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Home :: Archive :: 1996 :: August ::
Re: *MV* and *Edward III*
Shakespeare Electronic Conference, Vol. 7, No. 0630.  Tuesday, 27 August 1996.

(1)     From:   Kay J. Wade <
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        Date:   Monday, 26 Aug 1996 08:34:00 -0700
        Subj:   RE: SHK 7.0624  Re: Interpreting Merchant of Venice

(2)     From:   W. L. Godshalk <
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        Date:   Monday, 26 Aug 1996 22:55:30 -0400
        Subj:   Edward III


(1)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Kay J. Wade <
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Date:           Monday, 26 Aug 1996 08:34:00 -0700
Subject: 7.0624  Re: Interpreting Merchant of Venice
Comment:        RE: SHK 7.0624  Re: Interpreting Merchant of Venice

Jacob Goldberg says:

>The picture of the Christians in MV, with the possible exception
>of Portia, is not a flattering one.  I don't think that Shakespeare
>intended it to be.

I don't think Portia is meant to be an exception.  Recall that despite her
lovely speech about mercy, it is she who insists on justice, justice, justice
for the rest of the scene.  She says, "As thou urgest justice, be assured thou
shalt have justice, more than thou desirest."   From then on the only time the
word mercy crosses her lips is when she is making Shylock grovel.   As usual,
Shakespeare leaves us to draw our own lessons.  But once you stop being
mesmerised by the power of that one speech and try to measure her against it,
you see a different Portia.  However hard you look, you cannot find her
offering to Shylock the mercy that she so eloquently preached.   At one time or
another, she had said, we all have to pray for mercy, and that teaches us to
render it as well.   She talks a good game, but I wouldn't like my fate to rest
in her hands.

Kay Wade

(2)----------------------------------------------------------------------------
From:           W. L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Monday, 26 Aug 1996 22:55:30 -0400
Subject:        Edward III

John Lavagnino sends me the following addition:

> If you're trying to track down absolutely everything about
> Edward III, you might add "The Oxford Shakespeare Re-Viewed by the
> General Editors", by Stanley Wells and Gary Taylor, in Analytical and
> Enumerative Bibliography NS 4:1 (1990), 6-20.  At 17-18 they talk
> about why they didn't include Edward III although by 1990 it seemed
> clear to them that they should have.

Yours, Bill Godshalk
 

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