20 votes
Accepted

Was Shakespeare a religious fanatic?

I don't believe it would be right to call him a religious fanatic. His plays contain both pro- and anti-Christian elements, all of which seem to be more about playing into the sense of the times than ...
Joshua Engel's user avatar
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13 votes
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Are there earlier incidences than Merchant of Venice of an angel on one shoulder and a devil on the other?

Yes, the device of the good and the bad angel had definitely been used before, for example by Christopher Marlowe in The Tragical History of Dr. Faustus. Marlowe's plays are generally hard to date and ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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11 votes
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Why does Portia say this to Bassanio in Act III Scene 2 of The Merchant of Venice?

First of all, let's take a look at the wider context around this line: Beshrew your eyes, They have o'erlook'd me and divided me; One half of me is yours, the other half yours, Mine own, I ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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10 votes

Was Shakespeare a religious fanatic?

Like most English people until well into the twentieth century, Shakespeare was baptized into the Anglican church, but it does not follow that he was himself any more religious than the average ...
verbose's user avatar
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9 votes
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Is there any evidence for a gay relationship in The Merchant of Venice?

There is a modern tradition of Antonio and Bassanio, and the rest of The Merchant of Venice, being interpreted in queer terms. A common starting point for this is the first line of the play. "In ...
Adam Burke's user avatar
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7 votes

What's the meaning of the text in the scroll that the Prince of Arragon finds in the silver casket in Act 2, Scene 9 of The Merchant of Venice?

The passage alludes to silver, purified by smelting seven times, as in Psalm 12:6: The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times. Silver does ...
Joshua Engel's user avatar
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5 votes

Is there any evidence for a gay relationship in The Merchant of Venice?

There are many, many quotations that reveal the homosexual relationship. Why is Antonio sad? Because he is in love with a male prostitute and, in performance of anal sex with a client, Bassanio has ...
Trevor Kingston's user avatar
5 votes
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How is it possible for Antonio to go bankrupt?

Usually, as he says in the bit you quote, Antonio is cash-poor but ship-rich. He has many ships, so he can afford to loose one. But in Act III, scene 1 we learn Why, yet it lives there unchecked ...
kimchi lover's user avatar
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5 votes

Why is there a courtroom scene?

Shylock acted pre-emptively to get Antonio arrested. In Act III, Scene I, Tubal brings assorted news to Shylock, of Antonio's bad luck with his ships and of Jessica spending her father's wealth. From ...
Rand al'Thor's user avatar
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4 votes
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What does the Idiom "pound of flesh" mean to "Shylock"? Was this a sense of humor of Shylock?

Perhaps your confusion arises from the fact that a "pound of flesh" meaning something required to be paid back more or less originates from the play (there were earlier predecessors, ...
Sean Duggan's user avatar
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4 votes
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Does Portia subconsciously influence Bassanio's choice of casket?

There's no way to make a direct link between Portia's preparations and Bassanio's eventual choice. It's more instructive, I'd say, to consider the song's effect on the audience. We see, as early as ...
Ralph Crown's user avatar
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3 votes

In the 1983 adaptation of The Merchant of Venice, why doesn't Portia know Jessica's name?

Lorenzo and Jessica arrived at Belmont near the end of Act 3, scene 2. It is clear from Gratiano's words that he knows who they are ("But who comes here? Lorenzo and his infidel?"); Bassanio also ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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2 votes

Shorter version of The Merchant of Venice for school play

There is a shorter version of The Merchant of Venice by K.J. O'Hara, who has been Artistic Director of the Antic Mind Theatre Company and an English and drama teacher. The Merchant of Venice: Abridged ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
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1 vote

Meaning of “But mercy is above this sceptred sway” from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice

In order to understand "scepter", one should first look at the few lines that have been left out (quoted from the MIT Shakespeare): It blesseth him that gives and him that takes: 'Tis ...
Tsundoku's user avatar
  • 44.5k
1 vote

What's the meaning of the text in the scroll that the Prince of Arragon finds in the silver casket in Act 2, Scene 9 of The Merchant of Venice?

Silver is tried or put seven times on the fire ; so as to , furnish it (or make it glow) in its silvery colour. (1st line) Similarly a judgement should also be tested seven times (just a ...
Swapnonil Roy Choudhury's user avatar

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