Merchant of Venice Crossword Puzzle Free and Printable
“The Merchant of Venice” is a famous play written by William Shakespeare, likely in the late 16th century. It’s a complex and controversial work that combines elements of comedy, romance, and tragedy. Here’s a summary of the main plot and characters:
Plot Summary: The play is set in Venice and revolves around the intertwined fates of several characters:
- Antonio: A wealthy merchant who borrows money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, to help his friend Bassanio court the wealthy heiress Portia.
- Bassanio: Antonio’s close friend, who seeks to woo Portia, a rich heiress.
- Portia: A wealthy heiress known for her intelligence and beauty. She is also the object of Bassanio’s affection.
- Shylock: A Jewish moneylender who lends money to Antonio but harbors deep resentment towards him due to Antonio’s past mistreatment of him because of his religion.
- Jessica: Shylock’s daughter, who elopes with Lorenzo, a Christian, and converts to Christianity.
The central conflict of the play revolves around the bond Antonio and Shylock make. Shylock lends Antonio 3,000 ducats but insists on a harsh penalty if the loan isn’t repaid within a specified time: a pound of Antonio’s flesh.
Portia, disguised as a male lawyer named Balthazar, plays a significant role in resolving the conflict. She appears in court to defend Antonio when Shylock demands the pound of flesh. Portia argues that the contract allows Shylock to take the flesh but not any blood, as that would endanger Antonio’s life. She uses this legal loophole to save Antonio.
In a subplot, Portia’s maid, Nerissa, also disguises herself and marries Bassanio’s friend, Gratiano, in a surprise double wedding.
The play ends with multiple resolutions: Shylock loses his wealth and is forced to convert to Christianity as a punishment for seeking Antonio’s flesh. Antonio forgives him, but Shylock’s conversion is portrayed ambiguously, raising questions about religious tolerance. Portia and Bassanio are united in marriage, as are Nerissa and Gratiano.
“The Merchant of Venice” explores themes of justice, prejudice, mercy, and the complexities of human relationships. It’s known for its controversial portrayal of Shylock, a character that has been interpreted in various ways over the centuries, sometimes as a victim of prejudice and at other times as a villain. The play continues to be a subject of scholarly debate and adaptation in contemporary literature and theater.
This Merchant of Venice crossword puzzle focuses on characters, setting, symbols, and is printable. Teachers, parents, and students can print it out and make copies.