Year 11 Merchant of Venice HL #5

How would you act out the following speech? Post your answer in the comment box:

BASSANIO In Belmont is a lady richly left;
And she is fair, and, fairer than that word,
Of wondrous virtues: sometimes from her eyes
I did receive fair speechless messages:
Her name is Portia, nothing undervalued
To Cato’s daughter, Brutus’ Portia:
Nor is the wide world ignorant of her worth,
For the four winds blow in from every coast
Renowned suitors, and her sunny locks
Hang on her temples like a golden fleece;
Which makes her seat of Belmont Colchos’ strand,
And many Jasons come in quest of her.


2 thoughts on “Year 11 Merchant of Venice HL #5

  1. Mary

    In this section, Bassanio is telling Antonio all about Portia and how he wishes to marry her. He refers to how she is ‘richly left’ I think he ought to smirk a little here as he knows how rich she is. However I think this should only be a very small movement that could go unrecognised.
    ‘Her name is Portia’ There should be a pause after saying this as if he is thinking of this girl whom he loves. I also think he should be looking into the distance as though picturing himself with her too.
    ‘And many Jasons come in quest of her’ This is Bassanio getting desperate as he knows that many men are after her too. He knows he doesn’t have the money to get her and he needs the money from Antonio to stand a chance which is why this passage needs to be acted with strong emotion throughout as Antonio should feel sorry for him (ultimately what he wants) to give him the money. This like should be delieved whilst Bassanios face falls as if he is coming back to reality about the chance he has with the girl if he does not get help from his friend.

  2. Josie

    In this extract Bassanio is describing Portia to his friend Antonio and is saying how he wants to marry her. He should act out the line “In Belmont is a lady richly left; And she is fair, and, fairer than that word” as of he is in a daydream, thinking about her. He should face the audience with a straight posture to portray that he really in love with her and he is not a gold digger. He should have clearly facial expressions such as a big grin on his face, to show that he is on love and to portray to Antonio that he is a dating like a school boy talking to his best friends about a girl.

    Bassanio should speak the line “Her name is Portia” he should say the name Portia as if it is something precious and vulnerable to him, to show Antonio and the audience that he really does love her. He should smirk when he saids this line to portray that he gets butterflies when he thinks or talk about her. This will imply to Antonio that Bassanio is in love.


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