In 1656 around 300,000 people in Naples, this was half the population of Naples at that time. Most of the women in The Merchant of Venice, true to the Elizabethan time period, are little more than an attractive presence. [20] The Merchant of Venice is a 16th-century play by William Shakespeare in which a merchant in Venice must default on a large loan provided by a Jewish moneylender. Venice sent a multinational mercenary army which soon regained control of the major cities. The account of the chronicler Giovanni Diacono (10th-11th C) reads in fact: “Pepin’s fleet ran aground in the shallow waters of the lagoon and there a multitude of Venetians launched their attack and won “with the help of the Divine Providence”. Costumes by Lynn McMasters Photos of many beautiful Elizabethan Gowns, articles on 16th c. [24] This is what happened in 1081 when the Venetians contributed to check the Normans, and in return the Byzantines conferred them trading privileges, exemption from tolls, and even a colony in Constantinople. At the close of the 14th C the Doge and Senate were watching with increasing alarm the Carraras of Padua eager to expand their territory. The Venetians then – in order to justify their move – made up the story that St. Mark, on his way to Alexandria, had been caught in a violent storm and had been forced to land on one of the islands of the Venetian lagoon. In 1797 in fact Napoleon’s troops entered the city which had never before been occupied. The new terms were accepted, Zara recaptured, but the itinerary of the Crusade was to undergo a further diversion and in fact this is the only crusade which will never reach Jerusalem. In the case of this theatre, this already happened once, when it was rebuilt following a terrible fire in 1836. The process of transactions which was to lead to the reform took years and culminated in 1323 with the Serrata del Maggior Consiglio, literally the “closure of the Major Council”: membership to the Major Council was restricted to those who had already been part of it or who could prove that a paternal ancestor had sat in it and the list which recorded the names of eligible families was closed henceforth. And Carnival probably derives from old Italian “Carne levare”, a farewell to meat – and flesh! Venetian’s retaliation came in 1204. [17], Attitudes about usury and money-lending gave more moral weight to the work of merchants and traders in Elizabethan England, writes Stephen Alford in his new book London’s Triumph: Merchants, Adventurers, and Money in Shakespeare’s City, which traces the historical roots of London's rise in the sixteenth century. These cookies do not store any personal information. Torcello became important in 638, when the bishop of Altinum moved there his mainland congregation and founded the Cathedral of S. Maria Assunta. Moreover, in 555 the Emperor Justinian the Great completed the re-conquest of Italy and these lagoons were re-placed under Byzantine jurisdiction. These papers were written primarily by students and provide critical analysis of Merchant of Venice. While Shylock is certainly vilified by the other characters in the play for his stubborn adherence to literal meanings and strange religious laws, it’s important to remember that Merchant of Venice is considered a Shakespearean comedy, not a tragedy. [10] Venetian Masks But masks and the same gay spirit lasted almost all year round. The Venetian role in the spice trade was greatly reduced at the beginning of the sixteenth century because of restrictions on trade with Syria and Egypt imposed by the new Ottoman authorities, and competition from direct Portuguese shipments from Asia. The city proper had been built upon a network of small islands lying in the swamp at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea. Public gardens were opened (again, with no mercy for pre-existing architecture). It wasn’t just the West that had troubled the Venetians in this period. The political and military intrigues of northern Italy in this period are extremely complicated: alliances were regularly made and betrayed, and cities were changing hands with bewildering frequency. | eNotes, The Merchant of Venice: Stereotyping Shylock | Exploratory Shakespeare, Usury and The Merchant of Venice: An excerpt from Londons Triumph, Prejudice in The Merchant of Venice - SchoolWorkHelper, What differences are there between Venice and Belmont - Assignment Example, Shakespeare's Knowledge of Italy, the Classics, and the Law, Venice's Reputation during the Elizabethan Period, Is It Time to Reconsider Marlowe’s and Shakespeare’s Jews? After the War of Chioggia and with Genoa out of the way, Venice felt restored in power and prosperity. The only two things that have remained from the 7th C are the remains of the Baptistry and the plaque we referred to as the oldest known Venetian document (discovered in 1895), stating that the church was built in 639 “by the Honourable Magister Militum Maurìce who resides in this site which belongs to him“. Enough was enough. Today we might find it difficult to appreciate the importance attached to saints and relics in the Middle Ages. The Senate checked them for a while by supporting their opponents and finally took the extreme step of allying with the ruler of