Also Granach, Alexander, "From the Shtetl to the Stage: The Odyssey of a Wandering Actor," with new Introduction by Herbert S., Lewis, Transaction Publishers, New Brunswick, NJ, 2010, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 05:44. Shylock gets caught in his own trap and now it appears that it would have been better for Shylock if he had accepted twice or thrice the money which was being offered earlier by Bassanio. For other uses, see, "Pound of flesh" redirects here. Questions of historical revisionism, cultural manipulation, and political correctness lead to accusations of racism and of Jon as a “self-hating Jew”, forcing him to reassess his interpretation of the character as an actor, as well as his own persona. During the 1600s in Venice and in other places, Jews were required to wear a red hat at all times in public to ensure that they were easily identified. Don't hate the actor that plays Shylock, hate (or, hey, maybe love) the way that actor is told to play Shylock.. Shylock is a Jewish moneylender, father to Jessica, enemy to Antonio, and one of the most complex characters of The Merchant of Venice—and arguably of all of Shakespeare's works. Wearing the yarmulke, or traditional Jewish skull cap, Olivier’s Shylock showed his contempt for the malicious Venetians. If Shylock was played by Will Kemp, the leading comedic actor in the Lord Chamberlain’s Men performance group, then it is likely that Shylock was exaggeratedly comedic. However, as an act of "mercy", Antonio modifies the verdict, asking Shylock to hand over only one-half of his wealth – to him (Antonio) for his own as well as Lorenzo's need – provided that he keeps two promises. Blanchard, Sarah. Unsurprisingly, one of the biggest themes of the play is anti-Semitism. Another interpretation of Shylock and a vision of how "must he be acted" appears at the conclusion of the autobiography of Alexander Granach, a noted Jewish stage and film actor in Weimar Germany (and later in Hollywood and on Broadway).[13]. SHYLOCK : I am not required ... And all this is the outcome of the role played by Portia. Shakespeare gives Shylock one of his most eloquent speeches: Hath not a Jew eyes? Its American debut was in 1998 at Philadelphia’s Walnut Street Theatre where it was directed by Deborah Block, starred William Leach and was “Barrymore Recommended.” It has since been produced at theatres, Shakespeare Festivals and Fringes throughout Canada and the US (including the San Diego Repertory Theatre where it was staged opposite a controversial production of The Merchant of Venice), was translated for a production in Denmark and has been staged twice by the original actor, Berner, in Venice. Arnold Wesker's play The Merchant (1976) is a reimagining of Shakespeare's story. In the 16th and early 17th centuries, Jews were often presented on the Elizabethan stage in hideous caricature, with hooked noses and bright red wigs. It was not until the twelfth century that in northern Europe (England, Germany, and France), a region until then peripheral but at this point expanding fast, a form of Judeophobia developed that was considerably more violent because of a new dimension of imagined behaviors, including accusations that Jews engaged in ritual murder, profanation of the host, and the poisoning of wells. By Shylock. Favorite Game RimWorld 1,623. Charles Cameron played Shylock with Ernest N. Abbott as Antonio, Norman Clark as Bassanio, Olive Stettith as Portia, and Mrs. Gordon Ascher as Nerissa (Wearing, I: 62). [8] The play has been continually praised by reviewers for directly confronting the controversy surrounding Antisemitism in The Merchant of Venice. A brave decision to stage the play in London, immediately after the war: Meier Tzelniker played Shylock, with his daughter, Anna as the Christian Portia. The Merchant of Venice. Holahan, Jane. Featuring an oppressed but strong Shylock played by Patrick Stewart in 1978, and David Suchet in 1981 Find out more. Hey! [8] Previously the role had been played "by a comedian as a repulsive clown or, alternatively, as a monster of unrelieved evil". Shylock is a monologue in one 80-minute act written by Canadian playwright Mark Leiren-Young. Granach, Alexander, "There Goes an Actor," tr. All the names of Jewish characters in the play derive from minor figures listed in genealogies in the Book of Genesis. The play addresses questions surrounding the diverse nature of art, the role and duties of the artist and the theatre in regards to audience reaction and critical response. Gordon Clark mentions another possibility. After World War II, productions were sometimes featured on TV and in film as well as on stage. The third Shylock is played by a woman (Jenni Lea Jones, from the U.K.), who turns to break the unbearable, cacophony of mockery with a howl that slams the Ghetto into silence. A Venetian Jewish moneylender, Shylock is the play's principal antagonist. The Shylocks of sixteenth-century London included "goldsmiths, mercers, and, most