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

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    2 25.00%
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    6 75.00%
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Thread: Is The Merchant of Venice anti-Semitic?

  1. #391
    stanley2
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    It is then helpful to compare Bevington's "However much we may come to sympathize with Shylock's misfortunes.........[he] remains essentially the villain of a love comedy" to Professor Leggatt's comment regarding Antonio: "In the trial his courageous acceptance of death shades into an actual yearning for it." One may argue that we may exchange the two names Antonio and Shylock and the opinion still is, as Professor Leggatt put it, "allowed" by the text. In AS YOU LIKE IT, Duke Frederick's line, "Till thou canst quit thee by thy brother's mouth"(AYI3.1.11), echoes Antonio's "so please my lord the Duke and all the court / To quit the fine for one half of his goods"(MV4.1.396-7). Professor Dusinberre glosses the conversation in AS YOU LIKE IT: "The confrontation between the two villainous brothers- Frederick and Oliver- contrasts with the comradeship of Duke Senior and Orlando at the end of 2.7." It plainly also echoes the confrontation of Antonio and Shylock. They are both villains in a love comedy.

  2. #392
    stanley2
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    We have noted that Jaques in AS YOU LIKE IT echoes Antonio(see post 277). In one of Hamlet's speeches(HAMLET2.2.575-634) we find him responding to an excerpt spoken by an actor: "Is it not monstrous that this player here, / But in a fiction, in a dream of passion.......What's Hecuba to him, or he to Hecuba, / That he should weep for her?" So, one might ask much the same question regarding Antonio and Leah. As we have also seen, the author also allows one to regard Antonio to be homosexual and his desire is or was instead for Bassanio. Or perhaps Mercutio describes Antonio: "this driveling love is like a great natural that runs lolling up and down to hide his bauble in a hole"(R&J2.4.90-1).

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