Milan, the dangerous Gian Galeazzo Visconti. If sea lanes of the eastern Mediterranean were the foundation of Venice’s wealth, its dominance as a trading centre depended on the possibility of reaching other markets, relying on free access to the rivers and mountain passes of northern Italy. She describes a fascinating slice of 16th century life. Their frailty and impotence could never be admitted and were in fact masked as a decision of its wise administration. The Flood in November 1966 To some the scene looked like a gigantic funeral: skeletons of boats and gondolas, mattresses, garbage, dead pigeons and rats were scattered everywhere, floating in the canals. [20] Venice began to address herself as the Serenissima, the Most Serene Republic, claiming to be a model to regard with no less admiration than those of the Greeks’ and the Romans’ in ancient times. The Supreme Architect of this evolution was the doge Pietro Orseolo II. [24] However, the Venetians were soon to compensate their losses with the acquisition of Cyprus. In the 9th, 10th and 11th Cs the head of state was a monarch called doge, from dux-duke. The way piles were driven into the ground to reach the bedrock Piles driven down to the caranto So thousands and thousands of thick wooden piles were driven into the heavy clay beneath the mud and there, not being exposed to the action of water or air, timber didn’t rot. A plaque dating from the 16th C reads: The sentiments about Jews in The Merchant of Venice might make us uncomfortable, but the play is a product of its time. Behind these achievements there was a solid and steadfast direction by the Venetian government, ready to adapt itself to the circumstances. Despite military setbacks, the expansion of the Turks and the discovery of new worlds and alternative sea routes, Venice remains a powerful state throughout the 16th C. Then, at the turn of the century, the Republic will start loosing predominance. Constantinople had been founded in 330 by the Emperor Constantine I on the site of an old Greek town, Byzantium, which he renamed after himself. Role of Women Two main characters i.e. Written by C. Trevisan and L. Sabbadin Women in 16th-century Venice. Upper Class – The Upper Class, as the name implies, is the finest class of the social society that enjoys maximum power and monetary liberty in the Venice social society.This populace has the highest position in the Venetian social hierarchy. However Shylocks presumptuous mannerisms and jubious exclamations, hailing the disguised Portia as "A Daniel…yea a Daniel! " This happened when Venice restricted the amount of the tithe, the tax that monasteries paid to the Church of Rome – and then imprisoned two priests charged with secular crimes – rape and child molesting. Then, more information in 537, in a letter written by Cassiodorus, officer at the Goth’s court. The leading advocate of the policy criticized by the old Mocenigo was a man known primarily as an aggressive politician: Francesco Foscari. This is the time of massive invasions of barbaric people: the Visigoth, the Huns – led by Attila, ” the scourge of God” – the Goths, and others. Terms & Conditions  | As Venetians, we have grown used to acqua alta. These cookies will be stored in your browser only with your consent. The Venetian government, however, realized that the City could no longer match wits with the great European powers. Despite military setbacks, the expansion of the Turks and the discovery of new worlds and alternative sea routes, Venice remains a powerful state throughout the 16th C. Then, at the turn of the century, the Republic will start loosing predominance. So we finish with this: the testimony of the great love the old Venetians had showed for their city, a city which is the triumph of a people who turned barren mudflats into a supreme work of beauty. Her theatres began to give more time to spoken drama. Elsewhere operas were performed at that date only in the closed world of princely courts. In the partition, Venice obtained what she wanted: 3/8 of the territories of the former Byzantine Empire: mainly islands or naval bases along the route to the eastern markets, so as to form an almost uninterrupted chain from the Lagoon to the Black Sea, thus establishing conditions of near-monopoly on the trade with the East. The concessions they had been granted by Byzantine emperors became a source of friction. Coffee houses multiplied. How Does the Language and Stagecraft in Acts IV. However, in 1152 the most famous of German Emperors next to Charlemagne came to the throne. These expeditions contributed to the reconciliation of the two and the site of the meeting between the pope and the emperor was Venice! At that stage conditions became more favorable for Venetian rather than Byzantine merchants. In 1494 Italy was invaded by Charles VIII of France, an intervention which Venice lost no time in exploiting. The only Italian rival that Rome had in the cultivation of sacred music in the 16th century was Venice. And nunneries on the other hand simply continued to be popular. At his death his record in office was examined and, had he accepted any gift or act of homage that were not clearly intended for the State as a whole, his heirs were prosecuted and forced to pay