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Home :: Archive :: 2003 :: February ::
Re: Shylock Redux
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 14.0215  Thursday, 6 February 2003

[1]     From:   Sean Lawrence <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 05 Feb 2003 13:16:32 -0400
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0186 Re: Shylock Redux

[2]     From:   Don Bloom <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 5 Feb 2003 12:34:58 -0600
        Subj:   Re: SHK 14.0208 Re: Shylock Redux


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Sean Lawrence <
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Date:           Wednesday, 05 Feb 2003 13:16:32 -0400
Subject: 14.0186 Re: Shylock Redux
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0186 Re: Shylock Redux

If I may say so, I think that the criticism of this thread as lacking in
historical depth as to Shylock's status is misplaced.  The question is
only partly a historical one, of what sort of contemporary laws might be
applicable in this case, but is mainly a philosophical one, of how to
establish agreements with persons who are not part of a single,
over-arching set of mores and beliefs.  As usual, historiography is
powerless to answer this philosophical question, though it can hint at
how the question has been answered in the past.

Seen in these terms, the bond in The Merchant of Venice might show the
limits of reciprocity and contractual relations as comportment towards
the Other.

Yours,
Sean.

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Don Bloom <
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Date:           Wednesday, 5 Feb 2003 12:34:58 -0600
Subject: 14.0208 Re: Shylock Redux
Comment:        Re: SHK 14.0208 Re: Shylock Redux

Ted Dykstra writes,

>PLEASE! All of you stop! Your bludgeoning an already tedious topic to
>Absolute nothingness!!!

Well, I must accept responsibility for this most recent renewal of the
"tedious topic" in question. I don't deny that much of what has been
written is "Absolute nothingness," including possibly some of my own
contributions -- though ordinarily, I hasten to add, they are little
masterpieces of insight, scholarship, and stylistic beauty.

Perhaps, though, he could consider two factors:

1) There may be sound reasons for these reiterated and sometimes
frustrating discussions. For instance, I feel that the play is routinely
misunderstood because people are unable to see beyond the apparent, and
embarrassing, Jew-baiting. I try to get them to have, or at least
consider, a different understanding of it, not so much because their
version is "wrong," but because I find it logically inconsistent.

2) He is under no compulsion to read any of it.

Cheers,
don

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