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

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.

regards

Beewulf
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.