This animation largely focuses on the promises that money represents and examines the problems that sometimes arise when promises aren’t kept. It focuses on different characters and their relationships with money. It argues that you can find out a lot about a character from their attitude and response to money. Bassanio is in debt, whereas Shylock has enough money to lend. Portia stands to inherit a large sum of money, but access to her money is restricted by the wishes of her father.
Explore how the theme of money is presented in the play by starting a word bank. Initially students should ‘deposit’ any words that are connected with money from the play: debt, estate, borrow etc. Use an online version of the play to count up how many times these words are repeated in the play, eg ‘debt’ features 7 times, ‘money’ features 20 times. Notice how language relates to key themes.