I need some indirect characterization quotes from The Merchant of Venice for appearance and inner thoughts based on dialogue and things below.I'm having trouble finding these indirect...

I need some indirect characterization quotes from The Merchant of Venice for appearance and inner thoughts based on dialogue and things below.

I'm having trouble finding these indirect characterization quotes for The Merchant of Venice.  I have to find quotes showing a character's appearance and inner thoughts based on (1) dialogue, (2) actions, and (3) affects of those actions on other characters.

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shaketeach's profile pic

shaketeach | High School Teacher | (Level 2) Associate Educator

Posted on

As an actor, there are several ways of discovering character.  First, what does the playwright directly tell you.  For example, "enter Shylock, a middle aged, Jewish..." (Shakespeare does not do this.)

Second, what does the character say.  Third, what does the character do.  Finally, and this is the tricky one, what do other characters say about your character.  You must understand the relationship your character has to the one speaking.

You can apply this to what you need to for your assignment.

You haven't stated which character but let us say for arguments sake we are talking about Shylock.  His appearance is only described after Jessica has run away, otherwise nothing is said about how he looks.  It is open to interpretation.  In stage versions, I have seen everything from well dressed (a businessman), exotic robes (Jewish gabardine?), and shabby (a miser, how else could he get all that money?)

As for inner thoughts, look at his asides and soliloquies.  How he speaks and what he says and to whom are also revealing.  For example he is condescending to Bassanio since he knows that the loan will be to Antonio.  Notice the change from prose  to verse in Act I, scene 3 when Antonio enters.

In a soliloquy, understand that a character is being honest with himself.  We are hearing their inner thoughts which are often a debate as the character struggles with important issues in their lives.

Actions speak louder than words.  In a play this particularly true. Ask yourself, why does Shylock refuse an enormous amount of money so he can collect his pound of flesh?  For the character, the answer is simple.  He made a pact with god when he found out that Antonio would not be able to repay the loan.  He will revenge all the hurt and shame and hatred he and his fellow Jews have suffered at the hands of the citizens of Venice.

The effects of his actions reverberate throughout the play.

Hope this has helped you both.

burymeupsidedown's profile pic

burymeupsidedown | Student, Grade 10 | eNotes Newbie

Posted on

I'm having the same problem, I have the exact same assignment for Engish 10 honors, I go back to school in 4 days! It's due on the 13th, sadly there is no answer for this question =( but...

This probably wont help, but what i had to end up doing is searching the book for quotes that had to do with each requirement, or sites with quotes has seemed to be an easier approach. Apperence seems to be the hardest to find for me. If you have any new info on this, please contact me asap. -

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