A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange ... See full summary »
A boy dreams the play. Authority in Athens is shaky: Hermia rejects her father's choice, the Duke backs her father, and the Duchess sides with Hermia. Dad's choice, Demetrius, pursues ... See full summary »
A rich merchant, Antonio is depressed for no good reason, until his good friend Bassanio comes to tell him how he's in love with Portia. Portia's father has died and left a very strange will: only the man that picks the correct casket out of three (silver, gold, and lead) can marry her. Bassanio, unfortunately, is strapped for cash with which to go wooing, and Antonio wants to help, so Antonio borrows the money from Shylock, the money-lender. But Shylock has been nursing a grudge against Antonio's insults, and makes unusual terms to the loan. And when Antonio's business fails, those terms threaten his life, and it's up to Bassanio and Portia to save him. Written by
This has to be the least imaginative rendition of a Shakespeare play I have ever seen. Actors in Elizabethan costume - w ho remain largely immobile throughout - recite Shakespeare's verse with about as much passion as if it were a shopping list. Jack Gold makes no attempt to resolve the anti-semitic overtones of the play, with Warren Mitch ell's cliched and totally unsympathetic Shylock doing nothing to help matters. Lancelot Gobbo is, frankly, just irritating. Sure, this was made by the BBC on a shoestring budget for educational purposes; it was no prime-time Friday evening piec e of television, but that is no excuse for the lack of ideas. You get the feeling that nobody was really trying, and it does not even work as an educational tool, being uninvolving that it is likely to turn kids off Sh akespeare and provides nothing for the more advanced student to comment on.
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