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Hermann Fomichev
Hermann Fomichev

How to Read The Merchant of Venice with No Fear: A Modern Translation and Analysis


No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf: A Modern Translation of a Classic Play




Have you ever wanted to read one of Shakespeare's plays but felt intimidated by the old-fashioned language and complex sentences? Do you wish there was a way to enjoy the beauty and richness of his stories without getting lost in the words? If so, then you might want to check out No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf, a modern translation of one of his most famous and controversial comedies.




No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf


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Introduction




In this article, we will give you an overview of what No Fear Shakespeare is, why you should read No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf, and what you can learn from it. We will also summarize the plot of the play, analyze its main themes, and answer some frequently asked questions. By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding and appreciation of this classic play and its modern adaptation.


What is No Fear Shakespeare?




No Fear Shakespeare is a series of books that offer side-by-side translations of Shakespeare's plays into plain English. The original text is on the left page, while the modern translation is on the right page. This way, you can easily compare the two versions and see how the meaning and tone are preserved. You can also read only the modern translation if you prefer, or switch between them as you like.


No Fear Shakespeare is designed to make Shakespeare's plays accessible and enjoyable for everyone, regardless of their level of familiarity with his language. Whether you are a student, a teacher, a casual reader, or a fan of his works, you can benefit from reading No Fear Shakespeare. You can use it as a study guide, a reference tool, or simply as a fun way to experience his stories.


Why read No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf?




The Merchant of Venice is one of Shakespeare's most popular and influential plays. It tells the story of a wealthy merchant named Antonio who borrows money from a Jewish moneylender named Shylock to help his friend Bassanio woo a rich heiress named Portia. However, when Antonio fails to repay the loan on time, Shylock demands a pound of his flesh as collateral. Meanwhile, Portia disguises herself as a lawyer and intervenes in the court case to save Antonio's life.


The play is a mixture of comedy and tragedy, romance and conflict, humor and horror. It explores themes such as justice and mercy, prejudice and tolerance, love and friendship, money and value. It also raises questions about the nature of human relationships, the role of religion and law in society, and the morality of revenge. The play has inspired many adaptations and interpretations over the centuries, some of which have been controversial or criticized for their portrayal of certain characters or issues.


No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf is a great way to read this play because it helps you understand its language, its plot, its characters, and its themes. It also allows you to appreciate its literary devices, such as metaphors, similes, puns, irony, foreshadowing, etc. You can see how Shakespeare uses words to create images, emotions, arguments, jokes, etc. You can also compare the original text with the modern translation and see how they differ or resemble each other. You can also form your own opinions and judgments about the play and its messages.


Summary of the plot




The play consists of five acts, each of which has several scenes. Here is a brief summary of what happens in each act:


Act 1: Antonio's sadness and Bassanio's love




The play begins in Venice, where Antonio, a wealthy merchant, is feeling sad and depressed. His friends try to cheer him up, but he does not know the cause of his melancholy. He says he is worried about his ships that are at sea, but he also hints that he has a deeper sorrow that he cannot name.


One of his friends, Bassanio, tells him that he is in love with Portia, a rich and beautiful lady who lives in Belmont. He asks Antonio to lend him some money so that he can go to Belmont and try to win her hand. Antonio agrees, but he says he does not have any cash at the moment. He suggests that Bassanio borrow money from someone else using his credit as a guarantee.


Bassanio finds a Jewish moneylender named Shylock, who hates Antonio for being a Christian and for lending money without interest. Shylock agrees to lend Bassanio 3000 ducats for three months, but he demands a pound of Antonio's flesh as collateral if he fails to repay on time. Antonio accepts the deal, confident that his ships will return with enough profit before the deadline.


Act 2: The caskets and the bond




The scene shifts to Belmont, where Portia is complaining to her maid Nerissa about the terms of her father's will. According to the will, Portia can only marry the man who chooses the right casket out of three: one made of gold, one made of silver, and one made of lead. Each casket has a riddle on it, and only one contains Portia's portrait. Whoever picks the wrong casket must leave immediately and never marry anyone else.


