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Merchant Assignment

Page history last edited by Eric Leonidas 8 years, 2 months ago


Please come into class on Wednesday and find a partner to work with (if we have an odd number of students, or if someone comes in late, we may have a group or two of three, but there shouldn't be more than that).


What you'll need:

  • a printed copy of this assignment
  • your text of Merchant, in which you've read at least through the end of Act 3 
  • paper


The assignment:  Together, you're going to write two paragraphs.  You can do this a couple of different ways.  You can collect the evidence together, and then work sentence by sentence on each paragraph; or, you can collect the evidence, and then each write one of the two paragraphs.  What I don't want is one person simply doing all the work on one paragraph, and the other person doing all the work on the second paragraph.


Here is how each paragraph should begin:

  • Over the first three acts of Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare establishes a stark contrast between what the Christians in the play apparently value and what Shylock considers important. [The paragraph that follows this topic sentence will describe at least 3 different values or beliefs held by Shylock and Antonio/Bassanio/Portia, etc.]
  • In Act 3 of Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice, Bassanio succeeds in winning Portia where two prior suitors have failed.  The reason he chooses the correct casket is ...


Note:  Before you complete the rest of the paragraphs you'll have to decide 1) what you want to argue, obviously, and 2) your evidence, 3 short passages (or even phrases) on which to base your argument.  I'd like you to list these (by act.scene.line numbers, such as 1.3.45-48) before each paragraph.


So, when I come back you'll hand be one (or two) pieces of paper that have:

  • a short list of evidence--probably 3 entries, cited by act.scene.line numbers--before each paragraph
  • 2 paragraphs beginning with the sentences above and going on to support the claims made there
  • two (or possibly three) names and signatures of the group members


Lastly, if you want to take your classwork home and type it up, that's fine, but I'll accept hand-written paragraphs, too.


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