Tri-Centric-’Merchant’

William Shakespeare’s work The Merchant Of Venice is a dynamic fairy tale experience that gives insight into the forming psychological philosophical and spiritual tenets that would underlie the forming industrial revolution that transformed European expansionalism and the balance of geo-political global reality. In seeking to gain insight into this play one is confronted with the extended aesthetic dimensions of human relationships, communal relationships and individual aspiration- as key factors that can be explored to better understand the route our species have traveled ( which in this case involves the continental composite experiences of trans-European cultural dynamics and its related ‘vibrational’ qualities). The Merchant of Venice is an imaginary fantasy state that explores the ‘poetic-tendencies’ that come through ‘projected’ encounter experiences, and what a given ‘zone of human interaction dynamics’ can tell us about composite ‘actual’ existence (fantasy that ‘reflects’ reality). The Merchant of Venice is an extraordinary opportunity to better understand the poetic ‘visual and sensual’ ‘contours’ of universal  human ‘qualities’ as well as a cultural experience (snapshot) that provides a pychological backdrop for character development. All of these factors would comment on the complex transistional Renaissance period- which was the time-period that accelerated the political implications of present day so-called humanism ( the time period that also included and furthered both the cause of democracy and its various political aesthetic offshoots (i.e. Communism, Socialism). The Merchant of Venice also gives the reader an opportunity to experience a master storyteller at work- ‘painting’ for us a picture of an earlier time and place that ‘weaves’ in and out of trans-temporal’ reality (including the reader’s internal-reality). Mr. Shakespeare is trying to tell us something about the ‘inter-codes’ that later became the ‘secret- poetic constructs’ of modern reality ( as well as modern psychological ‘affinity dynamics’). His work seems to be saying that human reality is more than how something appears on the surface. The dynamic implications of The Merchant of Venice points towards holistic ‘under-connections’ relationships that exist throughout both the fantasy story world and real ‘event-experiences’ ( in the ‘actual’ world). This is a story of dynamic individual characters and projected fantasy ‘situations’ that expands to ‘sway’ the reader’s sensibility in several directions at once. In the end there are as many lessons in a given play as an individual can recognize in his/her own life. Shakespeare celebrates life.

As a tri-centric fantasy state thought construct that gives insight into individual experience, group experiences and synthesis experiences The Merchant of Venice establishes an aesthetic domain  that 1) demonstrates mutable experience identity constructs 2) stable experience identity constructs and 3) ritual experience identity constructs, as a point of ‘postulation’ for extended abstract ‘poetic-modeling’ and dynamic storytelling (including the development of  fresh motive material). The reality of this effort extends behind the ‘inner- psychological curtain’ of a given character’s action ( and unique character traits) and allows for the ‘weight’ of a fantasy experience to ‘carry its own affect’. ( the reader/playgoer is not told what to think about the given fantasy  experience- one is free to ‘find one’s self’). Thus, I began the play with an open attitude for all of the characters as a matter of course (and fair play), and by the end of the play I did find ‘affinities’ (connections) with each of the different characters. I have even found my allegiance to particular characters changing on second and third readings of the play- and I sense this ‘state of affairs’ will continue to change with every new reading). In the first category of identity, Shakespeare establishes aesthetic wholeness by giving the reader insight into the psychological ‘poetics’ of cultural values and ‘cultural radiance’ as fundamental components that frame human intention and complexity. There are four aspects of this aesthetic dimension that give ‘hint’ into the value system paradigms that define character interaction ‘associations’ in the play: 1) the aesthetic phenomenon of ‘melancholia’ as a vibrational ‘imprint character’ feature that gives insight into the question of intention and ‘radiance’ 2) the use of ‘technicalities’ as a device to negotiate mutable allegiances from character to character ( and from ‘professed value system to changing ‘professed’ values system), 3) the use of the number three, and finally 4) the thin line that separate so-called masculinity and femininity. In seeking to experience this fantasy state we are given an opportunity to witness a three dimensional liminality that reveals itself(‘motion/cause’ and ‘fire’) in every partial of its materials (i.e. character spectrum, related psychological ruminations and particular imaginary event/situation).   Professor Peterson draws our attention to the very first paragraph of the play (as a structural quality) and immediately we are given privy to the thought of both the author  (i.e. design and formal expansion) as well as the base sentiment of the first character to greet us in the play-(Antonio)  who is not as ‘excited’ about life as one might hope from a character of his social and ‘image-disposition’. There is a kind of ‘lethargic-fabric’ that permeates character actions in this play that is ‘mutable-stable and ‘blending’ all at the same time . This psychological attribute is really telling us something more about the composite ‘vibrational-lining’ of the defined fantasy experiences Shakespeare has chosen to give us as well as the vibrational effect (‘resultant weight’) of the backdrop sentiment factors that ‘expanded’ the political, social and religious  complexities of a Europe in transistion.

