Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Merchant of Venice Act 2, Scenes 1-5


crazy times, crazy times! workin workin workin. LUSH is a great summer job and a STELLAR company. if you've never used LUSH before, you are seriously missing out! check it out. okay, now that i've plugged my new favorite green company, on to shakespeare. oh yeah.

act 2, scene 1
Morocco, the latest of Portia's suitors, begs her not to judge him by the dark tone of his skin. he is much adored by the ladies of Morocco. Portia isn't particularly impressed by that, but assures him that she likes him just as much as any of her suitors. she makes Morocco promise that if he fails the 'lott'ry' set out by her late father, he will never try to woo her again. he agrees. it is decided that he will face the challenge after dinner.

act 2, scene 2
Lancelot, Shylock's servant, is going on and on about... something. he is debating whether or not to leave Shylock to work for Bassanio, that much is clear. it is also clear that he doesn't like Shylock for many reasons, one of which is because he doesn't feed Lancelot enough. Lancelot's blind father, Gobbo, comes down the road looking for Shylock and Lancelot. Gobbo has a gift for Shylock. but instead of just helping him, Lancelot has to have his fun and confuse the poor old man. finally, Bassanio comes along. Gobbo and Lancelot ask him to let Lancelot be his servant. with all of his borrowed money, Bassanio is preparing to go to Belmont. he is trying to look upper crust, with his servants decked out in uniform. Lancelot wants in on this action. Bassanio agrees to take him on and sends orders for Lancelot to have the nicest uniform of all. Gratiano enters, begging Bassanio to take him to Belmont with him. Bassanio is hesitant because Gratiano tends to get a little rowdy. Gratiano promises to be on his best behavior... after tonight. tonight they will feast and get their drink on.

act 2, scene 3
Jessica is sorry to see Lancelot go. she is miserable living with her father, and Lancelot has provided her with some joy. before Lancelot can go, however, Jessica gives him a letter to give to Lorenzo. Jessica feels bad that she is ashamed of Shylock, but desperately wants to get out of his house so she can marry Lorenzo.

act 2, scene 4
Lorenzo, Gratiano, Salerio, and Solanio are plotting. what they are plotting is unclear to me. (see questions below.) they are supposed to dine with Shylock that night, but something fishy is going on. and part of it has to do with Jessica.

act 2, scene 5
Shylock calls for his daughter, Jessica, as he talks to Lancelot. Shylock explains to Jessica that he is headed out to dinner with Bassanio and his crew. he has a bad feeling about going to dine with his enemies, but will anyway. Lancelot lets it slip that there is something going down with masques. Shylock is taken aback, but still decides to go, demanding that Jessica shut herself up in the house as tight as can be. Shylock reflects that he likes Lancelot, but he eats too much and is too slow. he's happy for his enemy to have these problems instead of him. (see quote below.) Shylock leaves and Jessica is left home alone.

this play is really clipping right along, isn't it? i feel like the scenes in other plays have been so much longer. is this a trend we are going to see more of? and either way, why? would be interesting to look into. anybody have any insight?

ew Morocco. he's a little full of himself, isn't he? he reminds me of the suitor in Aladdin hahaha. and Raja eats his pants. hahaha. good times. now here's my question: does Portia really like him, or is she giving him a backhanded compliment when she says: 'yourself, renowned Prince, then stood as fair/as any comer i have looked on yet.' she hasn't liked any of her suitors. is this an obvious joke she's making and i'm questioning it for no reason or what?

i'm gonna say it- Lancelot is really hard to follow. when he talks i mostly have no idea what's going on. or i think i do and then it doesn't make sense in context or doesn't amount to anything. first monologue in scene 2? help!

i am also a little confused about the masques. like... what the heck is going on? i think the boys are up to no good, but i don't really get it further than that. and i'm not sure what Jessica is up to either. i get that she's in love with Lorenzo, but i don't get what it is they are trying to do. maybe it will all become clear in the scenes to come?

quote of the day:
'the patch is kind enough, but a huge feeder,
snail-snow in profit, and he sleeps by day
more than the wildcat. drones hive not with me;
therefore i part with him, and part with him
to one that i would have him help to waste
his borrowed purse. well, Jessica, go in.
perhaps i will return immediately.
do as i bid you. shut doors after you.
fast bind, fast find--
a proverb never stale in thrifty mind.'
   -Shylock; act 2, scene 5

for tomorrow: act 2, scenes 6-9

-rebecca may

No comments:

Post a Comment