The Merchant of Venice Appearance and Reality I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano

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The Merchant of Venice
Appearance and Reality
"I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano

A stage where every man must play a part

And mine a sad one" (1,1, 79-80).

Tick or cross the following statements. Defend your reasoning with supporting evidence from the play.

Level 1
· All that glitters is not gold

· Portia dresses as a man in order to escape the confines of the female gender

· Bassanio come to Belmont as a beggar

· Antonio appears depressed but denies it is his business ventures

· Shylock appears mean and greedy

· Portia is not beautiful

· Shylock's defensive attitude is a result of years of abuse
Level 2
· A "noble friendship" exists between Antonio and Bassanio

· The inner person is often hidden by a mask

· Make up and appearance are important features of our lives

· Bassanio's loss of the ring shows that he does not value deep love symbolized by the ring

· Telling lies can be justified in certain situations

· Shylock treats Antonio honestly

Level 3
· Racism is derived from appearance

· Mercy is an inner value rather than an outward value

· Justice is the outward symbol of our civilisation

· Portia's ring deception is to test Bassanio's inner nature

· Faces act as a motif for appearance and reality in the play

· Portia is the spokesperson for inner reality as against outward appearance

"like a villain with a smiling cheek

a goodly apple rotten at the heart" (1,3, 97-98)

© Ministry of Education, Wellington, New Zealand (First published 1998)

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