Tag Archive | complete-merchant

Merchant of Venice – The Sallies

In the original text for The Merchant of Venice there are, arguably, four different characters with similar names: Salanio, Solanio, Salarino, and Salerio. (Salarino is also spelled Salaryno, but that’s a fairly self-evident variant.) The Second Quarto in 1619 changed all the instances of “Solanio” to read “Salanio”, and since the Q2 text was preferred [...]

Merchant of Venice – The Soul of Shylock

When Shakespeare sat down to write The Merchant of Venice, he was tapping into the well-established Elizabethan genre of the “Jewish Villain”. After The Merchant of Venice itself, Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta is the most famous example of the genre, but it was only one among a dozen or more plays of the same [...]

Merchant of Venice – Tonight!

Shylock the Jew has cast a long shadow across history, from the Elizabethan stage to the annals of the 20th century. Tonight he enters the People’s Center Theater for The Merchant of Venice, the 19th reading in the Complete Readings of William Shakespeare! DECEMBER 6th, 2010 7:30 PM Tickets: Pay What You Can! People’s Center [...]

Merchant of Venice – The Great Conversion

The source of the Jew’s alien threat in the Elizabethan consciousness, of course, lies in their religious ostracism. Curiously, however, the religious perception of Jews in Elizabethan England was a double-sided one of both villification and hope. On the one hand, the ancient slander that the Jews had murdered Christ and were thus cursed by [...]

Merchant of Venice – The Pound of Flesh

One of the two main plots in The Merchant of Venice, of course, revolves around the pound of flesh which Anthonio forfeits to Shylock when he fails to repay his bond. Although an Italian collection of stories entitled Il Pecorone is usually cited as the primary source of this plot (insofar as it most closely [...]

Merchant of Venice – Elizabethans and the Jews, Part 2: The Jewish Boogeyman

The exiled Jew could be treated politically, religiously, and racially as the antithesis of “Englishness”. He was simultaneously a secret, corrupting threat. As James Shapiro expresses it in Shakespeare and the Jews, “The Jew as irredeemable alien and the Jew as boogeyman into whom Englishmen could be mysteriously ‘turned’ coexisted at deep linguistic and psychological [...]

Merchant of Venice – Elizabethans and the Jews, Part 1: The Dark Reflection

Elizabethan England was a fundamentally tumultuous society. By the time Shakespeare started writing his plays in the last decade of the 16th century, the country had been completely disrupted by a century of successive crises. Its success in rising to these crises had transformed England into a nascent world power, but in the process its [...]

Merchant of Venice – Script

As with the other ASR scripts prepared for the Complete Readings of William Shakespeare, the full script presents the complete play. The conflated script, on the other hand, is what we use in actual performance. The conflated script is uncut, but does contain the role conflation which allows us to perform plays which have 30-50 [...]

Merchant of Venice – Cast List

I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick [...]

Merchant of Venice – Up Next!

The angels have flown, but there’s no rest for the Complete Readings of William Shakespeare which continue on December 6th with The Merchant of Venice. Racist comedy or unforgiving tragedy? Something inbetween or something else entirely? American Shakespeare Repertory won’t be pulling any punches in our uncut reading of the play. MERCHANT OF VENICE DECEMBER [...]