The Merchant of Venice

Read William Shakespeare’s `The Merchant of Venice and then write about:

1. Who’s the Protagonist?

2. Shylock: Villain or Victim? In terms of the play’s plot, Shylock seems to be set up as a villain; there are, however, certain elements of the play itself that indicate that perhaps Shakespeare does not intend him to be understood only in the role of a villain. What do you think? Does Shakespeare intend us to read Shylock only as a bad guy, or is there more going on here? If you find yourself being sympathetic to Shylock, how much of your sympathy is due, do you think, to our different attitude nowadays toward religious difference?

3. Other Themes in The Merchant of Venice: It can be easy to focus entirely on the Shylock-Antonio