Essay about Merchant of Venice Film Analysis

2451 Words Feb 12th, 2012 10 Pages
English 101-210
Final Draft
Battle of the Directors The Merchant of Venice, also known as “The Jew of Venice” is a drama play originally written by William Shakespeare in 1598. The major conflict occurs when a man named Antonio (Venetian merchant) fails to pay off a loan to a greedy Jewish money loaner known as Shylock who demands a pound of flesh from Antonio in return. Antonio and his friends take a journey through friendship, love, and hatred in an attempt to free him of his pound of flesh fate induced by Shylock. Imagine yourself sitting in the master minds of directors Michael Radford and John Sichel while they are directing their adaptations of the play. Imagine experiencing their unique ideas first hand looking through their
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By having the prince travel alone it appears that he has more to offer in the sense of bravery and boldness to Portia compared to when he comes with his friends. The viewers could see that Sichel uses the prince seeking for love in solitude as a symbol of nobility and heroicness to support the character’s personality. The audience watching Radford’s interpretation may give them the opinion that his choice lowers the prince’s independence by bringing in unnecessary characters. This choice does not present the characters very well when compared to Sichel’s.
Analyzing the same scene above but in a different perspective it is apparent to the viewer that in Sichels’s film the setup of the caskets can be seen as symbolic to the prince’s actions. The prince is standing behind the triangle shaped display of caskets and asks Portia how he will know if he chooses the right one, after her response he says, “some God direct my judgment…” while looking up at the ceiling (26:42 – 26:45)( " YouTube - The Merchant of Venice (1973). Part 4 of 14.”). The shape of a triangle stands for many beliefs according to many ancient beliefs. This shape is associated with the number 3 for there are three caskets to choose from. Each corner is said to symbolize “The Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit”; while this shape is said to represent God the prince of Moscow looks up towards the ceiling as