Sunday, July 3, 2011

The Merchant of Venice Act 2, Scenes 6-9


it's been another crazy day! meeting at LUSH for two hours, closed Veronica's Room, went to lunch after with the cast and crew, went to see Tree of Life (so good), ran errands, read Shakespeare, and now i'm watching Falling Skies with my Sean. good times! but as usual, it puts me in a mad dash to get some sleep! so before i pass out, let's get our Shakespeare on!

act 2, scene 6
Gratiano and Salerio are waiting for Lorenzo to show up at Shylock/Jessica's house. Lorenzo finally shows up with his apologies, and calls Jessica down. she is dressed as a boy in order to flee more easily. she is super self-conscious about it, but Lorenzo reassures her that he loves her regardless. Lorenzo, Jessica, and Salerio exit, but Gratiano is caught by Antonio's entrance before he leaves. Antonio tells Gratiano that he must go at once. Bassanio is leaving that night! the masque is cancelled. it's time to go to Belmont!

act 2, scene 7
Portia is with Morocco, trying to beat the riddle so he can marry her. the curtain is drawn and 3 chests are revealed: one with gold, one with silver, and one with lead. each has a little rhyme on it. Morocco tries to work it out, and eventually picks the chest of gold. that, however, is the wrong choice. (see quote below.) he is sent packing, and Portia is not sorry to see him go.

act 2, scene 8
meanwhile, Salerio and Solanio update us on what's been going on in Venice. Bassanio and Gratiano have taken off in their ship toward Belmont. Jessica and Lorenzo have disappeared, but didn't make it to the ship. Shylock is RAGING. it is unclear whether he's more upset about losing his daughter or the money she took with her. and in worse news, they've heard that one of Antonio's ships might have come to a bad end.

act 2, scene 9
a new suitor has come for Portia. this time, the Prince of Aragon is the one to take a stab at the challenge. unlike Morocco, however, Aragon picks silver. just like Morocco, he has chosen wrong. as he leaves, a new suitor is arriving. according to a messenger, this suitor is different. Portia and her waiting gentlewoman hope it's Bassanio.

again, i am feeling bad for Shylock rather than seeing him as a villain. i remember in a couple of the other plays that it was around late act 3 or early act 4 that Shakespeare does the old switcheroo on us. and then we change sides. so will Shakespeare pull that on us again? right now i see a man who has fought to make a living, suffered against prejudice, and has a defense mechanism of being a stickler about money because he had to work so hard to get it. he hates Christians because they hate him. he hates Lorenzo because he took his daughter and his money. so far, i completely understand where Shylock is coming from. is a change of heart looming?

i heard a great RadioLab about speech where they talked about all the different words and sayings that Shakespeare invented that we still use today. it is actually quite remarkable. there are SO many of them. check it out if you can! and see one such phrase below...

quote of the day:
'all that glisters is not gold;
often have you heard that told.
many a man his life hath sold
but my outside to behold.
gilded tombs do worms infold.'
   -act 2, scene 7

for tomorrow: act 3!

-rebecca may

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