The other couples in the story… | Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
In Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice the father-daughter relationship between Shylock and Jessica is something that is never clearly expressed in the . The character of Shylock in "The Merchant of Venice" - A typical image of Shylock's relationship to his only daughter Jessica can simply be defined as a. ogy of morality and imagining Shylock as Nietzsche. What is . to Portia cross- dressed as the young lawyer Balthazar—an attribute of God himself, is its rhetoric is drenched in the diction of the market simply cannot be overstated. . Qtd. in Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice: Texts and Contexts .
It takes someone very quick on his feet to change the tone with such dexterity. Perhaps most actors, weighed down by their Jewish gabardine and the supposed mannerisms of a Jew made old by the antiquity of his faith, find it hard to put the requisite verve into this. Did Jews castrate themselves? Did Jewish men bleed like women?
But dark as well as comic forces are in play here, the darker, perhaps, for being comic, because what Shylock is making merry with is inchoate Christian terror. To play him as a consummate comedic provocateur, then, as I saw him played by a young and juiced-up actor in Venice, is not at all to rescue him from obloquy. But it is to give him the vitality that I believe Shakespeare intended for him. I am not convinced that Shakespeare was ever interested in such abstract, academic mapping.
But it is part of his greatness to allow unworked significance and unsorted old material to have their way without him in a play. DH Lawrence wrote astutely about what happens to a living work when the artist puts his finger in the pan, forcing its outcome. It ceases to be a living work. Much of what we make of Shylock is determined by the age of the actor, the clothes he wears and the curve of his nose It has always seemed wrong to me to talk of The Merchant of Venice as an anti- or a pro-semitic play.
Were it either it would be less the play it is. In both cases, Shylock appals them. In her absence she asks Lorenzo and Jessica to manage her estate.
Jessica (The Merchant of Venice) - Wikipedia
In Act 3, Scene 5, Jessica and Gobbo banter in the gardens of Belmont; Gobbo claiming that she is tainted by the sins of her father, and she can only hope that she was an illegitimate child and not actually related to Shylock.
Jessica protests that then she would be visited by the sins of her mother, and Gobbo concurs that she would be damned either way. Jessica argues that she has been saved by her husband who has converted her to Christianity, to which Gobbo replies that Bassanio of contributing to the raised price of pork by the conversion of Jews who may not eat pork to Christians who do.
Lorenzo joins them and Jessica recounts their conversation, leading to further banter between Lorenzo and Gobbo, until Gobbo leaves to prepare for dinner.
Villain or victim, Shakespeare’s Shylock is a character to celebrate | Books | The Guardian
In response to questioning by Lorenzo, Jessica praises Portia as great and peerless. The moon shines bright Watercolor on paper by John Edmund Buckley. Act 5, Scene 1—the final scene of the play, and following on from the courtroom scene in Act 4—opens with Jessica and Lorenzo strolling in the gardens of Belmont.
They exchange romantic metaphors, invoking in turn characters from classical literature: No sooner has Stephano informed them that Portia and Nerissa will soon arrive than Gobbo comes with the same news for Bassanio and Gratiano. They decide to await the arrivals in the gardens, and ask Stephano to fetch his instrument and play for them. The man that hath no music in himself, Nor is not moved with concord of sweet sounds, Is fit for treasons, stratagems, and spoils; — Lorenzo, The Merchant of Venice  Portia and Nerissa enter, followed shortly by Bassanio, Antonio, and Gratiano.
After they are all reunited, Nerissa hands Lorenzo a deed of gift from Shylock, won in the trial, giving Jessica all of his wealth upon his death. Fled with a Christian! O, my Christian ducats! In this version it is Munday's Jessica analogue, Brisana, who pleads the case first in the courtroom scene, followed by Cornelia, the Portia analogue.
The Christian in love with a Jewess appears frequently in exemplum from the 13th to the 15th century.
However, in this story the Christian lover flees alone with the treasure. His daughter, Floripas, proceeds to murder her governess for refusing to help feed the prisoners; bashes the jailer's head in with his keychain when he refuses to let her see the prisoners; manipulates her father into giving her responsibility for them; brings them to her tower, and treats them as royalty; does the same for the remaining ten of the Twelve Peers when they are captured too; helps the Peers murder Sir Lucafere, King of Baldas when he surprises them; urges the Peers to attack her father and his knights at supper to cover up the murder; when her father escapes and attacks the Peers in her tower, she assists in the defence; then she converts to Christianity and is betrothed to Guy of Burgundy; and finally, she and her brother, Fierabras decide that there is no point trying to convert their father to Christianity so he should be executed instead.
The reason for the cruelty of the Sultan's two children is quite obvious. In the romances there are two sides: Once Floripas and Ferumbras had joined the 'good' side, they had to become implacable enemies of the Sultan. There was no question of filial duty or filial love; one was either a Saracen or a Christian, and that was all there was to it.
There is not any other moral standard for the characters. Religion, race, and gender[ edit ] Critical history[ edit ] Literary critics have historically viewed the character negatively, highlighting her theft of her father's gold, her betrayal of his trust, and her apparently selfish motivations and aimless behaviour.
Parent-child relationships in Shakespeare’s ‘The Merchant of Venice” Essay Sample
In her survey, "In Defense of Jessica: In the interim between the signing of the bond and its falling due this daughter, this Jessica, has wickedly and most unfilially betrayed him. Quite without heart, on worse than an animal instinct—pilfering to be carnal—she betrays her father to be a light-of-lucre carefully weighted with her sire's ducats.
In such a reading Jessica's actions amount to abandoning her father and betraying him to his enemies. She was still viewed as inhabiting primarily negative values, in contrast with the positive values associated with Portia, Bassanio, and Antonio.
The relationship of Jessica and Lorenzo to the primary lovers, Portia and Bassanio, consistently is contrastive and negative: Slights highlights comedies where children rebel against a miserly father, or romances where daughters defy a repressive father for love.
These conventions would be familiar for both Shakespeare and an Elizabethan theatre audience, and, indeed, modern audiences tend to accept Jessica's actions as natural within the context of the plot.Jessica
Her escape from Shylock's repressive household to Belmont a quest for freedom, and from misfortune to happiness. Similarly, in Salernitano's 14th novella, the daughter makes off with her father's money, to the same effect.
It ranks him with the miserly fathers in Elizabethan and classical comedies, who are only fit to be dupes of their children …. The first critical notice of Jessica in the 18th century was made by William Warburtonwho commented on the line in Act 5, Scene 1: This changed the meaning, as an acerbic Malone points out: I should not have attempted to explain so easy a passage, if the ignorant editor of the second folio, thinking probably that the word get must necessarily mean beget, had not altered the text, and substituted did in the place of do, the reading of all the old and authentick editions; in which he has been copied by every subsequent editor.
Launcelot is not talking about Jessica's father, but about her future husband. I am aware that, in a subsequent scene, he says to Jessica, 'Marry, you may partly hope your father got you not;' but he is now on another subject.
Malone's position turned out to be somewhat controversial.