Il mercante di Venezia

Materie:Appunti
Categoria:Inglese
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Data:06.04.2007
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Testo

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he merchant of Venice is a drama divided into five acts according to the Shakespearean canon and it counts on a total of twenty scenes, characterised by different length.
In the first act are put the bases of the story and all the main characters appear on the stage: Bassanio, eager to marry a rich heiress, goes to Antonio, although he has already incurred in numerous debts with him, in order to borrow three thousand ducats.
Portia and Nerissa reveal to the reader the strange invention of the three boxes during a nice dialogue in the second scene and they animatedly discuss about the suitors of the beautiful queen of Belmont. In the meanwhile Antonio, who hasn’t the sufficient cash for the friend at that moment, goes with him to Shylock, who plans a personal revenge towards the Christian enemy, destined to give a pound of his meat in case of “unsuccessful” compensation of the loan.
The second is the longest act in the whole tragedy and bases itself on twenty scenes.
The vicissitudes of Antonio, Bassanio and Shylock, which, however, remain on the background, are left out by the author for a while; Lorenzo reveals to the spectator his love for Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, who has towards him the same feelings and with whom she runs away from the father’s home; Portia is busy with the Prince of Arragon and the Prince of Morocco, her suitors, who fall, however, in her father’s trap, choosing the wrong boxes.
In this context the comic situation of the drama develops (in the second scene): Lancelot, servant to Shylock, and his father, the old Gobbo are the protagonists.
The opera continues with the presentation of a very serious accident: the ships, which would guarantee to Antonio the money to put out the debt with Shylock, are lost with their precious cargo.
The second scene, settled in Belmont, has Bassanio as protagonist, who, trying one’s luck, chooses that box of plumb which will make him consort of the beautiful Portia. This moment of joy is suddenly interrupted by a letter from Antonio that informs the friend about the unlucky end of the only financial resource of the merchant of Venice.
Bassanio takes leave of Portia who ensures him her financial availability in order to ransom Antonio from Shylock: but the Jew hasn’t the intention of doing it and he claims the pound of Christian meat; in the meanwhile, unbeknown to her husband, the beautiful Portia plans the strategy which will bring to the happy ending of the drama.
In the second-last act the feared trial takes place: during the first part of the audience with the doge, Antonio gives up all hope for his salvation; however, in the second scene, an unexpected event upsets the sentence. Portia, wearing a toga of lawyer, and Nerissa, her secretary, bring an escape (he can’t cut a pound of his meat without shedding a drop of his blood) for the merchant of Venice, who will preserve his bodily integrity and the money offered before.
Afterwards the astute lawyer will accuse Shylock of having deliberately plotted against a citizen of Venice, giving rise to the confiscation of part of his properties, which he won’t completely lose with his conversion to the Christianity and other promises.
The last part of this act is dedicated to the joke of the two rings, implemented by Portia and Nerissa towards their husbands.
The whole situation is explained in the only scene of the V act of the drama when the ladies will reveal the plan that brought to the salvation of Antonio who, among other things, will discover that his ships are safe.

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