The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 21.0308  Friday, 23 July 2010

From:         John W Kennedy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>
Date:         July 20, 2010 7:30:47 PM EDT
Subject: 21.0299  Pacino as Shylock in the Park
Comment:      Re: SHK 21.0299  Pacino as Shylock in the Park

David Basch <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.> wrote,

>Turning to John Kennedy's comment, he quotes my letter as follows:
>>The point here is that Shylock looks like everyone else. All male
>>Elizabethans wore hats in public and in private, and Shakespeare
>>means to show by this that the devilishness which others see in
>>him is brought about by their biased expectations of a Jew.
>To this assertion, John pithily comments: "A truly heroic non-sequitur."
>I can only say that what John finds as "non-sequitur" is actually 
>"sequitur" when the play is consulted.
>We had already learned that Launcelot refers to Shylock as devilish. 
>Says Launcelot, "to be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the 
>Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil;..."
>Later on, Salanio, Antonio's friend, says, "Let me say 'amen' betimes, 
>lest the devil cross my prayer, for here he comes in the likeness of a 
>Jew." Once more, when Tubal, Shylock's friend shows up, Salanio says, 
>"Here comes another of the tribe: a third cannot be matched, unless 
>the devil himself turn Jew."
>Somehow, Shylock, who, as we learn from Portia, appears like anyone else in 
>Venice, is said to look like the "devil." Surely, Portia's statement must 
>come as an eye-opener that Shylock can't be distinguished physically from a 
>The point is that Shylock, who is nothing more than today's equivalent of a 
>banker or loan officer carrying out his society's commercial necessity for 
>loans, is hated, not for what he looks like, but because he is a Jew.
>Focusing narrowly on my comment alone in the Wall Street Journal, John may 
>find its conclusion a non-sequitur but this is not so when it is read in 
>the context of the play.

It remains a completely illogical conclusion. Pray, how would this play out 
if Morocco and Shylock were to trade places?

John W Kennedy

[Editor's Note: A while ago, I made some suggestions about SHAKSPER 
Netiquette: http://www.shaksper.net/netiquette.html If I did not 
include the following, I should have: When a thread becomes two or 
three people talking to each other to the exclusion of the rest of 
the members of the list, then it is probably time that that thread 
has reached its useful conclusion and the exchanges should be taken 
offline. This, I believe, is the case with this thread. -Hardy]

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