Year 11 Merchant Home Learning

How would you act out this scene? Post your answer in the comments box:

ANTONIO Well, tell me now what lady is the same
To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
That you to-day promised to tell me of?
BASSANIO ‘Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
How much I have disabled mine estate,
By something showing a more swelling port
Than my faint means would grant continuance:
Nor do I now make moan to be abridged
From such a noble rate; but my chief care
Is to come fairly off from the great debts
Wherein my time something too prodigal
Hath left me gaged.


28 thoughts on “Year 11 Merchant Home Learning

  1. ollie

    I would use allot of enthisis in the extract to give alot of some of the points more feeling .”i have disabled mine estate” this implies that he is in he love and has given up everything. This extract will have allot of emotion to enthersise the point

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      You need to be more specific, Ollie. What will he do, or how will he express these lines to give them ’emphasis’? Which of the many emotions is the one he is feeling? ________________________________________

  2. Harriet

    Antonio and Bassanio are good friends so this scene should be acted in a way that shows their closeness.
    ‘Well, tell me now what lady is the same
    To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
    That you to-day promised to tell me of?’
    this line by Antonio is asking Bassanio to tell him something about a girl that Bassanio previously promised to tell Antonio about, so Antonio would be quite stern to get the answer out of him and then act surprised to Bassanio’s response where he talks about his finances and wanting to pay off his debts instead of talking about the girl.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      And how is Bassanio acting? What are his feelings at this point? In 7 minutes, you need to get down three points and cover the whole of the short extract ________________________________________

  3. joe dooley

    I would put more emphasis on phrases such as “secret pilgrimage” to ensure the audience hears it and understands its importance. Bassanio wants to ensure that few people know about his visit to Portia and has not even told Antonio, his best friend, all about it yet as Antonio says “That you to-day promised to tell me of?”. I would put emphasis on the words “today” and “tell” to show this.

    When Bassanio speaks, i would gesture towards antonio and place emphasis on the first two lines, maybe with a slightly annoyed tone to it as well. The res, i would act as if explaining somthing to someone while annoyed at them.- emphasising key words, such as “my” and “great” ,and gesturing a lot towards Antonio.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Thanks Joe. The first paragraph had some detail in it and the second (and third, next time!) should too. For example, you said you’d have the actor ‘act as if explaining somthing to someone’ but what would this look like SPECIFICALLY?

    2. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Joe, You need to show insight into the feelings and thoughts of these characters – not just show understanding of what they are saying. Why’s Bassanio annoyed at Antonio? he’s asking him for (a lot of) money! Mr Bakewell ________________________________________

  4. Rhiannon

    This scene is clearly between two best friends, Bassanio and Antonio, and this is where Bassanio asks Antonio for money, despite not paying his previous debts, so the actor playing Bassanio should incorporate a twinge of guilt when he speaks to Antonio. The actors should take up an informal stance, before Antonio speaks his line in an inquisitive tone, so that the audience instantly knows that they are friendly associates. Antonio should be warm and friendly to Bassanio, eager to know what Baassanio is thinking. Although they are friends, there should be a tense moment when Bassanio launches into his speech, avoiding the question, and instead regarding the debts he owes to Antonio with great shame and dismay. His speech should be performed in an exaggerated voice, clearly showing his dismay, arms flailing out to represent the sudden build up of emotion and shame he has for his actions, taking advantage of his friend’s wealth numerous times, although the upcoming time he asks is not apparent to Antonio, but is slightly touched upon during Bassanio’s speech, which is complimented by his pacing to and fro as though impatient and in a hurry, compared to that of Antonio, who remains in one spot calmly attentive towards Bassanio.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      lovely answer, Rhiannon, but I’d like to hear a little more about Antonio’s response – why’s he so ‘attentive’? In the exam, you need to be more specific to individual lines to 9but you have a clear grasp of the scene) ________________________________________

