BM1 - Introduction to Literature - Assignment 2: Merchant of Venice

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Please answer the following questions using complete sentences only! Stick to the rules for assignments concerning layout etc. given on the style sheet! You may write up to three pages of text. Longer assignments will not be accepted!

  1. Summarize the excerpt from Shakespeare's "Merchant of Venice", ACT I, iii.
  2. How does this excerpt relate to the rest of the play?
  3. Analyse the communicative situation. Concentrate on form, length of individual speeches, interruptions and the domination of one speaker or idea.
  4. Bassanio's line "I like not fair terms and a villain's mind" (I,iii) is an example of a figural-explicit characterisation technique. List other ways of characterising figures and find examples in the play regarding the character of Shylock.

Shakespeare, William: The Merchant of Venice - ACT I, iii

    Shy.  Three thousand ducats, 'tis a good round sum.
Three months from twelue, then let me see the rate
    Ant.  Well Shylocke, shall we be beholding to you?
    Shy.  Signior Anthonio, many a time and oft
In the Ryalto you haue rated me
About my monies and my vsances:
Still haue I borne it with a patient shrug,
(For suffrance is the badge of all our Tribe.)
You call me misbeleeuer, cut-throate dog,
And spet vpon my Iewish gaberdine,
And all for vse of that which is mine owne.
Well then, it now appeares you neede my helpe:
Goe to then, you come to me, and you say,
Shylocke, we would haue moneyes, you say so:
You that did voide your rume vpon my beard,
And foote me as you spurne a stranger curre
Ouer your threshold, moneyes is your suite.
What should I say to you? Should I not say,
Hath a dog money? Is it possible
A curre should lend three thousand ducats? or
Shall I bend low, and in a bond-mans key
With bated breath, and whispring humblenesse,
Say this: Faire sir, you spet on me on Wednesday last;
You spurn'd me such a day; another time
You cald me dog: and for these curtesies
Ile lend you thus much moneyes
    Ant.  I am as like to call thee so againe,
To spet on thee againe, to spurne thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends, for when did friendship take
A breede of barraine mettall of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemie,
Who if he breake, thou maist with better face
Exact the penalties
    Shy.  Why looke you how you storme,
I would be friends with you, and haue your loue,
Forget the shames that you haue staind me with,
Supplie your present wants, and take no doite
Of vsance for my moneyes, and youle not heare me,
This is kinde I offer
    Bas.  This were kindnesse
    Shy.  This kindnesse will I showe,
Goe with me to a Notarie, seale me there
Your single bond, and in a merrie sport
If you repaie me not on such a day,
In such a place, such sum or sums as are
Exprest in the condition, let the forfeite
Be nominated for an equall pound
Of your faire flesh, to be cut off and taken
In what part of your bodie it pleaseth me
    Ant.  Content infaith, Ile seale to such a bond,
And say there is much kindnesse in the Iew
    Bas.  You shall not seale to such a bond for me,
Ile rather dwell in my necessitie
    Ant.  Why feare not man, I will not forfaite it,
Within these two months, that's a month before
This bond expires, I doe expect returne
Of thrice three times the valew of this bond
    Shy.  O father Abram, what these Christians are,
Whose owne hard dealings teaches them suspect
The thoughts of others: Praie you tell me this,
If he should breake his daie, what should I gaine
By the exaction of the forfeiture?
A pound of mans flesh taken from a man,
Is not so estimable, profitable neither
As flesh of Muttons, Beefes, or Goates, I say
To buy his fauour, I extend this friendship,
If he will take it, so: if not adiew,
And for my loue I praie you wrong me not
    Ant.  Yes Shylocke, I will seale vnto this bond
    Shy.  Then meete me forthwith at the Notaries,
Giue him direction for this merrie bond,
And I will goe and purse the ducats straite.
See to my house left in the fearefull gard
Of an vnthriftie knaue: and presentlie
Ile be with you.
    Ant.  Hie thee gentle Iew. This Hebrew will turne
Christian, he growes kinde
    Bas.  I like not faire tearmes, and a villaines minde
    Ant.  Come on, in this there can be no dismaie,
My Shippes come home a month before the daie.