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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: February ::
Bassanio
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0237  Friday, 4 February 2005

From:           Alan Pierpoint <
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Date:           Friday, 4 Feb 2005 02:28:09 EST
Subject: 16.0217 Al Pacino in "Merchant of Venice"
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0217 Al Pacino in "Merchant of Venice"

Does anyone else out there find the character of Bassanio as problematic
as I do?

Supposedly his choice of the lead casket-his decision to "choose not by
the view," vindicates both Portia's correct values and her dead father's
judgment in devising the test.  However, the homosexual subtext in the
play is as strong as could have slipped by the Master of Revels, and in
that context, isn't Bassanio, well, a bit of a whore?  Is there a good
critical source for the above-mentioned subtext?  I've asked my high
school seniors to make note of the lines that hint at a love
relationship between Bassanio and Antonio, and they're finding quite a
bit, much more than a "normal" friendship could account for.  -Alan
Pierpoint / Southwestern Academy

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