William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice
Lesson plans and other teaching ideas

For introductory, background and other resources, try Shakespeare and the Elizabethan Age. For links to other plays, try the Shakespeare Main Page.

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The Merchant of Venice Teaching Unit
Introductory lecture, scene-by-scene lesson plans, essay and discussion questions, assessments. Also available: response journal, activity pack, more.

60-Second Shakespeare
On this page, a tabloid-style summary of the play from the BBC. Follow links to learn how your students can produce something similar.

Anti-Semitism and The Merchant of Venice
This 23-page guide includes tips for teaching controversial texts, background information and activities, analysis and interpretation of Shylock, a glossary of terms, and nonfiction/informational text on the history of antisemitism. Access requires Adobe Reader.

Bad guys don't always wear black hats: Is there more than one villain in The Merchant of Venice?
Students examine the text to examine negative behaviors in other characters and compare those with Shylock's actions.

English Class in Performance
If you want your students to get up and perform Shakespeare, here are some abridged scripts: The Merchant of Venice, A Midsummer Night's Dream, Macbeth, Romeo and Juliet, and The Tempest.

"I am not well": Unspoken Endings and Unscripted scenes
Students hypothesize the content of unscripted moments and responses, search for evidence in the actual text to support their hypothesis, and explore how this hypothesis would affect characterization.

Merchant of Venice
Scroll down for writing and discussion questions.

The Merchant of Venice
Plot summary, themes, a discussion of anti-Semitism in Elizabethan England, more.

The Merchant of Venice
Reading strategies, including an anticipation guide and a KWHL chart.

Portia in The Merchant of Venice
This character analysis is critical of Portia.

She's a Lady...Or is She? Examining dress and behavior in As You Like It and The Merchant of Venice
In this unit, students will analyze the dress and behavior of Portia in The Merchant of Venice and Rosalind in As You Like It. Students will read a primary source to understand the expectations of women in the sixteenth century and help them understand how transgressive dressing as a man would have seemed. Students will analyze the characters' choices, their effects, and their implications for themselves and others.

A Teacher's Guide for The Merchant of Venice and Othello
These lesson plans and classroom activities are provided by PBS as part of the ExxonMobil Masterpiece Theatre series.

Visualizing Shylock
Students examine and analyze historical works of art that present a wide variety of interpretations of Shylock's character.

Welcome to Venice
Students read the opening scene of The Merchant of Venice multiple times without any background information. They will be forced to rely on the text to form judgments about characters, which they will later evaluate as they study the rest of the play.

William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
This site supports the 2004 Michael Radford film starring Al Pacino and Jeremy Irons. Follow the links to the study guide, which requires Adobe Reader for access.

www.Merchant of Venice
Students use an online concordance to examine patterns of imagery in the play.

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