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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: November ::
Re: Merchant
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2524  Thursday, 1 November 2001

From:           W.L. Godshalk <
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Date:           Wednesday, 31 Oct 2001 15:11:03 -0500
Subject: 12.2512 Re: Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2512 Re: Merchant

Dave Evett writes,

>Bill Godshalk asks, "And why does Shakespeare have Shylock refer to
>Leah, when Rachel -- the  one truly loved -- was equally available to
>his pen?" The implied answer--that it was all about dynasty, which is to
say about
>property, and not about sentiment--was,  indeed, my point.  Sorry I was
>not more clear.

I also apologize. I thought that Dave had misremembered the Jacob, Leah,
and Rachel story.  I now gather that Dave is suggesting that Shylock is
a kind of anti-Jacob, a Jacob who marries Leah for her money (not by
mistake), and never falls in love with Rachel. Once he gets the heiress,
he's satisfied, and his reference to Leah's ring is not sentimental, but
financial.  His later, pejorative reference to Christian husbands is,
then, mere hypocrisy.  Shylock, like Bassanio, has married for money,
not love.

Yours, Bill Godshalk

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