The Merchant of Venice essay revision sheet In our unit on the play, we looked at the storyline involving Antonio and Shylock, and their relationship. Through these characters, we learnt about the theme of revenge versus mercy, but we also learn about the effects that prejudice can have on someone. By focusing your study on these two characters you can answer a wide range of essay questions. See the table below which has brief introductions and topic sentences for a range of questions and body paragraphs.
Two key tips:
YOU MUST NOT LEARN ESSAYS OFF BY HEART – for instance, an “important” theme would be discussed differently from an “inspiring” theme, so you need to adapt what you know to the essay question, not make a question fit an essay you already have in your head.
DO NOT REPEAT INFORMATION/EXAMPLES BETWEEN PARAGRAPHS
Describe an important conflict in a text. Explain why this conflict was important.
An important relationship in The Merchant of Venice is the relationship between the merchant Antonio and the Jewish moneylender Shylock. They are enemies and their relationship is significant in the text because their actions towards each other teach us about the important themes of mercy and revenge.
An event that shocked me in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare was when Shylock asked Antonio for a pound of flesh. This event helped me understand the ideas of prejudice and revenge, because it shows how being bullied can push someone to do something horrible.
An interesting idea in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is revenge versus mercy. This idea is interesting because it shows how being bullied can make people want revenge and that even if someone wants to hurt you it is important to show mercy.
An important conflict in The Merchant of Venice by William Shakespeare is the conflict between Antonio and Shylock. This conflict is based on religion and the practice of money-lending, or usury. It is important because it helps us understand the theme of revenge versus mercy.