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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: February ::
Untouchable Shakespeare
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0142  Thursday, 29 February 2008

[1] 	From:	Thomas Pendleton <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008 14:53:53 -0500
	Subj:	RE: SHK 19.0139 Untouchable Shakespeare

[2] 	From:	Aaron Azlant <
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	Date:	Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008 23:56:13 -0500
	Subj:	Re: SHK 19.0139 Untouchable Shakespeare


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Thomas Pendleton <
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Date:		Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008 14:53:53 -0500
Subject: 19.0139 Untouchable Shakespeare
Comment:	RE: SHK 19.0139 Untouchable Shakespeare

 >It is past time for students of Shakespeare to get their heads
 >out of the gutter of anti-Semitism. The Merchant of Venice is
 >no more anti-Semitic than Huckleberry Finn is racist. Shylock
 >is not the Jew; he is the Devil. How many times does
 >Shakespeare have to say that before we believe him?

Once.

Tom Pendleton

[2]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:		Aaron Azlant <
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 >
Date:		Wednesday, 27 Feb 2008 23:56:13 -0500
Subject: 19.0139 Untouchable Shakespeare
Comment:	Re: SHK 19.0139 Untouchable Shakespeare

For my money, the best, least reductive interpretation of the Shylock 
issue is the one presented by Norman Rabkin in "Meaning and The Merchant 
of Venice," from his larger book on "Shakespeare and the Problem of 
Meaning." The entire essay is worth reading, but I thought that the 
following passage in particular might shed some light on the subject at 
hand:

"From moment to moment, even simultaneously, we respond to signals of 
Shylock's injured fatherhood, of his role as heavy father, of his 
lighthearted mistreatment at the hands of the negligible Salerio and 
Solanio, of his motiveless malignity, and we try hopelessly to reduce to 
a single attitude our response to his self-defining scorn for Antonio, 
whose combination of generosity, passivity, sensibility, and spitting 
hatred has itself already led us to mixed feelings."

--AA

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