Join Michael Shapiro, esteemed Shakespearean scholar and co-editor of Wrestling with Shylock: Jewish Responses to The Merchant of Venice, for a presentation on The Merchant of Venice. Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice was originally intended as a romantic comedy in which the happiness of the lovers is threatened by the play's comic villain, a Jewish moneylender named Shylock, who tries to collect the collateral of the borrower's flesh when a loan becomes forfeit. Although the play includes a love story, about the potentially conflicting claims of love and friendship, it is better known today as a serious exploration on the place of Jews in a largely Christian world. In the first half of the play's rich stage and critical history, Shylock was seen as more of a villain than a victim, but he has tended to be viewed more sympathetically for the last two centuries.
Michael recommends watching the 2004 film starring Al Pacino and directed by Michael Radford. You can rent and stream the film here:
Date: Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Time: 6:30 p.m. CDT
Location: Zoom Video Conference