Friday, March 28, 2008

Introduction to The Merchant of Venice



Before we head in to the world of Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, we're going to complete a little round-robin group activity thing that I think works pretty well. This activity will get you some fast information about the time period, the themes, and the literary devices we'll be encountering in this play.

What you wil do:

In groups, you will need to work together to create a visual that explains:
-One popular saying
-One theme
-One literary definition
-One vocabulary word definition
-One quotation from the play
-One major historical connection

Each group will be assigned a number. Each group will be assigned different topics and words. Once each group has created its poster, you'll present to the class. After you all present, we'll talk about what we think is going to happen in this play.

Here are the assignments for each group:
Group 1
Saying: Women can be just as ruthless as men, maybe even more so.
Theme: Self-interest versus actual love
Literary Definition: tragicomedy
Vocabulary Word: filial piety
Quotation: Love is blind, and lovers cannot see/ The pretty follies that themselves commit" (2.6) and
"All that glisters is not gold" (2.7)
Historical Connection: Elizabethan Marriage

Group 2
Saying: Don't count your chickens until they've hatched.
Theme: The healing power of mercy
Literary Definition: tragic flaw
Vocabulary Word: anti-semitism
Quotation: "The devil can cite scriptures for his purpose" (1.3)
Historical Connection: Anti-Semitism: Religious or Racial?

Group 3
Saying: I was going to sell it for more but was jewed down.
Theme: Hatred repeats itself throughout history
Literary Definition: monolgue
Vocabulary Word: rhetoric
Quotation: "Mislike me not for my complexion" (2.1)
Historical Connection: History of Jews in England & Depictions of Shylock (find 3 pics)

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