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Home :: Archive :: 2005 :: February ::
Noble Shylock
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 16.0283  Friday, 11 February 2005

[1]     From:   Marvin Bennet Krims <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Feb 2005 16:46:42 -0500
        Subj:   RE: SHK 16.0265 Noble Shylock

[2]     From:   Colin Cox <
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        Date:   Thursday, 10 Feb 2005 22:07:37 -0800
        Subj:   Re: SHK 16.0265 Noble Shylock


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Marvin Bennet Krims <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Feb 2005 16:46:42 -0500
Subject: 16.0265 Noble Shylock
Comment:        RE: SHK 16.0265 Noble Shylock

Harvey,

You may want to take a look at Greenblatt's chapter on the Merchant in
his latest book. He seems to think the "Jew of Malta" and Gomez's
execution were strong determinants for the Merchant.

Regards,
Marvin

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Colin Cox <
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Date:           Thursday, 10 Feb 2005 22:07:37 -0800
Subject: 16.0265 Noble Shylock
Comment:        Re: SHK 16.0265 Noble Shylock

 >Is it possible that Shakespeare knew his audiences were particularly
 >eager to see punishment of the perfidious Jew in the context of the
 >trial and execution of Roderigo Gomez, the Spanish Jewish physician
 >falsely accused of planning Elizabeth's poisoning.

The gentle doctor in question was Roderigo 'Lopez' - hence the wolf
reference by Gratiano at the trial.

It is interesting that Lopez, a Marrano, was accused of poisoning
Elizabeth in conjunction with Don 'Antonio' the Portuguese pretender to
the throne (also a noted gay man - giving credence to the latest
interpretation in the movie?). Lopez was never guilty of his supposed
crime, even Elizabeth knew this, but he had offended the earl of Essex
(Hamlet himself?).

Sir Edward Coke, the prosecutor in the case described Lopez as "worse
than Judas himself". The poor doctor was hung, drawn and quartered upon
Tyburn in June of 1594.

The Admiral's Men, led by Edward Alleyn, very successfully remounted
Marlowe's Jew of Malta during the course of the doctor's trial. The
trial caused a huge sensation in London.

Lopez' last words were that he loved Elizabeth and Antonio as well as he
loved Jesus Christ, to which the crowd responded with "He is a Jew!"

I think it would be hard not to believe that all this had some influence
on William's play.

Colin Cox

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