Several suitors come to try their luck, but they all fail. The first one, the Prince of Morocco, chooses the gold casket, which contains a skull and a message saying that all that glitters is not gold. The second one, the Prince of Arragon, chooses the silver casket, which contains a fool's head and a message saying that he who chooses me shall get as much as he deserves. The third one, Bassanio, arrives with his friend Gratiano. He chooses the lead casket, which contains Portia's portrait and a message saying that he who chooses me must give and hazard all he hath. Portia is overjoyed and declares her love for Bassanio. Gratiano also falls in love with Nerissa and proposes to her.


Meanwhile, in Venice, things are not going well for Antonio. His ships have been lost or delayed by storms or pirates, and he cannot repay Shylock on time. Shylock is determined to take his pound of flesh as revenge for all the insults and injuries he has suffered from Antonio and other Christians. He rejects all offers of money or mercy from Antonio's friends and insists on his bond.


Act 3: The trial and the ring




Bassanio receives a letter from Antonio informing him of his situation and begging him to come back to Venice. He tells Portia that he must leave immediately and offers her his ring as a token of his love. He also gives her half of his wealth and promises to return soon. Portia gives him her ring and makes him swear never to lose it or give it away. She also gives Nerissa her ring and tells her to give it to Gratiano.


After they leave, Portia reveals her plan to Nerissa. She says she will disguise herself as a young male lawyer and go to Venice to help Antonio. She asks Nerissa to dress up as her clerk and accompany her. She also sends a letter to her cousin Bellario, a famous lawyer in Padua, asking him to lend her some clothes and documents.


murder and forfeit his property and life. Shylock realizes that he has been outwitted and tries to take the money instead, but Portia says that he has already refused it and must stick to his bond. She also says that he has plotted against the life of a Venetian citizen and must face the consequences. The Duke spares his life but orders him to give half of his wealth to Antonio and the other half to the state. He also forces him to convert to Christianity. Antonio agrees to give up his share of Shylock's wealth on two conditions: that Shylock leaves it to his daughter Jessica and her husband Lorenzo, who have eloped with some of his money and jewels; and that Shylock gives him his ring, which was a gift from his late wife. Shylock reluctantly agrees and leaves the court. Portia then asks Bassanio for his ring as a reward for her service. Bassanio hesitates, remembering his oath to Portia, but Antonio persuades him to give it to her. Gratiano also gives his ring to Nerissa, who asks for it as well. Portia and Nerissa then leave for Belmont, pretending to go back to Padua. Act 4: The escape and the reunion




The scene shifts to Belmont, where Jessica and Lorenzo are enjoying the night in Portia's garden. They are joined by Portia and Nerissa, who have arrived before Bassanio and Gratiano. They pretend that they have been at home all this time and that they have received letters from their husbands saying that they have given away their rings. They act angry and jealous and vow to punish them when they come back.


Bassanio and Gratiano arrive with Antonio, who has been invited by Portia to stay at her house. They are greeted by Portia and Nerissa, who confront them about their rings. Bassanio and Gratiano try to explain themselves, but Portia and Nerissa do not believe them. They accuse them of being unfaithful and ungrateful and threaten to divorce them.


At this point, Portia reveals her true identity and shows them the rings. She tells them that she was the lawyer who saved Antonio's life and that Nerissa was her clerk. She also tells them that she has obtained Shylock's ring from Antonio and that she has given it to Lorenzo and Jessica along with the rest of his estate. She then gives Antonio a letter from Bellario confirming her story. She also gives him another letter saying that three of his ships have arrived safely in Venice with rich cargo.


Bassanio and Gratiano are amazed and ashamed by what they have done. They beg for forgiveness from Portia and Nerissa, who accept their apologies and embrace them. Antonio also thanks Portia for saving his life and restoring his fortune. He says he is happy for Bassanio and Portia and wishes them all the best.


Act 5: The resolution and the moral




The play ends with a happy scene in Belmont, where all the couples are reunited and reconciled. Portia gives Bassanio a special ring that belonged to her father and tells him to keep it as a symbol of their love. She also gives Antonio a deed of gift that grants him a share of her estate for life. She says that he is welcome to stay with them as long as he likes.


