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

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

  1. #316
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Do you mean Harold Bloom, Stanley?
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  2. #317
    stanley2
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    Right, the late Yale Professor I last noted way back in post #193. I have not read Allan Bloom or other noted Blooms. I thought it interesting that Harold included the phrase "or reinvention" in his chapter about MV in his big Shakespeare book.

  3. #318
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Well, he was an acclaimed critic, I have a booklet by him here. But I have read very little by him.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  4. #319
    stanley2
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    Juliet's "O serpent" speech is in turn linked to the clownish fool Lancelet's "Certainly" speech. The word "fiend" is found twice in the former and in the clown's we have "To be ruled by my conscience, I should stay with the Jew my master, who, God bless the mark, is a kind of devil; and, to run away from the Jew, I should be ruled by the fiend, who, saving your reverence, is the devil himself"(MV2.2.19-23).
    Last edited by stanley2; 12-18-2021 at 02:37 PM.

  5. #320
    stanley2
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    And so Portia's "Tarry a little" speech is in stark contrast to the bloody deaths in R&J. At the same time, Shylock may be contemplating rushing at Antonio with his knife. If Bassanio is close by, we might have then seen a reenactment of the death of Marlowe.
    Last edited by stanley2; 12-24-2021 at 03:54 PM.

  6. #321
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    May Portia´s speech not also be viewed as reason against passion?
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  7. #322
    stanley2
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    Another question where there might be more than one solid answer. Merry Christmas!

  8. #323
    stanley2
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    Romeo's line, "O, she doth teach the torches to burn bright!"(ROM1.4.162), is clearly echoed in MV: "I can easier teach twenty what were good to be done........"(MV1.2.15). One might therefore argue that the author is himself a fan of Team Portia. Romeo's line is in the scene before the much noted second conversation between R&J where we find: "Shall I hear more, or shall I speak at this?"(ROM2.1.84). Most editors include the word "Aside" to tell us that Juliet cannot hear what he is saying. Shylock's "How like a fawning publican"(MV1.3.38) speech is also an "aside" as Bassanio and Antonio cannot hear it. This, then, is yet another detail that engenders sympathy for Shylock.

  9. #324
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    Shylock stands up lucidly against Jewish discrimination. Unfortunately I think this is not so noted, because it is overshadowed by his hateful behavior towards Antonio.

    By the way, what do you think about Jessica? She is pictured as nice, mainly because she punishes her father and gets converted, but I don´t think her nice at all.
    Best wishes for 2022!
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

  10. #325
    stanley2
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    I do agree with you and Professor Bevington that such lines from Shylock as "If I can catch him once upon the hip, / I will feed fat the ancient grudge I bear him"(MV1.3.43-4) are to be taken seriously. It is no less important to note that when the Duke says "How shalt thou hope for mercy, rend'ring none?"(MV4.1.87), Shylock's life is also in danger. We have therefore seen that the author regards Shylock and Antonio as co-villains or co-comic-villains. In due course, Capulet regards his daughter Juliet to be "young baggage, disobedient wretch!"(R&J3.5.159). Lorenzo's last line in the play reads: "Fair ladies, you drop manna in the way / Of starved people"(MV5.1.293-4). As this is a reference to the book of Exodus, one might wonder if he will be converting to Judaism. Happy new year.

  11. #326
    stanley2
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    The late baseball announcer Harry Caray(should we add "and clownish fool?") would exclaim "holy cow!" in response to something happening on the field. The phrase is helpful here as one reviews Act 3, scene 5 where Jessica, Lancelet and Lorenzo are talking. In the first scene of MND, Demetrius and Lysander are suitors of Hermia and later both reject Hermia in favor of Helena. We find Lancelet speaks the word "father" four times. Therefore, the author may again intend to refer to Chapter 8 of the Gospel of John. Jessica's reply to Lorenzo regarding Portia, "Past all expressing........for the poor rude world / Hath not her fellow"(MV3.5.63-73), might recall lines from Nick Bottom: "Methinks I have a great desire to a bottle of hay: good hay, sweet hay, hath no fellow"(MND4.1.30-1). At any rate, this follows comments from Charles D and Marchette Chute.
    Last edited by stanley2; 01-19-2022 at 05:47 PM.

  12. #327
    stanley2
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    In Professor Bevington's notes we find: "'Shylock is a bloody-minded monster,' confided Henry Irving in 1879, 'but you mustn't play him so, if you wish to succeed; you must get some sympathy with him.' The paradox that Irving described is central to the history of THE MERCHANT OF VENICE in performance." One who has memorized all of Shylock's lines might say something like that. The clownish fool's monologue is such that we find "Certainly" at the beginning and at line 24 "Certainly the Jew is the very devil incarnation"(MV2.2.1-24). Professor Halio and most other editors gloss "incarnation" as follows: "Lancelot's malapropism for 'incarnate.'" He and Professor Drakakis add that in HENRY THE FIFTH we find a boy saying: "Yes, that 'a did; and said they were devils incarnate"(HV2.3.34). The lady replies: "'A could never abide carnation; 't was a colour he never liked." Little wonder that Drakakis quotes the OED over 700 times.

  13. #328
    stanley2
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    I'm sure that everyone will agree that Shakespeare's use of the word "Certainly" is ironic.

  14. #329
    stanley2
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    In Act 3, scene one, we find Solanio and Salerio speaking with Shylock. The play begins with these same two "Salads" speaking with Antonio. Solanio's comment, "And Shylock for his own part knew the bird was fledged, and then it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam"(MV3.1.25-7), contains the third time we find "complexion." Portia speaks the word twice, line 116 in Act 1, scene 2 and line 79 in Act 2, scene 7. Editors tell us that Portia is being clever as the meaning could be "nature, character, temperament, color or disposition." Professor Raffel glosses "dam" to mean "mother" and adds "Is there a wife and mother currently in Shylock's house? We learn, in 3.1.103, that her name is or was Leah." As in the first scene of the play, here the Salads exit and one or more characters enter and speak to the character who remains onstage.

  15. #330
    On the road, but not! Danik 2016's Avatar
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    "it is the complexion of them all to leave the dam" for me an unusual use of the word complexion.
    #Stay home as much as you can and stay well

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