  5. Jake

    When performing this extract, I think that when Antonio says “secret pilgrimage” he should put emphasis on the word secret by maybe raising his voice slightly because it seems like an important word and it would create an effect on the audience.
    When Bassanio performs his lines I think that he should use hand gestures because it is quite a long speech and it would keep people interested.
    I think that Bassanio should try and act quite guilty aswell because he is asking Antonio to borrow money after previously borrowing money off of him and not paying it back.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      This is approaching the right idea, but it is not specific enough to be awarded many marks, Jake. ‘it seems like an important word’?! ‘hand gestures…would keep people interested’ (no they wouldn’t – what keeps an audience interested is seeing how a character resolves conflict). Which line could be performed in a guilty way? Build on this, Jake. ________________________________________

  6. Georgia Atkins

    Due to Bassanio and Antonio being such close friends I would put them standing next to each other. When Antonio says the phrase ‘that you to-day promised to tell me of?’, Antonio should put emphasis when saying ‘you’ and could almost poke him on the shoulder in a sarcastic/excited tone. However his facial expression would now that he was being serious but still friendly towards Bassanio.

    When Bassanio is speaking he should look intently into Antonio’s eyes, showing that he is only concentrating on him and really means what he is saying. Moreover when he says the phrase ‘t’is not unknown to you Antonio..’ He should do a hand gesture towards Antonio to really engage him and make him feel more involved.

  7. Alix Hopley

    When performing this extract, Antonio’s line: ‘To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage’ I think you should speak quietly to imply it is a secret as the line reads, however read it slowly as to not lose any of the words and still understand them. I think Antonio should maybe walk slowly closer to Bassanio at this point to and kind of say it closer to his face.
    When Bassanio replies to Antonio’s statement, saying ‘How much I have disabled mine estate’ I think he should say it with a raised voice, to show that he is coming back at Antonio with a argument against his, proving his love for the girl. I think he should step towards Antonio as well, this will help his appear strong and show Antonio that he is strong-minded.

  8. Josie

    Due to Bassanio and Antonio’s intense friendship, the extract should be performers with depth. For instance in the line “That you to-day promised to tell me of? Antonio should speak with upper class language to show the audience that he is the one that has the money. He also wants to sound very caring as he is about to lend money to his friend who he cares dearly for. But his line should sound doubtful as if to say “why should I lend you money again when he haven’t repaid your last debt to me?”. This will make e audience ponder.
    The line “Tis not unknown to you, Antonio, How much I have disabled mine estate” a sense of embarrassment and guilt for the fact that he has not yet paid back what he owes his friend. Bassanio should use many hand gestures not only to engage the audience but to imply that he is genuinely sorry and he deeply wants this money to impress the love of his life.

  9. Finley

    Section 6
    The extract shows Bassanio and Antonio are very close friends after Bassanio asks him for money. For example he address’ him by saying “O my Antonio”. This is formal language meaning Bassanio thinks highly of him as a friend. Because of this, when acting it out i would make both the characters stance and tone of voice friendly towards each other, suggesting they’re a good friend and also eager on hearing what one another have to say.

  10. Olivia Kennard

    Antonio and Bassanio are best friends, however, in this extract it is clear that Antonio does not approve of why Bassanio is asking to lend money. Therefore, there should be clear emphasis of actions showing this to the audience.
    If I had to play the role of Antonio, for the first phrase, “well, tell me now” I would use a facial expression of disgust and confusion to portray to the audience Antonio’s disapproval. Futhermore, where there is a comma after “well” I would ensure that I had my hands out in front of me to exaggerate the desperation felt by a Antonio trying to discover why Bassanio needs this money for the sake of a woman.
    To continue, when Bassanio says “Tis not unknown to you, Antonio” I would use a pleading tone of voice to try and show the audience the persuasion Bassanio is trying to use. Also, I would place my hand on Antonio’s shoulder whilst standing beside him allowing him to look in front of him and imagine the situation Bassanio is about to describe.As Bassanio says this line, I would make Antonio sigh as though to show the audience it is typical behaviour of Bassanio.
    Finally, I would place both characters close to eachother to show the bond between them as they are best friends. Therefore, as the situation of disapproval is rolled out, the audience is able to experience the tension between these two close characters as their arguement develops.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      I really like this. (It’s not the way I would interpret it, but I like the answer – it’s valid, but how would it affect the later scenes?) Mr Bakewell ________________________________________