Nerissa also gives Gratiano a similar ring and deed of gift. She says that she loves him despite his faults and hopes that he will be more careful with his words and actions in the future.


Jessica and Lorenzo express their gratitude to Portia for her generosity and kindness. They say that they are happy to be part of her family and hope that their marriage will be blessed with peace and harmony.


The play concludes with a moral lesson from Portia, who says that the events of the play have shown how mercy is more powerful than justice, how love is more valuable than money, how friendship is more precious than revenge, and how faith is more important than law. She says that these are the qualities that make us human and divine, and that we should strive to practice them in our lives.


Conclusion




In this article, we have given you an overview of No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf, a modern translation of one of Shakespeare's most famous and controversial plays. We have summarized the plot of the play, analyzed its main themes, and answered some frequently asked questions.


We hope that this article has helped you understand and appreciate the play and its modern adaptation. We also hope that it has inspired you to read the original text and the translation side by side and see how they compare and contrast. You can also watch some of the film or stage versions of the play and see how they interpret and portray the characters and the issues.


No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf is a great way to enjoy one of Shakespeare's most brilliant and complex comedies. It is a play that challenges us to think about our values, our beliefs, our actions, and our consequences. It is a play that entertains us with its witty dialogue, its dramatic twists, its colorful characters, and its clever plot. It is a play that teaches us about the power of mercy, the value of love, the importance of friendship, and the meaning of faith.


FAQs




Here are some frequently asked questions about No Fear Shakespeare Merchant Of Venice.pdf:



  • Q: Is The Merchant of Venice a comedy or a tragedy?



  • A: The Merchant of Venice is classified as a comedy because it has a happy ending and contains elements of humor, romance, and disguise. However, it also has some dark and serious aspects that make it more complex and ambiguous than a typical comedy. Some critics have called it a problem play or a tragicomedy because it deals with issues such as racism, anti-Semitism, revenge, justice, mercy, etc.



  • Q: Is Shylock a villain or a victim?



  • A: Shylock is one of the most controversial and debated characters in Shakespeare's plays. He is often seen as a villain because he is greedy, vengeful, cruel, and stubborn. He tries to kill Antonio and shows no mercy or remorse. He also mistreats his daughter Jessica and his servant Lancelot. However, he is also seen as a victim because he is oppressed, discriminated, abused, and humiliated by Antonio and other Christians. He suffers from the loss of his money, his jewels, his daughter, his religion, and his dignity. He also has some human and sympathetic qualities, such as his love for his wife, his eloquence, his intelligence, and his sense of humor.



  • Q: Is Portia a feminist or a sexist?



  • A: Portia is another complex and contradictory character in the play. She is often seen as a feminist because she is smart, brave, independent, and resourceful. She defies her father's will and chooses her own husband. She disguises herself as a lawyer and saves Antonio's life with her wit and logic. She also controls her own fortune and property. However, she is also seen as a sexist because she conforms to the patriarchal norms and expectations of her society. She obeys her father's will and submits to her husband's authority. She also expresses some prejudice and intolerance towards other cultures and religions.



  • Q: Is The Merchant of Venice anti-Semitic or tolerant?



  • A: The Merchant of Venice is often accused of being anti-Semitic because it portrays Jews as greedy, evil, and inhuman. It also reinforces some negative stereotypes and prejudices about Jews and their religion. However, some critics argue that the play is not anti-Semitic but tolerant because it shows the complexity and diversity of human nature. It also exposes the hypocrisy and cruelty of Christians who claim to be merciful but are not. It also gives voice to Shylock's perspective and feelings.



  • Q: Is The Merchant of Venice relevant today?



  • A: The Merchant of Venice is relevant today because it deals with themes and issues that are still important and relevant in our modern world. It explores topics such as justice vs mercy, prejudice vs tolerance, love vs money, friendship vs revenge, faith vs law, etc. It also raises questions about the nature of human relationships, the role of religion and law in society, and the morality of revenge. It also challenges us to think about our values, our beliefs, our actions, and our consequences.



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