Mutable characters, mutable loyalties- so it is, that while the clown works for Shylock there was respect ‘in the air’ (I was impressed with the level of the dialogue between Shylock and Lancelot in the opening conversations – but let one second go by with a new employer and the friendly reader is given witness to an astounding verbal interchange (by Lancelot) that reeks of ‘the sewer’ ( this character discourse is an example of ‘mutable-loyalty’: in this case, between an employer and his trusty worker). Shakespeare is helping us to see ‘the experience of time and space’ and the ‘natural-polarities’ that exist inside of  multi-event/encounter experiences (even on the fantasy plane, and in some cases ‘especially on the fantasy plane’). These characters really mean no harm, its only that their actions are seated into the tendencies of a composite fantasy time portrait. There is a circular logic going on throughout the play, where suddenly a character like Bassanio says ” you shall seek all day ere you find them. and when you have them. they are not worth the search {1.1. 116}. In this remark he is examining ‘curiosity’ and human motivation.  In the end, the individual characters of The Merchant of Venice are looking for the illusion of happiness and so-called ‘life fulfillment’ ( that is to say, the phenomenon of mutable logics in this context gives the outline of character experience – as character loyalties and/or affinities are constantly realigning throughout the story line- liminality as a ‘quality’ is then the norm    – the characters are reaching and reacting throughout the play against boredom and ‘self realization’). Shakespeare is telling us to be careful and not judge these characters too harshly because they are like us ( and their experiences are the genesis ‘poetic-qualities’ that we-the reader/playgoer- are still reacting to). When the Prince of Morocco reads “all that glisters is not gold” {2.3. 65} he is again reinforcing a central motif of the play- that there is even ‘change’ (movement) in stable logic identities – that is to say, ‘everything is liminal’. The Merchant of Venice extends to give the reader a complex network of human relationships that in the end ‘echoes’ the aesthetic ‘vacuumness’ of the fantasy story script . The character Jessica is in motion- moving away from her so-called heritage and upbringing. Her plight is the plight of modernity- moving from the rigid values of one era ( or lineage and/or neighborhood) into the greater space of ‘internationalism’. These characters seem to have a lot of time on their hands- this is what happens when the guys are not at war ( “too much energy directed in meaningless directions- as opposed to a ‘good ole war’ against ‘the invaders’” (smile)) .

There is also the added dimension of music and the significance of creative liminality that serves to further emphasis the position of transitory ‘vibrational impressions’ – even as a stable logic phenomenon ( and/or identity construct). Music in this context is a vibrational mutable agent that ‘solidifies’ personality and psychological disposition. Lorenzo is right when he says ‘Let no such man be trusted” (if that man doesn’t listen or have some affinity with music) ‘Mark the music.’ {5.1. 85}. He is really commenting on  psychological health and the ‘ability to role with the punches’ as an art form ( an axiomatic quality to actual life that is necessary to recognize). Music in this context is a poetic ‘vibrational-liminality’ that suits the character of this drama just fine. The extended use of music time-spaces in The Merchant of Venice gives the work a special lyric intensity. I can only imagine how dynamic the composite play must have been when experienced live- with the ‘inter-feed’ of a large audennce reacting to fantasy events, and the added stimulist of music time-space ‘extensions’, The Merchant of Venice becomes a kind of prototype of the Broadway musical and Vaudeville all in one.

It is the psychological dimension of liminality that Shakespeare wants us to experience when Lancelot discerns that “my conscience is but a kind of hard conscience, to offer to counsel me to stay with the Jew. The fiend gives the more friendly counsel” {2.1. 30}. Lancelot is looking at a ‘philosophical technicality and he is not alone. Shylock would later reach for this same value system motif- he wanted to enforce an underlying technicality rather than be paid triple the amount owed him; likewise, the character Portia would turn the table on Shylock with a concept of technicality that separated blood from flesh ( advancing an aesthetic position that would spell serious danger for the future commerce of Venice – because from an international perspective ‘a pound of flesh’ means ‘a pound of flesh’  (“blood included thank you”). Sure, its only a play, but Mr. Shakespeare wants the reader to notice an aesthetic discrepancy (as a component of identity). Another example of character image-liminality is the use of cross dressing as a quick way to ‘get past stereotypical and/or iconic character responses ( or inter-responses). The extended implications of this technique subtly suggest that our concept of human dynamics are politically and socially constructed rather than preordained from the ‘divine cosmics’. And finally, the use of Portia’s ring strategy can be viewed as a stable logic image construct that perpetuates the same aesthetic dimensions of ‘profound and continuous movement and change’. Here is a character that can understand a broken promise when it involves her husband rather than her own hypocrisy in spying on that same husband. In this context, the ‘broken promise experience’ becomes a category unto itself (something that can be used for selfish – or ‘targeted’ objectives/endeavors and/or motives in future ‘so-called experiences’ (real or imaginary) . Imagine, your friend is stupid enough to promise you money that will result in the loss of a pound of flesh if he doesn’t produce the money at the right time – and then  comes up short! A broken promise is sometimes ‘all it takes’.