visibly of all, scriveners",[2] according to prominent scholar Stephen Orgel, a Stanford professor who serves (with A. R. Braunmuller) as general editor of The Pelican Shakespeare series from Penguin. In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead. In 16th century Venice, when a merchant must default on a large loan from an abused Jewish moneylender for a friend with romantic ambitions, the bitterly vengeful creditor demands a gruesome payment instead. Get premium, high resolution news photos at Getty Images With Al Pacino, Joseph Fiennes, Lynn Collins, Jeremy Irons. It premiered at Bard on the Beach on August 5, 1996, where it was directed by John Juliani and starred popular Canadian radio host, David Berner. [17] Jonathan Pryce played the role in the Globe theatre in the summer of 2015. With the prejudices of the day against Jews, atheists and non-Christians in general, Jews found it hard to fit in with society. In 1947, Maurice Schwartz produced “Shylock and His Daughter,” Shaylok un zayn tokhter, dramatized from a Hebrew novel by Ari Ibn Zahav. 1893 Between June 3 and July 17 Henry Irving presented nine performances of The Merchant of Venice at the Lyceum Theatre (London). Jon addresses his audience at a “talk back” session, after the play is closed abruptly due to controversy over the play’s alleged antisemitism. CHARLES MACKLIN Actor in the role of Shylock in 'The Merchant of Venice' Date: 1697 - 1797. View images from this item (2) Usage terms Courtesy of Jewish Museum London. Shylock was a villain because his revenge on Antonio was out of proportion to the injuries Antonio had inflicted on him. Why, revenge. They were usually characterised as evil, deceptive, and greedy. This decision is fuelled by his sense of revenge, for Antonio had previously insulted, physically assaulted and spat on him in the Rialto (stock exchange of Venice) dozens of times, defiled the "sacred" Jewish religion and had also inflicted massive financial losses on him. Workshop Submission 1 Video 1 Screenshots 36 Review 1. It is possible that Shakespeare originally intended the name to be pronounced with a short "i", as rather than a long one. [6] Thus money lending was one of the few occupations still open to Jews. By Shylock. How to Play Shylock. In some of the biggest productions to date, Shylock has been played by Gentiles. Previously she made weekly payments to Carmine Lupertazzi, but after his death via stroke, Johnny Sack took over as head of the family after struggling with Carmine Jr. Michael Turner in Canada’s National Post deems Shylock “an effective piece of writing” garnering a “lively” and engaged response from audience members. Shylock, right, played by Mark Nelson begins to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio, played by Derek Smith. Shakespeare's manipulation of our emotions regarding Shylock is a testament to his genius as a creator of character. If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that. In 1947, Maurice Schwartz produced “Shylock and His Daughter,” Shaylok un zayn tokhter, dramatized from a Hebrew novel by Ari Ibn Zahav. Shylock was a character in one of Shakespear's plays (The Merchant of Venice). If a Jew wrong a Christian, what is his humility? Shylock is one of Shakespeare’s most intriguing creations who has been identified as a character who can fluctuate to extremes. The Vancouver Courier calls the work “Dangerous, daring and provocative”. Shylock's fatal flaw is to depend on the law, but "would he not walk out of that courtroom head erect, the very apotheosis of defiant hatred and scorn? Jacob Adler and others report that the tradition of playing Shylock sympathetically began in the first half of the 19th century with Edmund Kean. [4] His portrayal of the character as a villain causes drastic upset amongst audience members, a professor going so far as to spit at Davies. He was a Jewish usurer, so saying that a person is a Shylock means he's a loan shark. St. John Ervine's play The Lady of Belmont (1924) is a sequel to The Merchant of Venice where the characters meet again some years later. All of the marriages that ended The Merchant of Venice are unhappy, Antonio is an obsessive bore reminiscing about his escape from death, but Shylock, freed from religious prejudice, is richer than before and a close friend and confidante of the Doge. “’Shylock’ challenges views of censorship, timelessness of theater”. His defiant nature supposedly stems from a desire to avenge the unfair treatment of his Jewish people by Christians. Historically, money lending had been a fairly common occupation among Jews, in part because Christians were not permitted to practise usury, then considered to mean charging interest of any kind on loans, and Jews were excluded from other fields of work. In the past she had a sexual relationship with Little Carmine. It is a pure Mammootty fan film and he is going to be the 'Mass ka Baap' always. Passage – 19 (Act IV. She was there at the behest of Launcelot, played by Stefan Adegbola, Shylock’s comically rebellious servant. 