Merchant of Venice, The - E-Guide

Progeny Press

1 review Write a Review

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

11 people looking at this.


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.

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

English/Language Arts Credit: This High School literature curriculum provides students with a one-quarter credit
Historical Background:
Explore the late 1500s context of anti-Semitism and the practice of usury and money lending in Renaissance Europe.
Author Biography: Learn about the life and legacy of William Shakespeare.
Before-You-Read Activities: Select and complete preparatory activities like delving into the topic of usury and lending through research, summarizing the concepts of justice and mercy, defining anti-Semitism, studying Shakespeare's biography, and exploring the life of Jewish communities in Europe during the 1500-1600s. 
Vocabulary: Increase your vocabulary by actively learning words that appear throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities designed to boost retention and vocabulary expansion.
Literary Techniques: Examine literary techniques present in the text, such as understanding different points of view, conducting in-depth characterization studies, examining conflicts, contemplating the concept of poetic justice, exploring the roles of heroes and villains, identifying protagonists and antagonists, exploring the nuances of comedic plays, and unraveling overarching themes.
Moral Lessons and Character Values: Analyze hypocrisy, biblical teachings on money, the implications of discrimination, the principles of justice, mercy, and honor, the concept of mercy from a divine standpoint, the influence of Christianity, and the importance of friendship.
Activities and Writing Assignments: Select from assignments such as a detailed study and research paper on racism,  essays that encompass characterization studies, comparisons and contrasts, exploration of life lessons, and even the opportunity to perform a specific scene from the play.
Suggestions for Further Reading: We provide an enriching reading list that encompasses additional plays by William Shakespeare, as well as other literary works that share thematic or stylistic connections to Merchant of Venice. Movie suggestions are also included.

All of Progeny Press' language arts PDF download unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of a Progeny Press ELA PDF study guide

Digital PDF Download

  • PDF files are available to download with no shipping costs
  • Contains the complete study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • PDf files open in the FREE Adobe Reader program.
    Note: Mobile devices may require an alternative app that supports and saves fillable form fields and interactive features.
  • Conveniently print what you need, when you need it:
    • Print the whole ELA study 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
  • Upgraded, fillable form fields allow the student the opportunity to complete their work on the computer, saving you printing costs
  • PDF format makes it easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete answer key PDF file included for the teacher to make grading simple!

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 refine 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

Warranty Information

Available to download for 1 year from date of purchase. Once downloaded, back the file up onto a Recordable CD or USB drive for safekeeping. Progeny Press retains the right to refuse replacement of lost or damaged products and/or files.

    1 Reviews

  • Posted by Sheryl Aiken on 19th Apr 2019


    Merchant of Venice

    A great help in going deeper into the play. Thought provoking questions, and I like the biblical perspective that is encouraged to be investigated as well. Good quality resource.