WHY MIGHT TWO OF YOUR PART 3 WORKS BE CONSIDERED ‘TIMELESS’ BY AHANA AND GAVIN INTRODUCTION • Define: ‘timeless’ • State that content of the works transcend time and are universally understood and applicable • The themes in ‘The Merchant of Venice’ and ‘The Reader’ are universal. • The main themes are: • Justice • Prejudice • Mercy THEMES • Explain how themes contribute to the ‘timelessness’ of the piece • Compare the context of when the piece was written with current times and elaborate on how themes remain applicable and relevant • Discuss the nature and significance of themes in the play and novel • Interpretation of themes such as justice might change over time, but the initial idea is still relevant JUSTICE • The Reader • Schlink utilises setting (courtroom) as a symbol for justice. • Justice is not always justice (justiception) • This is exemplified in Hanna’s false prosecution as the supposed leader in a concentration camp JUSTICE • The Merchant of Venice • Justice in Merchant of Venice • Justice is portrayed differently in the MoV, as explored in Shylock’s eye for an eye mentality in insisting on having a pound of flesh • In the play, everything is just (e.g. spitting on Shylock) as long as it is not directed towards a fellow Christian • Justice is a universal theme because perceptions of it may change overtime, but the integrity of the concept remains intact. PREJUDICE • Prejudice is the norm in both texts. • Shylock and Hanna are the victims however, we are meant to sympathise with Hanna but not Shylock • • • • Shylock’s character construction through the use of language to position the audience to be unsympathetic Hanna is constructed through Michael’s eyes. Presenting their relationship first allows the reader to sympathise with Hanna later on in the novel when she is accused and convicted. Her illiteracy evokes pity, especially when she admits to crimes she didn’t commit because she cannot read the document. Shylock’s use of language with negative connotations when compared to the manner in which the other characters speak e.g. he speaks using animals that are regarded negatively (rats, pigs, cats) and the audience is meant to associate this negativity with his character. MERCY • Mercy is a shared theme in both texts, and each author expresses differing views on it. • In the Merchant of Venice • Portia’s Mercy speech in the courtroom portrays Mercy as a righteous virtue, using metaphors and symbols to liken it to attributes of gods and royalty and most importantly Christianity • Hypocrisy is also present when Shylock has his estate removed and forced to convert to Christianity, despite all that had been said before about mercy PREJUDICE • Prejudice is universal and therefore timeless theme because both texts mobilize our cultural knowledge about Nazi Germany and the persecution of Jews. MERCY • In ‘The Reader’, there is a apparent lack of mercy depicted in the courtroom, as Hanna is falsely convicted. • As such, true justice is not served but rather injustice is present, which serves as a juxtaposition to the courtroom symbolism. • Relevant today SETTING • The setting for all the above themes is Venice. • Themes such as love are associated with Belmont.