Battle of the Directors The Merchant of Venice, also known as “The Jew of Venice” is a drama play originally written by William Shakespeare in 1598. The major conflict occurs when a man named Antonio (Venetian merchant) fails to pay off a loan to a greedy Jewish money loaner known as Shylock who demands a pound of flesh from Antonio in return. Antonio and his friends take a journey through friendship, love, and hatred in an attempt to free him of his pound of flesh fate induced by Shylock. Imagine yourself sitting in the master minds of directors Michael Radford and John Sichel while they are directing their adaptations of the play. Imagine experiencing their unique ideas first hand looking through their
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If these ancient beliefs are true then the director’s choice of setup plays a major role in symbolism. This choice affects how the viewer comprehends the scene. Based on this director’s decision his viewers could believe that the triangle setup plays a major role because if the prince were to choose the right casket he would obtain Portia as a wife (female sexuality) with her hand in marriage (male power). In Radford’s movie his caskets are set up in a linear formation so when the prince wants to view each of the caskets he can see all of them at once since they are lined up right next to each other. By having this formation Radford’s audience may interpret this scene as making it harder for the character to focus on a single one. If Radford’s formation were compared to Sichel’s set up, the spinning triangular shape allows the character to focus on a specific one without having the distraction of the others sitting right next to it. Sichel also puts the caskets in this rotating figure in a unique way for the camera’s view. When the prince is looking at a specific casket the angle of the camera gives the appearance of the other ones are smaller since they are behind the one that is being focused on thus bringing more attention to the casket he is contemplating on. In Sichel’s film the character’s actions and the set up of the caskets are parallel to one another.
Sichel’s audience may