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October 05 , 2008

Shylock of Venice

A Verse Play in Three Acts


Shylock of Venice is a sequel to Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. While the trial scene in Shakespeare’s play is crude, unrealistic and unbelievable, designed for the Christian riffraff, the language of the play is very much poetic, with classical and biblical allusions, appreciable only by the educated. In Shylock of Venice, Portia and her male and female companions are exposed as legal impostors and day-dreamers whose one year romantic marriages have collapsed. All are toppled from the pinnacle of Belmont fantasy-land, for their kind of idealized romance – based on good looks and money – was destined to fall apart. Shylock the Jew, living among racist, abusive Christians, has his deserved day in court with a judge that is now more enlightened. With foreign help and through more realistic and legal means, Shylock is fully reinstated to his former situation and faith, and united with his repentant daughter, Jessica. Shylock of Venice presents idealized, romantic marriages that have collapsed, a credible retrial in which punishment is meted out to court impersonators, and Shylock is fully vindicated, compensated, and reinstated.

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