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The merchant of Venice is a play with two plots namely, the bond story and the casket story, which are linked together by the events that involve the main characters of the play. Characters: Antonio Shylock Bassanio Portia Antonio, a Merchant of Venice, agress to take a loan from Shylock(an avaricious jewish money lender)in order to furnish Bassanio, his close friend, with the means to woo the rich heiress, Portia, of Belmont. He is deceived into signing a bond which gives Shylock legal right to pound a flesh if he fails to repay the loan on time. It is tragic when Antonios bond becomes forfeit as a result of his being unable to repay the loan due to some of his merchandise being shipwrecked. Shylock insist on his legal right to the bond and thus Antonios life is endangered. Meanwhile Bassanio has fallen in love with the beautiful Portia and she with him. He succeds in making the right choice of the three caskets and wins portias hand in marriage. When news reach them about antonios misfortune, Portia generously surrenders all her worldly property to Bassanio so that he has the gold to repay Shylock and save Antonios life . after Bassanio has left for Venice , Portia leaves her home in the charge of Lorenzo and Jessica on the excuse that she and nerissa are going to the monastery to pray.in reality, armed with a letter fromDR. Bellario , Portia and Nerissa disguise themselves as DR.. Balthazar and his clerk respectively and make their waY to Venice to preside at the trial of Antonio. The main characters are assembled at the trial scene where the link between the bond story and the casket story is forged.it forms the climax of the play. Portia failing to move shylock to show compassion for Antonio , turns the tables on shylock by quibbling over the absence of the word blood in the wording of the bond realizing that he cannot have his pound of flesh without spilling any drop of blood, shylock requests thrice the amount payment for cancelling the bond. Portia charges him with an attempt to murder a citizen of Venice and states that Shylocks life lies at the mercy of the duke and half his goods will be confiscated by the state while the other half belongs to the party he has wronged. The Duke readily pardons shylock and remits the fine.Antonio requests shylocks conversion to Christianity and that Shylock should will half his property to Lorenzo and Jessica.

To play ends happily with Antonios life being saved and the three couples , Bassanio and Portia, Gratiano and Nerissa, Lorenzo and Jessica happily married. USEFUL TERMS IN LITERARY APPRECIATION ALLITERATION-the purseposeful repetition of the first letter or sound in a group of words, e.g. the wild west wind. Allusion- a reference to a well known figure in the bible, greek mythology or classical literature.e.g. Helen of troy: a prodigal son. Climax- the most important and exciting scene of action:the culmination. Denouement- the point in a story or drama when the outcome of the plot is known. Dramatic irony-dramatic irony is present when an audience is acquainted with facts withheld from some of the characters. Epithet- a descriptive word or adjective.e.g. Alexander the great. Humour-provoking laughter of various sorts e.g.witty farcical or satirical. Hyperbole-purposeful exaggeration, e.g.waves as high as mountains. Imagery-the impression made on the imagination through the senses by a set of words. Irony-the expression of ones meaning by words which appear to say the opposite of what is intended. Lyric-words expressed in song. Masque- a court entertainment which was performed on special occasions such as weddings, births, and visits from foreign dignitaries. Metaphor-a figure of speech by which a thing is spoken of as being that which it only resembles , e.g.when a ferocious man is called a tiger. Naturalistic-realistic or close to nature. Paradox-an apparent contradiction in words which conveys a sensible meaning , e.g.to die is to mbegin to live. Parody or burlesque-ludicrous imitation

Personification-the representation of abstract or inanimate things as if they are personse.g.angry winter. Pun-to play upon words similar in sound but different in meaning., e.g.to bear- to carry , to tolerate. Rhetoric the art of using words persuasively in speech and writing. Rhetorical question-a question asked only for effect , not for information, e.g.death , where is thy sting. Activity: Identify the literary appreciation figured in each sentences: 1. Shed always guarded it like Cerberus at the gates of hades. 2. God-like person in its periphery. 3. In retrospect that perception of we three against the world figure strongly in our later destinies. 4. During the first hundred years of my imprisonment 5. Necessity is the mother of invention. 6. Soft still and the night become the touches of sweet harmony 7. But in his motion like an angel sing. 8. Still quirring to the young-eyed cherubins. 9. Come ho and wake Diana with a hymn. 10. A thousand times more fair, ten thousand times more rich. 11. Only my blood speaks to you in my veins. 12. And see my wealthy Andrew dockd in sand.