View Full Version : Shylocke and his faith

mike thomas
07-15-2010, 07:22 PM

Shylock says: "This Iacob from our holy Abram was .... " and "O Father Abram, what these Christians are..." So he twice uses the name "Abram".

Why is this? Surely a devout Jew (which he seems to be) would know perfectly well that Abram was not the "father" of the Jewish nation until his name was changed to Abraham.


07-15-2010, 11:56 PM
Regarding the use of Abram rather than Abraham; since Shylock is speaking in verse, I believe Shakespeare uses "Abram" to limit the number of syllables and so maintain a pentameter line, i.e., "Abraham" has two more syllables than "Abram" and would disrupt the metre. Second, I doubt Shakespeare felt an obligation to be biblically accurate in the way Shylock uses language.