“…a pound of flesh…nearest his heart… so says the bond…”
The Merchant is a story Shakespeare couldn’t resist…an unfathomable sadness in a man’s heart…the mysterious terrors of the ocean…hate crime and religious intolerance…our willingness to gamble with our lives…things that still hurt and hinder us to this day in our struggle to know the difference between mercy and justice.
Some of Shakespeare’s most extraordinary characters people this play. Portia, the brilliant young woman who dresses as a man to save the Merchant’s life and bears witness to an untold passion between Antonio and her husband, Bassanio. And at the centre of them all in the court of Venice stands a Jewish moneylender, Shylock, demanding a pound of flesh from a man who is willing to have his heart torn out of his body as a gesture of love to his friend…
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The Merchant of Venice is part of Sport For Jove’s annual SHAKESPEARE SLAM