Posted by Harold Glen V. Gleyo on September 01, 19104 at 06:49:00:
In Reply to: Re: Shylock's duality posted by Hannah on October 15, 19103 at 14:04:19:
: The great difficulty with directing the Merchant of Venice today is the lack of any 'goodies' if the script has taken at face value. The balance of opinion has shifted since Shakespeare's time, and lines such as Portia's 'let all of his complexion choose me so' make the Christians unacceptable heros. However, it is undeniable that while the Christians are racist and cruel, notably Gratiano, Shylock does intend to murder Banio. Yes, there are mitigating cirstances, but even if Banio, in Shylock's words, 'called me dog before thou had a cause' the intent to murder is still real. In fact, it takes a great deal of courage to present Shylock as somewhat of a villain today, as people being much more liberal and open-minded tend to spring to Shylock's defence.
: Whatever a Shakespearean audience may have thought about Shylock, Shakespeare seems to have differed slightly: for example in the humanity and compion of the 'hath not a Jew eyes' speech. It seems that he intended to make this a play with depth: a play with more than one side to the story. As a director I think it is essential to be honest and impartial with the script, and therefore present the Merchant of Venice as a play about humanity and the real world, rather than trying to crudely categorise the characters.
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