The Merchant of Venice, Shakespeare’s classic play on love, commerce, and bigotry, has been the subject of a great, enduring controversy concerning its depiction of Shylock, “…the Jew/ That Shakespeare drew (Alexander Pope? 1741).” Over four centuries, different readings and productions of the play have ranged from accentuating “the extreme cruelty of Shylock the Jew” (Quatro of 1600) to showing a highly sympathetic figure who is driven by Christian anti-Semitism to become a
David Serero is starring as Shylock from The Merchant of Venice Article by JULIAN VOLOJ Can we stage the Merchant of Venice? As last summer Argentine President Cristina Kirchner said in order to understand the economic problems of their country, one must read the "Merchant of Venice", there were protests from Jewish organizations, the Kirchner accused her allusion to the figure of Shylock, the Jewish moneylender, is subliminal anti-Semitism. It may be surprising, therefore, t
David Serero smiles when he describes his new role as Shylock in a musical Merchant of Venice that premiered in New York last week.
“There are many ways to play Shylock,” he says.
“The last person to play Shylock in New York was Al Pacino, but all the biggest Jewish actors, like Jacob Adler, played Shylock as a villain. Shylock is the bad guy. Even today, in the finance world, when we call someone a ‘shylock,’ we mean he’s a bad guy who will kill for money.
“The way I d