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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: October ::
Re: Merchant
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.2512  Wednesday, 31 October 2001

[1]     From:   Mari Bonomi <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 14:30:06 -0500
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2497 Re: Merchant

[2]     From:   Jim Slager <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 14:13:58 -0800
        Subj:   Re: Merchant

[3]     From:   Dave Evett <
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        Date:   Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 22:17:58 EST
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.2445 Re: Leah and Merchant



[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Mari Bonomi <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 14:30:06 -0500
Subject: 12.2497 Re: Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2497 Re: Merchant

Gabriel Egan suggests, of Antonio's need to seek out Shylock for the
loan,

<<"To rack" means to extort money (OED rack v.3 4d), which sounds more
like high interest than security.>>

Does this suggestion discard the medieval prohibition against Christians
practicing usury?

Mari Bonomi

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Jim Slager <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 14:13:58 -0800
Subject:        Re: Merchant

Thanks to those who responded to my bafflement over what became of the
money loaned to Bassanio.

Sean Lawrence points out the "sensible regreets" which I had overlooked
which clearly indicates that Bassanio had spent at least part of the
money on "Gifts of rich value" for Portia.

Dana Shilling asks: "What about Lancelot Gobbo's livery?"  The passage
reads:

BASSANIO
Thou speak'st it well. Go, father, with thy son.
Take leave of thy old master and inquire
My lodging out. Give him a livery
More guarded than his fellows': see it done.
Apparently, Bassanio now feels that he can take on a servant and,
perhaps,
provide better than normal quarters for him.  This does seem to indicate
that Bassanio is blowing part of the loan on his own comfort.  I wonder
if
Shakespeare included this in order to make Bassanio feel especially
guilty
about Antonio getting in trouble on his behalf.

Edmund Taft writes: the way to unravel the play is "to follow the
money."  A method made famous by Watergate.  Of course, thinking about
it, isn't money at the bottom of most unhappy events?

Anyway, thanks to all.

Jim Slager

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Dave Evett <
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Date:           Tuesday, 30 Oct 2001 22:17:58 EST
Subject: 12.2445 Re: Leah and Merchant
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.2445 Re: Leah and Merchant

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.

Dave Evett

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