View Poll Results: Is the Merchant of Venice anti-Semitic?

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Thread: Is The Merchant of Venice anti-Semitic?

  1. #211
    stanley2
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    All that we know about Leah is the 3 or 4 lines quoted in post #96. Hawkman wrote, "Shylock's wife perhaps?" Charles D wrote, "who I can only assume is his[Shylock's] wife." Professor Bate, reasonably, argues that there is no other reasonable inference. Back to the matter of Marlowe, Professor Parrott wrote in his general introduction: "In short, one feels in reading RICHARD 2 that the poet has graduated from the school of Marlowe and is now his own master." R2 was written about 1595, two years after the death of Marlowe, that "school" was by then closed. One might then suggest that Shakespeare was sad that such a talented rival was gone: "and it shall go hard, but I will better the instruction"(MV3.1.61). Some have suggested that RICHARD 3(written before R2) was in part Shakespeare's response to Marlowe's THE JEW OF MALTA. Parrott wrote, "like Marlowe's HERO AND LEANDER, which Shakespeare must have read in manuscript, VENUS AND ADONIS is a narrative poem(written in 1593).

  2. #212
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    She probably is. But would she have known Antonio? Shylock would hardly have taken him home. I quite agree with Professor Bate that there is not much that can be said about her.

    I believe that Shakespeare had read or, maybe,even watched some of Marlowe´s plays and that he was influenced by them.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  3. #213
    stanley2
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    Indeed, Antonio may know less than the audience about Leah. We learn more about Lancelet the clown's mother: "Her name is Margery indeed. I'll be sworn, if thou be Lancelet, thou art mine own flesh and blood"(MV2.2.85-6). This last line is echoed in Act 3, scene 1: "I say my daughter is my flesh and my blood"(MV3.1.33). The next line, Salerio's "There is more difference between thy flesh and hers than between jet and ivory," corresponds to black and white images in R&J. On the way to Belmont, Salerio met Lorenzo and Jessica and invited them to join him: "I did my lord, / And I have reason for it. Signior Antonio / Commends him to you"(MV3.2.229-31). And as Professor Parrott wrote: "Portia herself is, of course, the most delightful character of the play. She is one of Shakespeare's ideal women, a lady of the Renaissance, beautiful, prudent, cultured and courteous." The added implication that Shylock and Antonio are both grieving the loss of Leah may have been intended to please the Queen.

  4. #214
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I like Professor Parrott´s comment on Portia.

    But I insist: I don´t think Antonio was grieving the loss of Leah. Even if he knew her, he would hardly have fallen in love with her.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  5. #215
    stanley2
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    Roger Tory Peterson wrote: "caution should be the keynote." A good thought in many circumstances. Professor Garber, I think, noted that Shylock tells us in Act 1, scene 3 that Tubal will supply the funds to furnish Bassanio's adventure. In Act 3, scene 1, we meet a character named Tubal(Someone pointed out that there may be two Salerio's!). In this thread we find Professor Greenblatt's notes regarding the good news/bad news nature of Tubal's report. One will then note the Nurse's reports to Juliet in R&J: "What storm is this that blows so contrary?"(ROM3.2.64). It seems, then, that Tubal is as generous towards Shylock as Antonio is to Bassanio. Tubal's line, "Yes, other men have ill luck too. Antonio as I heard in Genoa"(MV3.1.84), corresponds to Duke Senior's: "Thou seest we are not all alone unhappy. / This wide and universal theatre / Presents more woeful pageants than the scene / Wherein we play"(AS YOU LIKE IT2.7.135-9). Is Tubal a gay fellow or is he simply a Neoplatonic natural philosopher?

  6. #216
    stanley2
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    Another cause of Antonio's sadness is suggested by Lancelet the clown and Professor Parrott. Parrott notes that he is "an idealist, overshadowed, like most of Shakespeare's men of thought, with a cloud of melancholy." Lancelet tells us: "My conscience says, 'No; take heed, honest Lancelet, take heed, honest Gobbo', or, as aforesaid, 'Honest Lancelet Gobbo, do not run, scorn running with thy heels'"(MV2.2.5-7). Therefore, Antonio is sad because his own conscience is telling him that his behavior towards Shylock is bad form.

  7. #217
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "Is Tubal a gay fellow or is he simply a Neoplatonic natural philosopher?"
    I think Tubal is simply another Jewish merchant and Shylocks friend.
    Yes, I think Antonio could be called an idealist.
    The problem I see when one interprets every line of a play is losing sight of the whole picture. A certain interpretation may be right, if you take the line isolately, but not in regard to the play as a whole.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  8. #218
    stanley2
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    In the film THE FRENCH CONNECTION, the mechanic says to the detective: " We've looked everywhere[for the illegal addictive drug] except the rocker panels." Gene Hackman(as the detective) says, "Then take apart the[expletive deleted] rocker panels." I think we've noted some possible causes of Antonio's grief. One remaining is that he is losing Portia by her marriage to Bassanio.

  9. #219
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I haven´t seen this film. If I understand you right, the idea is that the interpretation is in the detail.
    So far ok. But now you are suggesting that Antonio might have been in love with Portia?
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  10. #220
    stanley2
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    The end of MACBETH, or the Scottish play, is useful here: "We shall not spend a large expense of time / Before we reckon with your several loves"(MAC5.9.26-7). Therefore, Antonio may then have, like the narrator of the Sonnets, "Two loves." Shakespeare wrote this play such that these various possibilities are each implicit.

  11. #221
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    I should say Bassanio and some of his ships should be loss enough for Antonio!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  12. #222
    stanley2
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    Let 's take an air guitar break. I just watched on Youtube the "Stones" performing JUST MY IMAGINATION, a popular song from 1971 by Norman Whitfield and Barret Strong. Mick Jagger sings "But in reality, she doesn't [expletive deleted] know me!" Therefore, it's not necessary that Antonio know Leah, it's just his imagination.

  13. #223
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    To be sure! Poor Shakespeare!
    Anyway I hope you enjoyed the music.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  14. #224
    stanley2
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    There's a fine essay by Professor Pequigney about the Antonio character in TWELFTH NIGHT, that is, how similar he is to Antonio in MV. Professor Bate says of the second Antonio: "He is rewarded for his devotion by being left alone and melancholy, again in the exact manner of a sonnet writer turned away by his frosty mistress." Of course, Viola is disguised as a young man and Olivia loves her. In the end, Olivia marries Viola's twin brother. Therefore, the second Antonio could follow her example and find himself devoted to someone of the other gender.

  15. #225
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    I get your point. But this second Antonio is a minor character in the play. His function is just to save and accompany Sebastian. Remember that there is another Shakespearean Antonio, the Marc Anton of "Julius Cesar" and "Antonius and Cleopatra" who doesn´t efface himself.

    By the way, where do you get all those Professors. Some of them have very curious names.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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