Essay by NisargMiddle School, 6th gradeA+, November 2014

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The Merchant of Venice Q1. Is Shylock a villain or a victim? Give textual evidence and your interpretation of the events from the play to support your claim. Elaborate on prejudice, social and financial perspectives and justice in the play that shapes Shylock's character.


Q2. Rewrite any particular scene or event from "The Merchant of Venice" that has major influence on the storyline. Define the roles and reactions of the characters involved in the event/scene and its impact on the proceedings of the play. Justify your ideas explaining the dramatic and thematic significance of choosing the scene/event.

Prose (Short Stories) Q1. In the story, 'The Bet' by Anton Chekhov, the young lawyer takes up the bet to prove his point that life imprisonment is a better alternative to capital punishment. "To live anyhow is better than not at all". The story ends on a profound note. While in the story 'The Last Leaf' by O'Henry, Johnsy who is counting the days to her death, suddenly wants to live. Both these stories, in their own unique ways, talk about life and death how hope changes to hopelessness and hopelessness to hope. Discuss in detail the situation of the characters, the irony and what gradually causes such a dramatic shift in their attitudes to life and living.

OR Q2. Discuss the roles of the supporting characters in The Bet by Anton Chekov and The Last Leaf By O' Henry.

1. The banker, who is confident of winning The Bet 2. Sue, who wants to instill hope in Johnsy 3. Mr Behrman, who reluctantly agrees to do so.

Do you find a change in the characters as the story progresses? If so, discuss the transformation in their perspectives. Also, elaborate on how Irony and Perception play important roles in both...