In the second category of tri-centric modeling The Merchant of Venice gives the reader an opportunity to sense poetic sentiment through the development of ‘character affections’ and loyalties throughout the whole of the play. It is within this ‘aesthetic-quality’ where the reader/playgoer can sense the 1) the nature of character inter-relationships in the play 2) gain a sense of how male-bonding experiences were ‘vibrationally’ perceived and what these relationships imply about the social reality ‘norms’ of the Renaissance period and 3) gain the added perspective of individual character portraits that increase and frame the parameter-dimensions of the fantasy event (i.e. the isolation of a character to better ‘sense’ personality and emotional sensibility). What of the character relationships in the Merchant of Venice? Well, it can most certainly be stated that the story establishes ‘incredible levels’ of character solidarity in certain ‘zones of experiences’, while at the same time the discriminating reader/theater go’er is confronted with ‘what themes were not explored’ (by default even). Friends are great, but what is the reader to think of two guys who would be drawn into an agreement that if not completed calls for ‘a pound of flesh’!,… ( an agreement that involved the opportunity to ‘try out’ for marriage ship- these people are illresponcible on every level and this ‘quality’ is one of the principal features of the play). Mutable logic identity in this context gives insight into the form of character ‘intention’ – rather than genesis ‘quality’. The characters in the play are constantly moving from one ‘focus’ to another, and yet the summation quality of the play points to an aesthetic ‘vacuum’ that permeates the value system ‘lining’ of an era ( or at least, ‘of a fantasy context’). The nature of character interrelationships in The Merchant of Venice extend to include a father who creates structures that call for his daughter to be at the mercy of any guy who might guess the right box with her picture (this strategy might or might not be theoretically a good idea, but as a practical ‘actual idea’ it is a form of human cruelty- like the chastity belt concept). Still, as a fantasy story construct ( which in the end is what we are dealing with) the event ‘action-state’ imagined by  The Merchant of Venice creates is conceptually dynamic- “with legs”).

The significance of the number three as a tri-centric phenomenon in The Merchant of Venice is explored throughout the whole of the play. In this subject we can sense a Medieval connection to contemporary poetic logic strategies ( and ‘character imagery’) that provides a backdrop motif into the symbolic weight of trans-European concepts of liminality and symbolic references. As a stable logic quality phenomenon Shakespeare immediately establishes the sum of three thousand Ducats as the principle figure to be ‘worked with’ by the characters. The extended use of this quality would see mention of the ‘three fields of Sultan Solyman ( spoken by the Prince of Morocco preceding a ‘crucial moment’) – not to forget The Prince of Arragon who was “enjoined’d by oath to observe three things: ( scene 1X). later in the story when the bad news was given to Salanio concerning the unfortunate news of the wrack’d (crashed) landing of Antonio’s ships ( in the ‘Goodwins’) we suddenly hear about Solano’s ‘imagery’ of the woman ‘weeping for the death of her third husband’- not her first husband ( act 3, scene 1) ; to the separate mention of ‘the three sisters’ by Lancelot in scene two. But the major symbolic use of this imagery in The Merchant of Venice is displayed for all to see in the appearance of the three box’es imagery where the number three establishes three identity zones of psychology  a) gold is equated with desire fulfillment, silver with ‘equation’ ( desire fulfillment), and lead with hazard (fulfillment of belief through ‘mystery’). this is not chemistry, THIS IS ALCHEMY ( leading to the genesis sentiments that underline human values systems and dynamic ‘attraction’- and vibrational ‘movement’ – as in ‘changing experiences’ and unified perspective ‘reception’- including the recognition of magic). Finally the author is letting us in on ‘a secret’, because the core of the three box’es imaginary experience points to ‘the poetic recognition’ of principle zones of human identity (feeling, intuition and experience). These writing techniques stand on the backs of the composite thrust of Aristotelian ‘blocking constructs’ ( as in ‘poetic mapping’).

In the end The Merchant of Venice is an opportunity to experience a dynamic and profound humor based on the use of fantasy projected experiences as a door into the inscrutable ‘realness’ of existence and the fact of ‘polarity’ movement and change. It is the humor of the characters of the play that cements the essence of its poetic ‘dramatic motion’, through their ability to laugh at both themselves and each other. Humor in this context is a mutable logic category that gives insight into a ‘quality’ of human nature. This attribute allows the characters to bounce off one another (not to mention, The Merchant of Venice is after all, a comedy). In seeking to understand this fantasy experience, we are better able to understand transient model strategies and ‘vibrational’ character (psychological) ‘blending’  experiences.