Saturday, September 10, 2016

The Merchant Of Venice

This week, I had the great opportunity to watch The Merchant of Venice as performed by the Globe. No, I wasn't in London, but I watched them when they were on tour. I had to study The Merchant of Venice for school, and our English teacher thought it would be a good idea to bring us to watch the play live. I felt a bit skeptical at first, but once it began, I really enjoyed it!

I apologise for the Chinese :)

What I liked

  • The interpretation. In this performance, they took the sympathetic path towards Shylock, so we would feel really bad for him. When I first read the play, I already felt pity for Shylock. As a class, we had also watched the 2004 movie version, but they portrayed Shylock as a cold bully in that one, so there was less sympathy for him. I liked the Globe's portrayal a lot more.
  • The interaction. I haven't seen many plays in my life, but this is the first time where there was actor to audience interaction! It was very funny when the actors would call some of the audience up on stage and I thought this was a really good way to keep the audience interested.
  • The humour. In words, the humour Shakespeare was trying to put through got lost during the decades. Shakespearian humour and 21st century humour is pretty different. However, they still kept the original humour and managed to pull it off!
  • The ending. It was so powerful. They added a little bit more after the last line of the play, which showed Shylock's conversion to Christianity as part of his punishment. This wasn't in the original script, but I thought it was really powerful to add it in. You can clearly see the anguish in Shylock and it just reinforces the sympathy we feel for him. It is quite dramatic though :)
I'd put another title with "what I disliked", but I really can't think of anything! It was really good! So, if you ever get the chance to watch it performed by the Globe this year, do so! You won't regret it :)


  1. I had no idea the Globe does tours! I actually studied in England for a few months, and I was able to see the Merchant of Venice performed at the Globe. I absolutely loved it, especially the little bit they added to the end. It really brings out the racism and wrongness of forcing people into following other religions, and shows the drastic difference between today and Shakespeare's time, when it was acceptable to do that (*shivers*). So very powerful!


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