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Home :: Archive :: 1998 :: March ::
Re: Postmodernism; Anti-Semitism
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 9.0254  Wednesday, 25 March 1998.

[1]     From:   Bill McRae <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Mar 1998 09:21:39 -0600 (CST)
        Subj:   Postmodernism

[2]     From:   Jacob Goldberg <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 24 Mar 1998 13:34:06 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 9.0250  Re: Anti-Semitism


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Bill McRae <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Mar 1998 09:21:39 -0600 (CST)
Subject:        Postmodernism

At the risk of setting off another round, there is a difference between
saying that cancer exists, or that the speed of light is a constant, and
saying that such knowledge claims have histories...as do claims about
the "meaning" of Shakespeare.  Unless, of course, we are to understand
the claims of certain scientists and certain Shakespeareans as
revelation.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jacob Goldberg <
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Date:           Tuesday, 24 Mar 1998 13:34:06 EST
Subject: 9.0250  Re: Anti-Semitism
Comment:        Re: SHK 9.0250  Re: Anti-Semitism

It may be <clear> that Shakespeare could imagine Jews who were not
villains, but, surely, Jessica is not an example of that.  Consider, she
lies to her father who has loved her and raised her since her mother's
death - and she robs him with great glee.

And when, as she is stealing from him, she takes, not only the ducats,
but Shylock's tenderest possession, his wife's ring (Jessica's mother's
ring).

And having violated the Commandment against stealing, she trades her
mother's ring for a gaggle of monkeys, with no feeling of having
committed a betrayal of trust.  Shylock feels the emotional and moral
outrage as well he should.  Jessica has no such feelings.

A Jew who is not a villain?  Not Jessica!  She is a despicable villain,
and Shakespeare created her as such.  Why would the Christian audience
be happy with such a convert?

Jacob Goldberg
 

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