Category Archives: The Merchant of Venice

Resources for The Globe theatre in London (for Year 10 display)…globe-theatre/3342.html

Labelled slides of The Globe


You might consider the following when planning your display:

  • Diagram(s) of The Globe, perhaps with the different parts of the theatre labelled, e.g. the yard, gallery, etc.
  • 3D model of The Globe
  • What was it like watching a play at the theatre in Shakespeare’s time?
  • How popular was the theatre and Shakespeare’s plays in his own time?
  • Were there any disadvantages or difficulties in producing and performing a play in such a theatre? (For example, there was no lighting – at least, light sufficient to illuminate the whole stage – so plays had to be performed during the afternoon. What were the drawbacks of this?)
  • Is there anything else that’s important which I have left out?

A brilliant example of how to perform Shakespeare

Mary-Anne and Tilly shine here as Portia and Nerissa in Act 1, scene 2 of The Merchant of Venice. They really do show their understanding of the dialogue and the relationship between the two characters. Well done!



PLE – 11xEN1 – Home learning due Tuesday 13 May

Which questions in the Merchant of Venice paper do you feel most confident in approaching? What about the one(s) that you’re least confident with?

Choose a question (or questions) that you’re still not sure about and do further research in how to answer it. I would like to see evidence of your research tomorrow, either on the blog (below) or in your exercise book.

Remember, the questions will have the following focus:

a) Focus on a character from the given extract

b) The play-in-performance question – how should the extract given be performed?

c) A theme or repeated idea (e.g. love, prejudice) elsewhere in the play. Use CRISP to structure your answer.

To help you with your research, I shall send you a copy of the examiner’s report from November 2013, as well as exemplar responses, to your academy emails. BBC Bitesize, for all its benefits, is still based on the AQA exam (I think) so do be careful with what you take from it. You can, of course, type what you want into Google (the following tabs may help: Edexcel, GCSE English, Unit 2, Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice).

PLE – 11xEN1 – Home learning due 2 May

Please complete question B from the past paper I have emailed to your academy e-address (see pp.8 – 9). By tomorrow in the comments box below.

Of course, you will also need to prepare for your role-play in tomorrow’s lesson. Practise, practise, practise!

As an independent enquirer working at:

  • Grade C will show thorough understanding of the effectiveness of performance techniques. You will always link your points to specific lines from the extract.
  • Grade B will show your understanding of what is being said in the extract by applying a range of appropriate performance techniques to specific lines..
  • Grade A will show an insightful understanding of the dynamic between the characters and what they are saying. Your comments avoid the obvious and instead show a deeper understanding of the play as a whole.

PLE – 11xEN1 – Home learning due Thursday 1 May

In class today you chose a scene from Act 1 of The Merchant of Venice to perform as a role-play; a task which also helps with tackling Question B (the play-in-performance question) in the exam. You will perform your chosen scene in Thursday’s lesson (1 May).

Please ensure that you practise your dialogue so that you are not dependent on a script – this would greatly reduce the mark you would get. Think carefully about what is being said, by whom and to whom – how will this influence your actions, gestures and use of voice.

To see how your predecessors in Year 11 did it see Bevan and Katie here:

Mr Legowski


Happy Holidays!

Hi All,
I’m going to set some questions on the Merchant of Venice. This clip shows the court scene. Answer as fully as possible to show your understanding.
1. Why does the director decide to have the crowd surround Shylock rather than have them behind a physical barrier (such as wooden rail)?
2. What is Antonio’s reaction when he sees Bassanio has come?
3. What is Shylock’s point about slaves?
4. The person who has posted the video has cut the ‘quality of mercy’ speech – what is the importance of this speech to the ideas of the play?
5. What is Portia’s reaction to Antonio’s farewell speech?
court scene:

whole film:

PLE – 11xEN1 – Home learning due Monday 14 April

Explain how Shakespeare presents the character of Shylock in the extract from today’s lesson (here).

Use evidence from the extract to support your answer.

An independent enquirer working at:

  • Grade C will begin to develop detailed interpretations of the character based on accurate textual evidence.
  • Grade B will show imaginative insights into the Shylock, avoiding the more obvious statements.
  • Grade A will explore the impression the audience gets of Shylock through what he says and does, as well as the way Antonio speaks of, and behaves towards, him.

PLE – 11xEN1 – Home learning due Friday 4 April

Answer the question b)-style question below based on the extract from today’s lesson and using your learning from the group task and forum theatre exercise.

(b)     Using your understanding of the extract, explain how the following lines might be performed. Give reasons for your answer. (7)


I am as like to call thee so again,
To spit on thee again, to spurn thee too.
If thou wilt lend this money, lend it not
As to thy friends; for when did friendship take
A breed for barren metal of his friend?
But lend it rather to thine enemy,
Who, if he break, thou mayst with better face
Exact the penalty.


Why, look you, how you storm!
I would be friends with you and have your love,
Forget the shames that you have stain’d me with,
Supply your present wants and take no doit
Of usance for my moneys, and you’ll not hear me:
This is kind I offer.


This were kindness.

An independent enquirer working at:

  • Grade C will show thorough understanding of the effect of performance techniques.
  • Grade B will make a clear link between what is being said and the appropriate performance techniques.
  • Grade A will demonstrate an insightful understanding of the characters(‘ conversation) through their choice of effective performance techniques.


Tilly and Mary