2010

Shylock the unChristian

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0456  Thursday, 18 November 2010

[1]  From:      Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 17, 2010 3:40:09 PM EST
     Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0451  Shylock the unChristian 

[2]  From:      John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 18, 2010 5:22:51 AM EST
     Subj:      RE: SHK 21.0451  Shylock the unChristian


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Abigail Quart <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 17, 2010 3:40:09 PM EST
Subject: 21.0451  Shylock the unChristian
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0451  Shylock the unChristian

William Godshalk writes:

"Shylock is merely words on a page."

Uh...uh....no, not if you read English and have normal brain function.

And I was gonna leave it there. But I spent this morning online learning the stages 
by which the Jews of Sokolka and Bialystok were exported and murdered. Reading about 
the mop up operation that killed the remaining 20,000. That's some mop. They had a 
fairly new resplendent synagogue. 1,500 Jews were herded into it and burned alive. 
An old medieval tradition throughout Europe, burning Jews in their homes.

So no, I don't find the following to be "words on a page."

"To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath 
disgraced me, and hindered me half a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my 
gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine 
enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew 
hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, 
hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, 
warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, 
do we not bleed?  if you tickle us, do we not laugh? if you poison us, do we not 
die? and if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we 
will resemble you in that. If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? 
Revenge. If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian 
example? Why, revenge. The villainy you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go 
hard but I will better the instruction."

I find it damn near miraculous. 

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         John Drakakis <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 18, 2010 5:22:51 AM EST
Subject: 21.0451  Shylock the unChristian
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0451  Shylock the unChristian

To Joe Egert,

The matter is very simple: because it wasn't 'Jews' who were the usurers in 
Elizabethan England but Christians. In Shylock's name and in his designation as 
'Jew' 'myth' and 'reality' collide. May I suggest that Joe undertakes a lengthy 
sojourn in the usury tracts of the period from about 1578 to 1605? 

To Bill Godshalk . . . Good to hear from you Bill. I think you are missing the point 
though. Shakespeare is not a sociologist in any sense that you or I would 
understand, but he does have his finger on the pulse of 'the very age and body of 
the time'. I don't think it improbable that he was able to figure out what we might 
call the contradiction involved in the practice of usury and those who practised it. 
Again, following Barthes, we would call this 'mythologising' wouldn't we?

Of course, I cannot separate my own perceptions of the play from 'the play'. A 
cursory re-reading of Terry Hawkes' 'Meaning by Shakespeare' would remind us all of 
that. But if you want to apply that logic to my reading, then you will need to apply 
it to your own...

Very best wishes,
John D 

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Kenneth Rothwell

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0455  Thursday, 18 November 2010

From:         Charles Weinstein <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 17, 2010 5:45:44 PM EST
Subject:      Kenneth Rothwell

>Ken [Rothwell] is probably best known for his work incorporating 
>Shakespeare on film into his teaching and scholarship. At that 
>time, many considered the using of such practices as a 'dumbing 
>down' of Shakespeare."
 
Some still do.

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Titus Andronicus (Etymology Query)

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0453  Thursday, 18 November 2010

From:         Will Sharpe <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 17, 2010 2:39:35 PM EST
Subject:      Titus Andronicus (Etymology Query)

Dear Shaksperians,
 
Does anybody know if the word 'virgin' is cognate with the tale of Virginius, 
recorded in Livy as slaying his daughter Virginia to prevent her losing her chastity 
to Appius' ravishment (see Titus, 5.3.36-8)? No editor of the play attempts or even 
acknowledges this question, and OED offers no satisfactory etymological explanation. 
I therefore realise this may a tough one to answer, but I thought I'd throw it out 
there in the hope that someone knows, or, at least, that others might agree with me 
in acknowledging that this is an interesting and obvious question for editions of 
the play to address.
 
Hopefully,
Will Sharpe


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Renaissance Forum?

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0454  Thursday, 18 November 2010

From:         Steven Marx <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 18, 2010 10:49:28 AM EST
Subject:      Renaissance Forum?

Apologies if this query is about old news.

What happened to the online journal, _Renaissance Forum_, started by Robin Headlam Wells and 
others in about 1996 and accessible at least up until a year ago?  Attempts to access articles in it 
produce a 404 response and a Google search comes up with nothing.

Steven Marx


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S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
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on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility 
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Shylock the unChristian

The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0451  Wednesday, 17 November 2010

[1]  From:      Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 11, 2010 5:41:55 PM EST
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0433  Shylock the unChristian 

[2]  From:      Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
     Date:      November 11, 2010 5:41:55 PM EST
     Subj:      Re: SHK 21.0433  Shylock the unChristian 


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:         Joseph Egert <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 11, 2010 5:41:55 PM EST
Subject: 21.0433  Shylock the unChristian
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0433  Shylock the unChristian

In his response to Stephen Greenblatt's (9/30/2010) NYRB review, "Shakespeare & 
Shylock", David Bishop writes:
 
>"Spitting was not quite the disgusting act it seems to us"
 
Does Bishop believe Anthonio, like Jesus, was aiming at Shylock's eyes to cure him 
of his blindness?
 
David goes on, "An unconverted Shylock would also be in danger of Gratiano's lynch 
mob".
 
But wouldn't a converted Shylock be in even greater danger from the Inquisition?
 
David Basch, unpersuaded by Bishop's letter, notes: "Antonio has interceded in 
Shylock's business transactions and prevented Shylock the due he bargained for".
 
I don't follow. What bargain 'due' Shylock did Anthonio prevent?
 
John Drakakis, following Stephen Orgel, believes "the name 'Shylock' is not Jewish 
at all but English." Why would Shakespeare, so careful in Biblically naming others 
of Shylock's tribe, exempt this Jewish archenemy?

(Also, I still wonder if Dr D agrees with his predecessor Brown that the 'red wine' 
in III.1 applies to Jessica, and the 'rhenish' to Shylock?) 
 
Curious,
Joe Egert

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:         William Godshalk <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         November 11, 2010 5:55:40 PM EST
Subject: 21.0433  Shylock the unChristian
Comment:      RE: SHK 21.0433  Shylock the unChristian

Shylock is merely words on a page. John Drakakis thinks "we should really direct our attention to 
the process of myth-making that these figures represent as a means of understanding late 
Elizabethan and early Jacobean prejudices."  I am of course not disputing John's right to project 
his interpretation on to the text, but I would not look to Shylock for insight into early modern 
prejudices and myth making. Playwrights, as we all know, are out-and-out liars. And Shakespeare 
did not have an advanced degree in sociology. 

Bill 
  

_______________________________________________________________
S H A K S P E R: The Global Shakespeare Discussion List
Hardy M. Cook, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
The S H A K S P E R Web Site <http://www.shaksper.net>

DISCLAIMER: Although SHAKSPER is a moderated discussion list, the opinions expressed 
on it are the sole property of the poster, and the editor assumes no responsibility 
for them.

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