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

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Thread: Is The Merchant of Venice anti-Semitic?

  1. #286
    stanley2
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    In post #207 we noted that Antonio's "These griefs and losses"(MV3.3.32) echoes Morocco's "Portia, adieu. "I have too grieved a heart / To take a tedious leave. Thus losers part"(MV2.7.76-7). Therefore, when Antonio says "Well, jailer, on. Pray God Bassanio come / To see me pay his debt, and then I care not"(MV3.3.35-6). He knows full well that if Bassanio comes to Venice that Portia may too!

  2. #287
    stanley2
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    Antonio's line, "Well, jailer, on. Pray God Bassanio come / To see me pay his debt, and then I care not"(MV3.3.35-6) is interesting. He knows full well that if Bassanio comes to Venice that Portia may too!

  3. #288
    stanley2
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    Sonnet 148 begins: "O me, what eyes hath love put in my head, / which have no correspondence with true sight. / Or if they have, where is my judgment fled, / That censures falsely what they see aright? / If that be fair whereon my false eyes dote, / What means the world to say it is not so?" Morocco says of Portia, "all the world desires her"(MV2.7.38). In the court scene, the Duke says to Shylock : "the world thinks, and I think so too"(MV4.1.18). The poem ends: "No marvel then though I mistake my view; / The sun itself sees not till heaven clears / O cunning love, with tears thou keep'st me blind, / Lest eyes well-seeing thy foul faults should find." The scholar at the website "shakespeares-sonnets.com" has interesting comments on this sonnet. Yet it ends on a hopeful note, I think, which is in keeping with a romantic comedy and Antonio's state of mind.

  4. #289
    stanley2
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    In R&J, Capulet, Juliet's father, has three lines in the first scene of the play. The second scene begins with him speaking to Count Paris: "But Montague is bound as well as I"(R&J1.2.1). In Act one ,scene 3, Shylock says: " Antonio shall become bound, well"(MV1.3.6). This is the second of the three times "bound" occurs in the first ten lines of the scene. Therefore, the reader in Shakespeare's time may well have noted that Jew rhymes with Montague and Shylock is identified with Capulet and Egeus(MND was also published in 1600).
    Last edited by stanley2; 09-09-2021 at 09:04 PM.

  5. #290
    stanley2
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    Professor N. Holland, for the Signet edition of HENRY IV, PART TWO, wrote that the epilogue is "mingled," that is, two epilogues in one. Professor Shapiro, in his fine book CONTESTED WILL, tells us that one was written for Shakespeare himself to speak before an audience including the Queen. It ends as follows: "And so I kneel down before you; but indeed, to pray for the Queen." Little wonder, then, that one may suggest that Team Portia is the winner of this match, if I may call it that. One might then note again that she seems to have prepared for the court scene with her cousins help.

  6. #291
    stanley2
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    Salerio delivers a letter from Antonio to Bassanio regarding the bond and adds: "Never did I know / A creature that did bear the shape of man / So keen and greedy to confound a man"(MV3.2.280-2). Most editors gloss "confound" to mean "destroy." In HAMLET, Professor Hibbard tells us that Hamlet's use of "confound" means "dumbfound"(HAM2.2.553). My dictionary says that dumbfound is a synonym for "puzzle." This meaning is also in play, so to speak, in MV as the Duke says to Shylock in the court scene: "Shylock, the world thinks, and I think so too / That thou but lead'st this fashion of thy malice / To the last hour of act"(MV4.1.18-20). That is, the Duke has consulted others to help him solve the puzzle. Portia and her cousin seem to agree: "Of a strange nature is the suit you follow"(MV4.1.1790.

  7. #292
    stanley2
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    Well, thanks are in order to Danik, Professor Drakakis and Mr. Yesno(post#79) for leading one to note that Shylock the Jew's line, "I stand here for law"(MV4.1.144), echoes lines from Montague, a Christian: "Not Romeo, Prince. He was Mercutio's friend. / His fault concludes but what the law should end, / The life of Tybalt"(R&J3.1.180-2).

