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9 Cards in this Set

  • Front
  • Back

Motifs Definition

A dominant or recurring concept



●Cross Dressing

●Filial Piety

Filial Piety (Definition)

A virtue of respect for ones parents

Filial Piety

●MoV endorses the behaviour of those who treat filial piety lightly

●Launcelot greets his blind father with confusing directions and news of his death (sets stage for Jessica)

●Jessica has a strong hatred for her father although she has no specific complaints and in one scene he fusses over her. She trades Leahs Ring for a monkey making us question her respect for both parents

● In contrast, Portia sets a different example by obeying her fathers will

Cross Dressing

●Used twice in play for daring escapes

●Very common in renaissance drama, Shakespeare used it frequently

● Portia enables herself to assume the power and position denied to her as a woman through cross dressing.


●Very important in Venice

●Shylock who follows the law the most ends up being prosecuted by it in the end

● Portia who was imprisoned by the casket test and her fathers will ends up being the most lawful in the court scene, saving the day for the Christians


●Appearance vs. Reality

●The Divine Quality of Mercy

●Hatred as a Cyclical Phenomenon

● Self-Interest vs. Love

Appearance vs. Reality

●The casket tests true answer is not the one that visually represents Portia, it in reality is the least valuable

●When Shylock says that he wants a pound of flesh, we assume he is joking when in reality he is dead serious

●Cross Dressing

The Divine Quality of Mercy

●The Shylock/Antonio conflict eventually comes down to mercy, all of the characters know that the law supports Shylock but expect him to show mercy (Christianity)

"The quality of mercy is not strained" - Portia

●She also states that being merciful brings us closer to god

●Then she strips Shylock of his bond, estate and dignity and forces him to beg for mercy (swap)