Loyalty | Shakespeare II
The central romantic relationship of the play is that between Bassanio and Portia. Jessica, with the Christian, Lorenzo; and the marriage of Portia's servant, Nerissa, to Bassanio's companion, Gratiano. . Let no such man be trusted. Related. Then, of course there is the romantic love that we see in the relationships between Bassanio and Portia, Nerissa and Gratiano, and Jessica and Lorenzo. Their relationship is close although Portia is higher in status. for advice and plays the tricks on Bassanio and Gratiano along with Nerissa.
Antonio then arrives to tell Gratiano that the winds are propitious for sailing and that Bassanio is leaving immediately for Belmont to woo Portia. Gratiano expresses his desire to leave the city immediately. Jessica next appears at Belmont in Act 3, Scene 2, accompanying Lorenzo and Salerio, a messenger delivering a letter to Bassiano from Antonio.
The letter informs him that all Antonio's business ventures have failed, such that he has defaulted on the bond to Shylock, and that Shylock intends to collect on the "pound of flesh". Then announces that she and Nerissa, her maid, will stay in a nearby convent while their husbands are away. In her absence she asks Lorenzo and Jessica to manage her estate.
In Act 3, Scene 5, Jessica and Gobbo banter in the gardens of Belmont; Gobbo claiming that she is tainted by the sins of her father, and she can only hope that she was an illegitimate child and not actually related to Shylock.
Jessica protests that then she would be visited by the sins of her mother, and Gobbo concurs that she would be damned either way. Jessica argues that she has been saved by her husband who has converted her to Christianity, to which Gobbo replies that Bassanio of contributing to the raised price of pork by the conversion of Jews who may not eat pork to Christians who do.
Lorenzo joins them and Jessica recounts their conversation, leading to further banter between Lorenzo and Gobbo, until Gobbo leaves to prepare for dinner.
In response to questioning by Lorenzo, Jessica praises Portia as great and peerless. The moon shines bright Watercolor on paper by John Edmund Buckley. Act 5, Scene 1—the final scene of the play, and following on from the courtroom scene in Act 4—opens with Jessica and Lorenzo strolling in the gardens of Belmont.
They exchange romantic metaphors, invoking in turn characters from classical literature: No sooner has Stephano informed them that Portia and Nerissa will soon arrive than Gobbo comes with the same news for Bassanio and Gratiano.
They decide to await the arrivals in the gardens, and ask Stephano to fetch his instrument and play for them. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; — Lorenzo, The Merchant of Venice  Portia and Nerissa enter, followed shortly by Bassanio, Antonio, and Gratiano.
After they are all reunited, Nerissa hands Lorenzo a deed of gift from Shylock, won in the trial, giving Jessica all of his wealth upon his death. Fled with a Christian! O, my Christian ducats! In this version it is Munday's Jessica analogue, Brisana, who pleads the case first in the courtroom scene, followed by Cornelia, the Portia analogue.
The Christian in love with a Jewess appears frequently in exemplum from the 13th to the 15th century. However, in this story the Christian lover flees alone with the treasure. His daughter, Floripas, proceeds to murder her governess for refusing to help feed the prisoners; bashes the jailer's head in with his keychain when he refuses to let her see the prisoners; manipulates her father into giving her responsibility for them; brings them to her tower, and treats them as royalty; does the same for the remaining ten of the Twelve Peers when they are captured too; helps the Peers murder Sir Lucafere, King of Baldas when he surprises them; urges the Peers to attack her father and his knights at supper to cover up the murder; when her father escapes and attacks the Peers in her tower, she assists in the defence; then she converts to Christianity and is betrothed to Guy of Burgundy; and finally, she and her brother, Fierabras decide that there is no point trying to convert their father to Christianity so he should be executed instead.
The reason for the cruelty of the Sultan's two children is quite obvious. In the romances there are two sides: Once Floripas and Ferumbras had joined the 'good' side, they had to become implacable enemies of the Sultan. There was no question of filial duty or filial love; one was either a Saracen or a Christian, and that was all there was to it. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction.
One of the reasons for this interpretation is that Shylock's painful status in Venetian society is emphasised. To some critics, Shylock's celebrated "Hath not a Jew eyes? The Christians in the courtroom urge Shylock to love his enemies, although they themselves have failed in the past.
Jewish critic Harold Bloom suggests that, although the play gives merit to both cases, the portraits are not even-handed: In his plays and poetry Shakespeare often depicted strong male bonds of varying homosocialitywhich has led some critics to infer that Bassanio returns Antonio's affections despite his obligation to marry: Commend me to your honourable wife: Tell her the process of Antonio's end, Say how I lov'd you, speak me fair in death; And, when the tale is told, bid her be judge Whether Bassanio had not once a love.
But life itself, my wife, and all the world Are not with me esteemed above thy life; I would lose all, ay, sacrifice them all Here to this devil, to deliver you.
Auden describes Antonio as "a man whose emotional life, though his conduct may be chaste, is concentrated upon a member of his own sex. Antonio's frustrated devotion is a form of idolatry: There is one other such idolator in the play: There was, states Auden, a traditional "association of sodomy with usury", reaching back at least as far as Dantewith which Shakespeare was likely familiar.
Auden sees the theme of usury in the play as a comment on human relations in a mercantile society. Other interpreters of the play regard Auden's conception of Antonio's sexual desire for Bassanio as questionable. Michael Radford, director of the film version starring Al Pacinoexplained that, although the film contains a scene where Antonio and Bassanio actually kiss, the friendship between the two is platonic, in line with the prevailing view of male friendship at the time.
Jeremy Ironsin an interview, concurs with the director's view and states that he did not "play Antonio as gay". Joseph Fienneshowever, who plays Bassanio, encouraged a homoerotic interpretation and, in fact, surprised Irons with the kiss on set, which was filmed in one take.
Fiennes defended his choice, saying "I would never invent something before doing my detective work in the text. If you look at the choice of language … you'll read very sensuous language.
The Merchant of Venice - Wikipedia
That's the key for me in the relationship. The great thing about Shakespeare and why he's so difficult to pin down is his ambiguity. He's not saying they're gay or they're straight, he's leaving it up to his actors. I feel there has to be a great love between the two characters … there's great attraction. I don't think they have slept together but that's for the audience to decide. Performance history[ edit ] The earliest performance of which a record has survived was held at the court of King James in the spring offollowed by a second performance a few days later, but there is no record of any further performances in the 17th century.
This version which featured a masque was popular, and was acted for the next forty years. Granville cut the clownish Gobbos  in line with neoclassical decorum ; he added a jail scene between Shylock and Antonio, and a more extended scene of toasting at a banquet scene. Thomas Doggett was Shylock, playing the role comically, perhaps even farcically. Rowe expressed doubts about this interpretation as early as ; Doggett's success in the role meant that later productions would feature the troupe clown as Shylock.
InCharles Macklin returned to the original text in a very successful production at Drury Lanepaving the way for Edmund Kean seventy years later see below.
Shylock on stage[ edit ] See also: Shylock Jewish actor Jacob Adler and others report that the tradition of playing Shylock sympathetically began in the first half of the 19th century with Edmund Kean and that previously the role had been played "by a comedian as a repulsive clown or, alternatively, as a monster of unrelieved evil.
Gratiano and nerissa relationship
Henry Irving 's portrayal of an aristocratic, proud Shylock first seen at the Lyceum inwith Portia played by Ellen Terry has been called "the summit of his career". Adler played the role in Yiddish -language translation, first in Manhattan 's Yiddish Theater District in the Lower East Sideand later on Broadwaywhere, to great acclaim, he performed the role in Yiddish in an otherwise English-language production.
In a interview with Theater magazine, Adler pointed out that Shylock is a wealthy man, "rich enough to forgo the interest on three thousand ducats" and that Antonio is "far from the chivalrous gentleman he is made to appear.
He has insulted the Jew and spat on him, yet he comes with hypocritical politeness to borrow money of him. For instance, in the film adaptation directed by Michael Radford and starring Al Pacino as Shylock, the film begins with text and a montage of how Venetian Jews are cruelly abused by bigoted Christians.
One of the last shots of the film also brings attention to the fact that, as a convert, Shylock would have been cast out of the Jewish community in Venice, no longer allowed to live in the ghetto. Another interpretation of Shylock and a vision of how "must he be acted" appears at the conclusion of the autobiography of Alexander Granacha noted Jewish stage and film actor in Weimar Germany and later in Hollywood and on Broadway. Weber played Portia and Smalley, her husband, played Shylock. So in the end, they get married.
They suddenly announce that they are getting married, without any warning. They barely knew each other, much less had time to. However, they seemed very happy that they were getting married. Jessica, being a runaway, has some tension in her relationship. It was like a runaway love. There is also tension between the relationship of Portia and Bassanio, and Nerissa and Gratiano. Portia yells at Bassanio for giving away the ring, as does Nerissa to Gratiano.