Teacher Guide

Merchant of Venice Lesson Plan

Introduction to Merchant of Venice

The Merchant of Venice has long been among Shakespeare's most controversial plays, largely due to its somewhat nebulous treatment of the subject of anti-semitism. In Shylock, Shakespeare beautifully shows a person who suffers from deep emotional scars due to racism--and Shylock has the audience's pity. However, the bigoted characters in Merchant never see the error in their ways and are never punished in the slightest for their mistreatment of Jews such as Shylock.

Although somewhat avoided due to controversial subject matter, Merchant remains a relatively popular part of the Shakespeare canon due to its engaging plots, compelling cast of characters and iconic speeches--most notably...

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