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Merchant of Venice, The - Study Guide

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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.

Through William Shakespeare’s complicated comedy, Merchant of Venice, students will learn:

Historical Background: late 1500s anti-Semitism, usury and money lending in Renaissance Europe.

Author Biography: Learn about William Shakespeare.

Before-You-Read Activities:  Research usury/lending, write a summary of justice/mercy, define anti-Semitism, author biography, Jewish life in 1500-1600s Europe.

Vocabulary words used throughout the novel, utilizing a variety of activities to stimulate retention and growth.

Literary Techniques:  Point of view, characterization study, conflict, poetic justice, heroes and villains, protagonists, antagonists, comedic plays, theme.

Moral Lessons and Character Values: Hypocrisy, Biblical teaching on money, discrimination, principles of justice, mercy, and honor, mercy from God, Christianity, friendship.

Activities and Writing Assignments: Racism study and research paper, final essays including characterization studies, compare and contrast, life lessons, and dramatic acting of one scene.

Suggestions for Further Reading:  We include an in-depth reading list of more plays by the same author(s) and other books that tie in with, or are similar to, Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare. Movie suggestions included.

All of the unit lessons are written from a Christian worldview!

Features and Benefits of the study guide

 Printed Workbook Format

  • Large 8.5x11 format is convenient to read and easy on the eyes
  • Every question has plenty of whitespace for 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
  • Convenient, removable answer key included for the teacher!

 CD Format

  • Provides the study guide in universally compatible PDF format (works on Mac AND Windows)
  • No costly software purchases necessary
  • Our Interactive 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 guide at once
    • Print single lessons or pages as the student completes them
    • Print multiple copies of the entire guide for classroom sets
  • Easy to use with multiple students
  • Complete separate answer key file included for the teacher!
Recommended Grade Level:
9-12
Setting:
Venice, Italy 1500s
Genre:
Shakespearean Comedy, British Literature
Workbook ISBN:
978-1-58609-375-4
CD ISBN:
978-1-58609-595-6
Study Guide Author:
Bethine Ellie
For the Book By:
William Shakespeare
Study Guide Page Count:
39 pages

Reviews

  • 4
    The Merchant of Venice

    Posted by Aptz22 on 27th Apr 2018

    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.