasson chronicles a thousand year period of Jewish history, including the middle ages and the English Renaissance throughout this epoch, Jewish people lived under rule of Christianity and Islam.
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