  8. #293
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Thanks to you, stanley 2, for keeping this thread alive!
    Last edited by Danik 2016; 09-12-2021 at 01:33 PM.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  9. #294
    stanley2
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    Montague and Capulet are, like Shylock and Antonio, in serious danger: "Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word / By thee, old Capulet, and Montague..........If ever you disturb our streets again / Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace(ROM1.1.98-106). The above noted parallel(#292), then, suggests that the author is not favoring either religion. Each character recommends "law."

  10. #295
    stanley2
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    Another puzzle is that while C.G. Jung's book MEMORIES, DREAMS, REFLECTIONS is interesting to compare to Sh, I have yet to find any mention of Sh in it. This is in contrast with Dr. Freud's comments, made famous by Dr. Ernest Jones. Both Jung and Billy S. seem to recommend religion. That is, in MV the author invites the reader to compare the clown's introductory speech(MV2.2) to the Friar's in R&J(R&J2.2). The tragic ending in R&J is, in part, due to immaturity. The Friar addresses Romeo as "Young son" and "pupil mine" early in the play and later says to him "I thought thy disposition better tempered"(R&J3.3.114)].
    Last edited by stanley2; 10-02-2021 at 04:30 PM.

  11. #296
    stanley2
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    One cannot read MEASURE FOR MEASURE more than once without comparing Angelo to Antonio in MV. Therefore, some in Shakespeare's audience might have noted that the Queen's mother, Ann Boleyn, was convicted of treason and adultery and sentenced to death("Most learned judge! A sentence! Come, prepare!"). Shylock has a longer list of complaints(see "complaint" in MND1.1.23) than Egeus, and does not mention adultery. "Pardon, Bassanio, / For, by this ring, the doctor lay with me"(MV5.1.274-3), says Portia in the last scene of the play. And thus adultery is a subject in the play. Little wonder then, that Professor Greenblatt says of the court scene: "this scene, as the experience of of both the page and the stage repeatedly demonstrates, is deeply unsettled and unsettling."

  12. #297
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by stanley2 View Post
    Montague and Capulet are, like Shylock and Antonio, in serious danger: "Three civil brawls, bred of an airy word / By thee, old Capulet, and Montague..........If ever you disturb our streets again / Your lives shall pay the forfeit of the peace(ROM1.1.98-106). The above noted parallel(#292), then, suggests that the author is not favoring either religion. Each character recommends "law."
    I donīt think, religion is the issue in "Romeo and Juliet". Rather the Duke wants to keep peace and order in his domains and the quarrel between these two families is disturbing it.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  13. #298
    stanley2
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    I'll return to post #297 later, "for I am slow of study"(MND1.2.59). Until then, another indication that the author recommends comparing one play to another is the first line of AS YOU LIKE IT: "As I remember, Adam, it was upon this fashion bequeathed me by will......." This is Orlando speaking to Adam, an aged servant. Adam is much like Giobbe, the clown's father in MV. One example is Giobbe's line, "By God's sonties, 'twill be a hard way to hit"(MV2.2.40), which corresponds to Adam's "Dear master, I can go no further. / O, I die for food! Here lie I down and measure out my grave. / Farewell, kind master"(AYL2.6.1-3).

  14. #299
    stanley2
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    Another interesting hypothesis(post # 297). One might recall Tybalt's "Now, by the stock and honor of my kin, / To strike him dead I hold it not a sin"(ROM1.5.60-1). In turn, Romeo says to Juliet: "If I profane with my unworthiest hand / This holy shrine, the gentle sin is this....."(ROM1.5.95-6). Some editors replace Romeo's "sin" with "fine," suggesting a printer's error. Another hypothesis there is that Romeo has heard Tybalt say "sin" and in a slip of the tongue, so to speak, repeats "sin" where he meant to say "fine."

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