  11. Brandon

    As this is later in to the play you will be able to portray the image if Antonio and bassanio being very good friends so, due to their close bond they share this extract should be played out with them close together and bassanios hand on Antonio’s shoulder showing the closeness and the insightfulness of what he’s about to say: Bassanio in this extract admits to his wrong doings in a serious manner and tells Antonio of his new love: “what lady is the same To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage” meaning in modern English of who is this girl you promised to tell me about. Antonio is intrigued of what bassanio has to say so in this extract his facial gestures should be lit up and can’t wait to hear the good news. As the speech turns over to bassanio, at the start he talks of the many fianances he has had: ‘How much I have disabled mine estate’. The facial gestures bassanio should be portraying in this extract is a complete straight face to show he’s telling the uttermost truth to his dear friend and showing that he wouldn’t lie to him. By bassanio opening up his wrong doings to Antonio it can portray the image of him changing, along with these gestures it can make a more powerful point to get across.

  12. Sapphire

    The extract should be performed in depth to show the close relationship between Antonio and bassanio, in order to clearly show this they should be stood close to each other, possibly facing one another. ‘To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage’ implies that they are close enough to share secrets with each other, to portray this they should speak in hushed tones and directly speak to Bassiano to clearly see their relationship. ‘How much I have disabled Mine estate…’ Suggests that he feels guilt for not paying back previous depts that Antonio may have lent him, however it makes it seem like he is truly sorry. When Bassiano acts this scene he should say it in a kind of soft tone to make Antonio realise he does actually feel bad for not repaying a friend and should also portray a guilty expression on his face so hopefully Antonio would sympathise and lend him more money.

  13. Mary-Anne Johnson

    I would put alot of emphasis on Antontio’s line as he is trying to get an answer out of his friend. He could stand close to Bassanio to portray their friendship. As Bassanio answers, Antonio should slightly raise his eye brows as he speaks of his finance instead of the girl whom he loves. As Bassanio speaks, he should have a hint of apology in his tone of voice as he knows Antonio isn’t going to be too happy with what he is saying. He should also look Antonio in the eye as they are close friends and he doesn’t want to loose him.

  14. Meg hallett

    The two characters Antonio and Bassanio in the play have a very strong friend and I think this shown be shown throughout the extract. Bassanio should say his lines with a sense of embarrassment as he hasn’t been able to pay his friend back the money he already owes, do do this he should use hand gestures not only to ingage the audience but to show Antonio Bassanios depth of guilt. Antonio should say his lines as though he’s a bit disappointed and feels unsure of lending him the money again.

  15. India

    When acting out this part of the play the actors should portray friendship between Antonio and Bassanio by using hand gestures and facial expressions. However there she also be a sense of reluctancy as Antonio is weary of giving Bassanio more money as he already owes him.

    1. dartmouthacademyeng Post author

      Just ‘hand and facial gestures’ could mean anything – do you want him to pull his tongue out and stick two fingers up? You MUST be more precise line by line – look at the other answers and take a little time to think about your response.
      Mr Bakewell

  16. Jake Billings

    I think that where Antonio says “That you to-day promised to tell me of?”, Antonio should point his index finger sternly at Bassanio to show the audience that Antonio is serious about the situation.
    Futhermore, when Bassanio begins to talk, he should place his hand on Antonio’s shoulder and stand adjacent to him to show their bond to the audience. Also, this will show that Bassanio is very pleading towards Antonio about the situation.
    Finally, when Bassanio says ” Hath left me gaged” he should place his hand around his throat as if to emphasise the gaged bit to the audience.

  17. Kayleigh

    Well, tell me now what lady is the same
    To whom you swore a secret pilgrimage,
    That you to-day promised to tell me of? When Antonio says this he is questioning Bassanio, Therefore he should use hand gestures such as putting his hands forward as if he is expecting something as really he is expecting an answer from Bassanio. When Antonio says ‘That you to-day promised to tell me of’ He would feel slightly nervous and a bit cautious about Bassanio’s answer, His facial expressions would appear very confused, as he is expecting Bassanio to tell him all about this wonderful lady he is planning to spend Antonio’s money on.
    Bassanio reply’s by saying ‘Tis not unknown to you, Antonio,
    How much I have disabled mine estate’ This is implying that Bassanio knows he has not been very good with money and paying it back, But he is feeling guilty about that and his facial expressions are very down and he would be looking down towards the floor, showing some emotion of shame.


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