The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2568 Thursday, 7 November 2001
From: Don Bloom <
Date: Wednesday, 7 Nov 2001 12:14:23 -0600
Subject: 12.2536 Re: Merchant
Comment: Re: SHK 12.2536 Re: Merchant
Bruce Young writes,
> . . . even as we see him
> in the play, I would argue, Shylock is not driven exclusively by money.
Just so. In fact, I would go further and say that money was relatively
secondary to him, at least where Antonio is concerned. He is driven by
hate, malice, spite, whatever you want to call it.
And *that* is why depicting him as sympathetic makes such a spiritual
chaos of the play.
You could draw an interesting parallel to a prominent writer whose
biographer explained away his lapses into anti-Semitism by the fact that
his brother was bankrupted by Jewish money-lenders. It explains much,
but justifies nothing.
If you cannot see what Shylock really is, you cannot grasp the comedy
that Shakespeare wrote.
(Sorry to be tardy in responding but our e-mail was out of commission
for several days and I am frantically catching up.)
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