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Home :: Archive :: 1995 :: October ::
Re: Shylock and *MV*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 6, No. 0830.  Monday, 23 October 1995.
 
(1)     From:   Stanley Holberg <
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        Date:   Friday, 20 Oct 1995 22:27:29 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   *MV*
 
(2)     From:   Stephanie Hughes <
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        Date:   Sunday, 22 Oct 1995 10:46:01 -0400 (EDT)
        Subj:   Re: SHK 6.0821  Re: *MV*
 
 
(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stanley Holberg <
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Date:           Friday, 20 Oct 1995 22:27:29 -0400 (EDT)
Subject:        *MV*
 
Although in a recent post I advanced the view Shylock's desire for revenge in
the "Hath not a Jew eyes?" speech undercuts the strongly affective lines in
which he seems to be working toward a plea that Christians recognize the
humanity that Jews share with them.  I think that Bill Godshalk, in his reply
to my posting, was right in saying, "We auditors...forget that the plea is
imbedded in a justification for revenge," and with John Boni, who agrees with
him.  We are all right: they on emotional grounds, I on grounds of simple
reasoning.  But they are more right than I, for they are concerned with how
things work in e theatre -- and have worked, even for the Nazis, while I have
been taken up with more limited intellectual analysis.
 
Still, it is diffcult to let the whole speech go as a botch.  If I were to
direct the play, I'd have my Shylock somehow convey, just after "If you poison
us, do we not die?" an annoyance with himself because he realizes that he has
allowed his emotions to run away with him and has headed toward a plea for
human consideration, while his intentions have been quite different.  He would
pull himself together and get back on track: "And if you wrong us, shall we not
revenge?"  The botch would become Shylock's, not Shakespeare's. Come to think
of it, perhaps that's just the way it was
 
--Stanley Holberg
 
(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stephanie Hughes <
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Date:           Sunday, 22 Oct 1995 10:46:01 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: 6.0821  Re: *MV*
Comment:        Re: SHK 6.0821  Re: *MV*
 
Re: Complexity of Shylock
 
As has been noted on this list recently, Shakespeare no doubt wrote for
individual actors. Has anyone an idea of which of the Lord Chamberlain's Men
would have played Shylock? Would it have been Richard Burbage? The complexity
of the role would certainly say something about the abilities of the actor for
whom the role was intended.
 
Stephanie Hughes
 

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