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Wrestling with Shylock

Book description

Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice occupies a unique place in world culture. As the fictional, albeit iconic, character of Shylock has been interpreted as exotic outsider, social pariah, melodramatic villain and tragic victim, the play, which has been performed and read in dozens of languages, has served as a lens for examining ideas and images of the Jew at various historical moments. In the last two hundred years, many of the play's stage interpreters, spectators, readers and adapters have themselves been Jews, whose responses are often embedded in literary, theatrical and musical works. This volume examines the ever-expanding body of Jewish responses to Shakespeare's most Jewishly relevant play.

Reviews

'This is a superb and fascinating collection of essays that produces new thinking on the play, in terms not only of its complex and provocative history but also of the ways in which the 'problem of Shylock' continues to reinvent and reinvigorate questions about the relationship between history and story, performance and complicity. It is a very important collection for any Shakespearian who understands the power of the play, and the legacies, as well as spectres, of theatrical history.'

Charlotte Scott Source: Shakespeare Survey

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