Merchant of Venice, The - Study Guide

Progeny Press

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Grade Range: 9-12

English/Language Arts Credit: 1/4 Credit

Setting: Venice, Italy

Genre: British Literature, Shakespeare

Page Count: 36 + Answer Key

Approximate Completion Time: 7 weeks

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The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare begins with the impulsive and carefree nobleman Bassanio. He is in love with Portia, the rich heiress from Belmont. Portia is being courted by many great and wealthy men from around the world. Without sufficient funds to court Portia, Bassanio turns to his good friend Antonio, a wealthy merchant, to supply him with enough money to support his quest. But because Antonio has invested all his money in ships that are at sea, to help his friend Antonio is forced to borrow 3,000 ducats from the greedy Jewish moneylender Shylock. He agrees to sacrifice a pound of flesh if he forfeits the loan.
The comic results and complications are a lesson in love, friendship, prejudice, and true justice.

Find all Progeny Press Shakespeare titles

Progeny Press' Merchant of Venice English/Language Arts curriculum will provide your High School grade student with:

English/Language Arts credit: Explore a comprehensive one-quarter credit high school-level Literature curriculum that delves into the rich world of literary analysis and critique.
Historical Background: Transport yourself to Renaissance Europe in the late 1500s, delving into the complex themes of anti-Semitism, usury, and money lending that defined the era.
Author Biography: Learn about the life and works of the legendary playwright, William Shakespeare.
Before-You-Read Activities:  Prepare for a deep literary analysis with activities like researching usury and lending practices, summarizing the concepts of justice and mercy, defining anti-Semitism, exploring the author's biography, and immersing yourself in the world of Jewish life in 1500-1600s Europe.
Vocabulary:Enhance your language arts study by mastering vocabulary through diverse activities aimed at fostering retention and growth.
Literary Techniques: Conduct a thorough literature analysis by studying key literary techniques, including point of view, in-depth character studies, conflicts, the concept of poetic justice, the dynamics of heroes and villains, protagonists and antagonists, the art of comedic plays, and thematic exploration.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Explore deep moral lessons and character values, including discussions on hypocrisy, biblical teachings on money, discrimination, principles of justice, mercy, and honor, divine mercy, the intersection of Christianity, and the essence of friendship.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Engage in a series of critical activities and writing assignments, including a racism study and research paper, final essays encompassing characterization studies, comparative analysis, extracting life lessons, and dramatic performances of select scenes.
Suggestions for Further Reading:  Discover a reading list featuring more plays by William Shakespeare and books that complement and share similarities with Merchant of Venice. Movie suggestions are also included for extra enjoyment and learning.

All of Progeny Press' Language Arts unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA study guide

 Printed Workbook Format

  • Large 8.5x11 format is convenient to read and easy on tired teenage high school student's eyes
  • Every question in our novel unit study has plenty of whitespace for high school level student’s answers
  • Encourages neat and clean handwriting practice
  • Easily transports without the need for a laptop or other expensive equipment
  • Provides a permanent record of the student’s work
  • Complete, removable answer key included for the teacher to make grading simple!

 CD Format

  • Provides the study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • Our PDF Study Guide should be opened with the FREE Adobe Reader program. With the interactive feature, students have the capability of entering their answers directly on the computer and saving their work in progress.
    Note: Mobile Devices/Tablets may require alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields.
  • Or choose to conveniently print what you need, when you need it:
    • Print the whole ELA PDF guide at once
    • Print single literature lessons or pages as the student completes them
    • Print multiple copies of the entire curriculum study guide for classroom sets
  • PDF format makes it easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete answer key PDF file included for the teacher!

Formatted with your High School grade student in mind, Progeny Press language arts study guides divide the book into writing assignments and lessons that strengthen their reading comprehension, vocabulary, and refines their critical analysis and writing skills. Each Progeny Press novel study accomplishes all of this without busy work that can drain the fun out of reading and literature! Kids have loved using Progeny Press ELA curriculum in homeschool, co-ops, and private schools around the world for over 30 years!

Extra Information

Progeny Press
Recommended Grade Level:
Venice, Italy 1500s
British Literature, Shakespeare
Study Guide Page Count:
39 pages
Study Guide Author:
Bethine Ellie
For the Play By:
William Shakespeare
Workbook ISBN:

    1 Reviews

  • Posted by Aptz22 on 27th Apr 2018


    The Merchant of Venice

    We have found that each Study Guide from Progeny Press provide questions that truly allow the student to think and reflect on the book and encourages them write detailed answers and observations. We have been very pleased with each guide we have used and would definitely recommend Progeny Press to others.