BBC Bitesize - KS3 English Literature - Themes - Revision 4
mention Launcelot Gobbo at all view him as a "poor clown"2 or as. "serv[ing] no purpose but that of parent-child relationships. Although Launcelot's . "unthrifty knave" (changethru.info), who is likely to help Bassanio "waste / His bor- rowed purse" (II. His name is Launcelot Gobbo, a fact of which he is somewhat proud. Old Gobbo, bent with age, almost blind, and feeling his way by the aid of a staff, hobbles. Shakespeare serves up three parent-child relationships in the play—two . The relationship between Launcelot Gobbo and his father is neither as tempestuous.
When her father passed away, he left a will stating that suitors to Portia would have to choose one of three caskets. If their choice were correct, then they would be able to marry Portia.
A Merry Devil - Launcelot Gobbo in the Merchant of Venice
However, Portia does not think the lottery is a good idea and could mean that she will have to marry somebody that she does not want to. Seeing as Portia was rich, clever and beautiful, she would have many suitors, and most of them may not have been suitable for her. The idea of the lottery shows that her father had her best intentions at heart, showing a good relationship between the two. This section of the play shows that Portia is strong-minded and respects her father, which makes her the complete opposite to Jessica.
Throughout Act 1 Scene 3, Shylock is shown to be a cunning, manipulative money-grasping person.
This was the typical Elizabethan stereotype of Jews at the time. But though I am a daughter to his blood, I am not to his manners. This shows that Jessica has denied her family and her religion.
Act 2 Scene 5 is the first scene in which we see Shylock and Jessica together, although we have already learnt a lot about their negative relationship. Shylock is abrasive and stern towards Jessica.
In return, she is deceitful back to him. However in this scene, Shylock is instructing Jessica to shut up the house and stay indoors. This shows his fatherly concern towards her as they were living in an extremely anti-Semitic society.
They were excluded from guilds, meaning they could not practice a certain trade and that less and less occupations were available to them. A reason why this play was set in Venice was because if it were set in Britain, it would have much too politically sensitive.
This scene makes us have sympathy towards Jessica and makes us realize that it is not just anti-Semitism that makes Shylock so unpleasant.
The relationship between Shylock and Jessica ends tragically. Jessica runs away with Lorenzo and steals money and sentimental jewellery. Shylock feels betrayed, not just because his daughter ran away and stole his possessions, but because she ran away with a Christian. Certainly, my conscience will serve me to run from this Jew, my master: Well, my conscience, hanging about the neck of my heart, says very wisely to me - "my honest friend Launcelot, being an honest man's son" - or rather an honest woman's son; - for, indeed, my father did something smack, something grow to, - he had a kind of taste; - well, my conscience says - Launcelot, budge not;" "budge," says the fiend; budge not," says my conscience.
Conscience, say I, you counsel well; fiend, say I, you counsel well; to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew, my master, who, Heaven bless the mark!
I will run; fiend, my heels are at your commandment, I will run. However, Launcelot does not run; he is spared that violence to his conscientious scruples by the unexpected advent of his father, an old Italian peasant, whose voice is heard calling in the distance, and halts the would-be runaway. Launcelot's decision of character is not very marked, nor his resentments very strong, for in a moment his wrongs are forgotten, and he is designing a practical jest on his aged parent. Talk you of young Master Launcelot?
The sincere grief of the old man evidently shames the boy, for he quickly changes his tone, and asks: Having established his identity with his father, Launcelot proceeds to tell him of his intention to run away from the Jew's service, and we gather his reason to be, that he does not get sufficient food to satisfy his youthful appetite; but perhaps the fact that the Lord Bassanio is engaging servants, and giving them "rare new liveries," may be the temptation.
The contemptuous reference to the Jewish race by this ignorant boy, and his vulgar pun on the word Jew are significant indications of the general prejudice against the Jews at this period; not only in Venice, but in all parts of the civilized world. Well, well; but, for mine own part, as I have set up my rest to run away, so I will not rest till I have run some ground.
Parent-child relationships in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice” Essay Sample
My master's a very Jew; give him a present! Father, I am glad you are come; give me your present to one Master Bassanio, who indeed gives rare new liveries; if I serve not him, I will run as far as God has any ground. The interview between Old Gobbo, his son, and the Lord Bassanio is delightfully entertaining.
Launcelot's usual volubility halts in the presence of the young nobleman, and his father's assistance becomes necessary to prefer the suit "impertinent" to himself, and express "the very defect of the matter. The self-satisfaction of Master Launcelot at his success is most humorously expressed, and with an egotism equally amusing; while his optimistic views of the future, obtained from the lines in his hand, indicate a confidence in the science of palmistry, which the author evidently does not share.
Well, if Fortune be a woman, she's a good wench for this gear. Notwithstanding his scruples of conscience that caused him so much anxiety, when we first met him, Launcelot has not been entirely loyal to his master, and on leaving we find him secretly bearing a letter from Jessica, the Jew's daughter, to her young Christian lover, Lorenzo. The missive requires a reply which Launcelot obtains verbally, and the cunning young rascal cleverly manages to convey it to the young Jewess, while bearing an invitation to her father, from his new master, Bassanio.
His words are not brilliant, but serve to indicate his ingenuity. Mistress, look out at window, for all this; There will come a Christian by, Will be worth a Jewess' eye.Launcelot Gobbo
Launcelot accompanies his new master to Belmont, where on our next meeting we find him comfortably installed; very much at home, and in a new livery. He is still bandying words with Jessica, who is now the wife of Lorenzo, and, in the absence of Portia, mistress of the house. His self-esteem seems to have grown in his new service, his vocabulary has increased, and he speaks with more authority, but with the same unfortunate propensity for punning. He is obviously favored by his "betters," and like many others of small mind takes advantage of that fact to speak with a freedom that is not entirely devoid of impudence.
However, his humor atones for much, and his good-nature accomplishes the rest. The dialogue quoted with some slight eliminations below takes place in the garden of Portia's house Act 3, Scene 5.
It is apparently the continuation of a discussion of the old theme of Jessica's parentage, and her father's sins; Launcelot taking a literal view of the scriptural precept in her case.
Yes, truly; for, look you, the sins of the father are to be laid upon the children; therefore, I promise you, I fear you. I was always plain with you, and so now I speak my agitation of the matter; therefore, be of good cheer; for, truly, I think thou art damned.
There is but one hope in it that can do you any good. And what hope is that, I pray thee? Marry, you may partly hope that you are not the Jew's daughter. So the sins of my mother should be visited on me. Truly then I fear you are damned both by father and mother; thus when I shun Scylla, your father, I fall into Charybdis, your mother; well, you are gone both ways. I shall be saved by my husband; he hath made me a Christian. Truly, the more to blame he; we were Christians enow before; e'en as many as could well live, one by another.
This making of Christians will raise the price of hogs; if we grow all to be porkeaters, we shall not shortly have a rasher on the coals for money.
The entrance of Lorenzo puts an end to Launcelot's calamitous predictions, and that gentleman having little appreciation of the latter's verbal fooling, directs him. Lorenzo's apostrophe to Launcelot's discourse is an admirable summary of the shallow mind, that mistakes the mere jugglery of words for wit. It was a favorite method of Shakespeare's to furnish humor in his "simples" and serving men, and proved an amusing diversion in their mouths: