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The merchant of venice - The Merchant of Venice - L Arte Profumatoria Veneziana



We invite you to personally participate in the life of the Folger Shakespeare Library by making a tax-deductible donation to the institution.

The Folger is looking for exceptionally qualified individuals who are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organization. 

Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice , secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court Portia. Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, recalls past insults from Antonio and, instead of asking interest on the loan, asks instead—in what he calls a "merry sport"—that if the loan is not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of his own flesh.

The Merchant of Venice has been described as a great commentary on the nature of racial and religious interactions. The title itself is misleading, and is often misconstrued as a reference to Shylock, the Jew. However, in reality it describes the merchant Antonio . This ambiguity and misinterpretation has not surprisingly led scholars to continue hotly debating whether Shakespeare meant to be anti-Semitic or critical of anti-Semitism. His depiction of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, causes the audience to both hate and pity the man, and has left critics wondering what Shakespeare was really trying to achieve.

The choice of Venice can hardly have been arbitrary. The Venice of Shakespeare's day was renowned for its wealth and diversity of cultures, for it was a cosmopolitan market where Eastern goods made their way into the West. Since Shakespeare's interactions with Jews in England would have been limited, if at all, Venice provided him with the example of tolerance and heterogeneity that he needed.

It is interesting to note that the Christians are portrayed as being an incredibly tight, commonly bound group. Antonio rushes to grant Bassanio a loan, even though it will bankrupt him. A similar example occurs later when Graziano asks Bassanio for a favor, which is granted before Bassanio even knows exactly what Graziano is asking for. However, this central community of Christians, with all of its virtue and decency, is immediately subverted by the prodigal loss of the money by Bassanio. While it may be virtuous for Antonio to give all he has to his friend, it is clear to the audience that it is foolish for him to give to a friend who will gamble it away.

July 01 – August 21, 2016
Tina Packer Playhouse
Just under 3 hours including intermission

"thrilling...extraordinary...Shakespeare's text cracks through the air like lightning" - Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

"...beautifully conceived and executed...wallopingly powerful...top-notch production... Epstein is mightily good as Shylock" - Albany Times Union

In sacrificing himself for Bassanio's bond, Antonio metaphorically carves himself into Antonio's heart forever. Antonio sets himself up to be a martyr: someone who dies for a cause of their beliefs. Antonio becomes a Christ-like figure. However, unlike Christ who died in order to redeem man-kind, Antonio will die because he and Bassanio recklessly gambled away their money and took a dangerous bond. Antonio's rhetoric attempts to recast the reality of the situation so that he appears to be an innocent victim of an evil man.

Even though Portia has redirected Bassanio's bond to Antonio onto herself, Antonio is still able to assert his "love" against Bassanio's wife. Bassanio still follows Antonio's instructions more than he follows Portia's instructions.

Shakespeare uses dramatic irony here for comedic effect. The audience knows that this doctor is actually the person as this "mad wife." While the doctor claims that only a mad woman would be upset about giving a ring to the man who saved Bassanio's best friend, Portia is actually testing Bassanio's fidelity. She will be angry if he gives away the ring.

We invite you to personally participate in the life of the Folger Shakespeare Library by making a tax-deductible donation to the institution.

The Folger is looking for exceptionally qualified individuals who are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organization. 

Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice , secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court Portia. Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, recalls past insults from Antonio and, instead of asking interest on the loan, asks instead—in what he calls a "merry sport"—that if the loan is not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of his own flesh.

We invite you to personally participate in the life of the Folger Shakespeare Library by making a tax-deductible donation to the institution.

The Folger is looking for exceptionally qualified individuals who are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organization. 

Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice , secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court Portia. Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, recalls past insults from Antonio and, instead of asking interest on the loan, asks instead—in what he calls a "merry sport"—that if the loan is not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of his own flesh.

The Merchant of Venice has been described as a great commentary on the nature of racial and religious interactions. The title itself is misleading, and is often misconstrued as a reference to Shylock, the Jew. However, in reality it describes the merchant Antonio . This ambiguity and misinterpretation has not surprisingly led scholars to continue hotly debating whether Shakespeare meant to be anti-Semitic or critical of anti-Semitism. His depiction of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, causes the audience to both hate and pity the man, and has left critics wondering what Shakespeare was really trying to achieve.

The choice of Venice can hardly have been arbitrary. The Venice of Shakespeare's day was renowned for its wealth and diversity of cultures, for it was a cosmopolitan market where Eastern goods made their way into the West. Since Shakespeare's interactions with Jews in England would have been limited, if at all, Venice provided him with the example of tolerance and heterogeneity that he needed.

It is interesting to note that the Christians are portrayed as being an incredibly tight, commonly bound group. Antonio rushes to grant Bassanio a loan, even though it will bankrupt him. A similar example occurs later when Graziano asks Bassanio for a favor, which is granted before Bassanio even knows exactly what Graziano is asking for. However, this central community of Christians, with all of its virtue and decency, is immediately subverted by the prodigal loss of the money by Bassanio. While it may be virtuous for Antonio to give all he has to his friend, it is clear to the audience that it is foolish for him to give to a friend who will gamble it away.

July 01 – August 21, 2016
Tina Packer Playhouse
Just under 3 hours including intermission

"thrilling...extraordinary...Shakespeare's text cracks through the air like lightning" - Terry Teachout, Wall Street Journal

"...beautifully conceived and executed...wallopingly powerful...top-notch production... Epstein is mightily good as Shylock" - Albany Times Union

We invite you to personally participate in the life of the Folger Shakespeare Library by making a tax-deductible donation to the institution.

The Folger is looking for exceptionally qualified individuals who are committed to the mission, vision, and values of our organization. 

Antonio, the merchant in The Merchant of Venice , secures a loan from Shylock for his friend Bassanio, who seeks to court Portia. Shylock, a Jewish moneylender, recalls past insults from Antonio and, instead of asking interest on the loan, asks instead—in what he calls a "merry sport"—that if the loan is not repaid, Antonio will owe a pound of his own flesh.

The Merchant of Venice has been described as a great commentary on the nature of racial and religious interactions. The title itself is misleading, and is often misconstrued as a reference to Shylock, the Jew. However, in reality it describes the merchant Antonio . This ambiguity and misinterpretation has not surprisingly led scholars to continue hotly debating whether Shakespeare meant to be anti-Semitic or critical of anti-Semitism. His depiction of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, causes the audience to both hate and pity the man, and has left critics wondering what Shakespeare was really trying to achieve.

The choice of Venice can hardly have been arbitrary. The Venice of Shakespeare's day was renowned for its wealth and diversity of cultures, for it was a cosmopolitan market where Eastern goods made their way into the West. Since Shakespeare's interactions with Jews in England would have been limited, if at all, Venice provided him with the example of tolerance and heterogeneity that he needed.

It is interesting to note that the Christians are portrayed as being an incredibly tight, commonly bound group. Antonio rushes to grant Bassanio a loan, even though it will bankrupt him. A similar example occurs later when Graziano asks Bassanio for a favor, which is granted before Bassanio even knows exactly what Graziano is asking for. However, this central community of Christians, with all of its virtue and decency, is immediately subverted by the prodigal loss of the money by Bassanio. While it may be virtuous for Antonio to give all he has to his friend, it is clear to the audience that it is foolish for him to give to a friend who will gamble it away.


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