compensation. In the mid-14th century, Venice was struck by the bubonic plague, part of an outbreak known as the Black Death that may have killed up to 25 million people, or … By now, the Italian powers were in fact suspicious that Venice may upset the balance of power and dominate the whole peninsula. The Republic arranged in fact the marriage of the beautiful 14 year-old Caterina Corner to King James of Cyprus. Yet, in 1204 the Venetians became protagonists. [6] The Elizabethan period was from the date of the accession of Elizabeth the 1st of England in 1558 to her death in 1603 when James VI of Scotland became King of England and Scotland. And in fact at the time of the Counter-reformation Venice kept a stiff upper lip and had the nerve to take a stand against the Pope. By mid-15th C Venice’s so called land-state was formed a territory which reached Bergamo and Brescia on the west and extended eastwards onto Istria and Dalmatia, a state of affairs officially sanctioned in 1454 by the Treaty of Lodi. Damage estimates ranged as high as $ 64,000,000. The aspect of the lagoon was very different in those early days, the area being mostly occupied by water. During the decade after 1602, the volume of trade moving through Venice fell forty percent. Four years later it was the turn of the Scalzi’s near the station. The most disastrous of all floods is that recorded in November 1966, year when the Arno overflowed in Florence. Thus, although Venetian foreign policy was predominantly eastward-looking, a degree of intervention on the mainland was inevitable, especially with the rise in the 14 C of ambitious dynasties such as the Scaligeri in Verona, the Carrara in Padua and the Visconti in Milan. [1] Both tragedies and comedies attracted audiences which expressed their reactions vociferously. are short lived and would have only further discredited his status in the eyes of the original judgmental Elizabethan audience. Venice in the Elizabethan era was a multicultural hub of commerce, rivaling London as a port city and surpassing it in terms of its reputation for beauty. The acquisition of the body of St. Mark – or “pious theft” to borrow Venetian words – was above all a political maneuver, in fact the relics were not placed in S. Pietro di Castello, which was the seat of the bishop, but rather in the church which was going to become the doge’s chapel: in other words, entrusted to the head of state. Napoleon demanded that the government dissolve itself and turn power over to a democratic municipal council to be protected by French soldiers. We have records of disastrous floods as early as in 1240, like this one, reporting that ” Today the water was the height of a man above the streets”. The pay-off in terms of prestige was immense. Before Goldoni, in fact, the Commedia dell’Arte depended largely on pantomime that was almost acrobatic and improvised by the actors. [6] The costly project was to involve laying 80 steel flaps on the floor of the 3 canals that provide access to the lagoon; in case of emergency the ballast is released from the flaps and the barrier rises to protect the city. In retaliation, Venice booted out the Jesuits and threatened with exile or death any priest who wouldn’t ignore the interdict. Via Smirne 11 During the Renaissance the sex trade could be found throughout Europe, but the Venetian sex industry was particularly infamous. [8] By 8:00 PM the Venetians, marooned in their unlighted, unheated homes, realized that it wasn’t just another acqua alta, that was a major disaster. [16], We do have the representation of a Jewish woman in both The Merchant of Venice and Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta.² In both plays the daughters convert, but to the other non-Jewish characters, both women are still considered to be Jews rather than Christians,. [11], Elizabethan Dyes and Fabric Colors The Dye Woorkes Medieval & Renaissance dyeing recipes & manuscripts. The 40 were reduced by lot to 12 The last of the Western Roman Emperors was deposed in 476. [2], In Merchant of Venice, why would Act 2, Scene 6 be considered funny for an Elizabethan Audience? [8] Consider that in the old days submerged sandbanks protected access to the lagoon, water spilled slowly across it and the violence of the tides was thus cushioned. Jews in 16th-century England practised their religion secretly, and many of those raised in the Jewish faith either converted to Christianity or pretended to have done so. Its name, La Fenice, couldn’t be more appropriate. In the 17th and 18th Cs Venice had the reputation of being the gayest and most inconsequential of European capitals. Re-Elaborated in 1268 reflects their obsession to eliminate/to check political plots and intrigues spirit... His 1597 play, the Italian turmoil of the world in the.! Them some kind of pontoons called “ camels ” to reduce their draught behind these achievements was! Able to fully reconquer Crete until 1368, pageantry, ceremonies, and his election marked the beginning thirty... To Byzantium and detachment from the 80-year old doge Tommaso Mocenigo in his Farewell! Third-Party cookies that help us analyze and understand how life in 16th century venice use this website uses to. 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