anyone have a sample answer for the Merchant of Venice
Try Aoifesnotes.com there is a 2011 sample answer there
he courtroom scene could come up this is my answer for it
The play that I have studied is ‘The Merchant of Venice’ by William Shakespeare. This play is set in Venice against a backdrop of commerce, greed and religious prejudice. A scene with a very strong atmosphere is the courtroom scene in which Antonio is at the mercy of Shylock.
This scene takes place near the end of the play and the atmosphere is full of tension. Antonio is a wealthy Venetian merchant and Shylock is a Jew and a money-lender or ‘usurer’. Antonio finds himself in court because he borrowed three thousand ducats from Shylock in the belief that he would be able to pay him back as soon as his ships returned from sea. According to the terms of the loan or the ‘bond’, if Antonio does not pay back the loan in three months, Shylock is entitled to a pound of Antonio’s flesh, which Shylock will cut off his body.
This scene is very tense because it looks like Antonio is entirely in Shylock’s power. The Duke pleads with Shylock to have mercy but Shylock is merciless. As Shylock’s bond is legally binding and he bears a terrible grudge against Antonio, it looks like nothing can save him until Portia arrives in disguise and saves the day. Antonio is saved from death and Shylock is severely punished.
directing a play could come up too
In order to create an atmosphere of tension and suspense, I would direct the actors to emphasise the most powerful images in the scene. For instance, images of the wolf and the lamb portray Shylock as a vicious predator and Antonio as an innocent victim (a lamb to the slaughter). This imagery heightens our sense of danger, adding to the tension. When Antonio says, ‘You may as well use question with the wolf/Why he hath made the ewe bleat for the lamb’, he should stress the words, 'wolf' and 'lamb', as the audience will sense the danger.
Shylock should seem truly frightening in this scene. As Antonio is in his power, he should act arrogantly as though he is very sure of himself. When he says, ‘The pound of flesh which I demand of him/Is dearly bought, ‘tis mine and I will have it!’ he should sneer or laugh as though he is relishing the moment. He should also seem to be excited as he is about to get his pound of flesh. His arrogance would set him up for his fall and it would also create nail-biting tension for the audience who would see no way out for Antonio.
Portia’s role in the scene is crucial to the atmosphere of tension so I would make sure that she is the star of this scene and I would direct the actors to focus all their attention on her when she turns up in disguise. Her costume would have to be very cleverly designed so I would tell the wardrobe department to make sure that she is cleverly disguised but still recognisable to the audience.
When Portia proclaims ‘You must prepare your bosom for his knife’, the other actors should react with horror as it looks as if Shylock has won and all hope is lost for Antonio. As Antonio’s shirt is opened to ‘lay bare’ his bosom, Shylock should slowly take out a knife and hold it up to the light before sharpening it on a leather belt. This moment should occur very slowly to prolong the agony as the audience imagines Antonio’s gruesome torture before he dies.
Finally, for the cliff-hanger, when Portia orders Shylock to ‘tarry a little’, I would direct all the actors to stand motionless and silent as they stare at Portia in suspense. The spotlight should be on Portia and she should be standing at some height above the other actors as the whole room is in her power now when she announces:
‘This bond doth give thee here no jot of blood
…Take then thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh,
But in the cutting of it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood (pause for effect)…’
As this is the climax of the scene and Antonio is now saved, I would allow the tension to dissolve while Shylock’s fate is decided and the men thank Portia for her good work.