Make a Donation

Consider making a donation to support SHAKSPER.

Subscribe to Our Feeds

Current Postings RSS

Announcements RSS

Home :: Archive :: 2000 :: August ::
Re: Shylock
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 11.1563  Wednesday, 23 August 2000.

[1]     From:   Carol Barton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 09:31:28 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1559 Re: Shylock's Daughter

[2]     From:   Florence Amit <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
        Date:   Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 15:34:21 +0000
        Subj:   Re: SHK 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Carol Barton <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 09:31:28 -0400
Subject: 11.1559 Re: Shylock's Daughter
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1559 Re: Shylock's Daughter

John, I haven't read _Shylock's Daughter_ yet, either, and at the
moment, I cannot even take steps to locate a copy . . . but . . .

while I wouldn't agree that _Merchant_ "parodies a stereotype," I
*would* argue that, if only subversively so, it is *not* an anti-Semitic
play, and I think it *is* about stereotypes. I think it questions its
audiences assumptions about "dirty Jew moneylenders" and the "Christian"
laws that made usury the only occupation into which they could legally
enter, and "Christians" who in the name of charity would "rescue" a
daughter from her father while using him and his "ill-gotten gains" for
their own benefit. I do see the question "how are you any different from
me?" in the subtext of the "Hath not a Jew eyes?" soliloquy -- bad,
good, or indifferent . . . and to me it has always been a troubling
play.

Best,
Carol Barton

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Florence Amit <
 This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
 >
Date:           Tuesday, 22 Aug 2000 15:34:21 +0000
Subject: 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm
Comment:        Re: SHK 11.1547 Re: Tudor Iconoclasm

Clifford Stationer says: "As Shakespeare emphasizes over and over, words
are images too, and can conceal truth as costumes can conceal genders."

Indeed in the Merchant of Venice the actual motives of Shylock are so
"effectively" concealed that even today we read him as his adversaries
do (and as was intended by Shylock that they should.). So we and they
fail to take into account the comic motive of the play, which of course
is to provide a legal inheritance, dowry, for Jessica. Therefore our
failure is not only by our unremitting lack of perception, even during
Shylock's momentary lapses when there are variations in tempo, emphasis,
imagery and emotion. It is not only that there is unconsidered Hebrew to
confirm what we should see. But we fail to ascertain what is absurd and
accept it as gospel truth. Shakespeare reverses the Christian dictum
that the Word is truth and substitutes a Hebrew alternative: "Mirmah"-
justifiable deception. It is indicated by Shylock's mention of Laban -
the arch deceiver who is in contrast to Jacob and his mirmah, just as
Shylock explains. The subject of Laban traditionally opens a Talmudic
discussion about justifiable deception as distinguished from trickery.
Therefore Mr. Stetner's claim that " Shylock and Angelo involves a
rejection of the principle of the "purity" of written text" is quite
true. He only need now to accept that these deceptions are the norm in
satire, which is the genre for the play.

Florence Amit
 

©2011 Hardy Cook. All rights reserved.