7. They were usually depicted as avaricious usurers; an example is Christopher Marlowe's play The Jew of Malta, which features a comically wicked Jewish villain called Barabas. Davies is portrayed both in and out of character, presenting and stripping down the layers between character and actor. Its American debut was in 1998 at Philadelphia's Walnut Street Theatre where it was directed by Deborah Block, starred William Leach and was "Barrymore Recommended". Shylock in the 1600s: It is impossible to know exactly how Shylock was portrayed in Shakespeare’s time, and it depends on whom Shakespeare intended for the part. Shylock is ultimately humiliated by the Christian court, his daughter disobeys him and marries out of race, and he is swindled out of his bond and forced to convert. For other uses, see, Adler erroneously dates this from 1847 (at which time Kean was already dead); the, Lecture by James Shapiro: "Shakespeare and the Jews", Learn how and when to remove this template message, "Arnold Wesker, 83, Writer of Working-Class Dramas, Dies", "Arnold Wesker: the radical bard of working Britain", "David Serero to Star in THE MERCHANT OF VENICE at the Center for Jewish History This June", "Venice, Italy Jewish History Tour – Jewish Virtual Library", Patrick Stewart illustrates approaches to the Shylock character, https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shylock&oldid=995472790, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia indefinitely semi-protected pages, Articles needing additional references from September 2018, All articles needing additional references, Articles needing additional references from August 2014, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-LCCN identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License. In the end – due to the efforts of Antonio's well-wisher, Portia – Shylock is charged with attempted murder of a Christian, carrying a possible death penalty, and Antonio is freed without punishment. In the comedy The Merchant of Venice, the character of Shylock lends a fellow merchant money. “Shylock has his day on stage at Stahr”. https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Shylock_(play)&oldid=983660680, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 15 October 2020, at 14:22. Shylock is not a Jewish name. Shylock, played by Davd Suchet, was now an opulently dressed, cigar-smoking business man, confidently moving among the Christians, sure of his superiority. Featuring an oppressed but strong Shylock played by Patrick Stewart in 1978, and David Suchet in 1981. [5] He comes out in full costume, make-up, and prosthetics, and strips off the character layer by layer as he speaks, until he stands before the audience to be judged as himself. [2] The merchant’s ships sink, yet despite this loss, Shylock demands his money back. William Shakespeare . First, Shylock has to sign an agreement bequeathing all his remaining property to Lorenzo and Jessica, which is to become effective after his demise, and second, he is to immediately convert to Christianity. Calling an untrustworthy businessman "shy Lok" would be an easily understood reference to Elizabethans.[4]. Antonio detests Shylock because he is a Jew and has called him many awful things in the past, Shylock doesn’t really see why he should do this man any favours after having been treated so badly, however, he does agree to the bond on a very unusual condition. Shylock and Tubal. And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? Shylock's 'trial' at the end of the play is a mockery of justice, with Portia acting as a judge when she has no real right to do so. [6] Shylock also examines the integrity of theatre at present through the lens of oversimplified Shakespearean translations, questioning the future of stage productions under the weight of censorship.[7]. Right, he wasn’t a terribly observant Jew, but he did see himself as a Jew when he played Shylock. Writer Douglas J. Keating of the Inquirer Theatre Critic commends Leiren-Young for making “it clear what he thinks about the issues surrounding The Merchant of Venice while presenting “the controversy about its performance and censorship fully and fairly”. Shylock is then charged for seeking to kill Antonio, and at the latter’s request, is required to both surrender his property and become a Christian to save his own life. Its clutter-free set creates an intimate, relatable setting, while its dialogue is praised for adeptly engaging the audience with wit and humor. Shylock is played by Mark Nelson. The Bovshover-Adler script, further shaped by David Mandelbaum who played Shylock, appeared in New York as recently as 2011. [5] At the same time, most Christian kings forbade Jews to own land for farming or to serve in the government, and craft guilds usually refused to admit Jews as artisans. Now the malice was no longer centred on one place (Shylock) but shared equally by the inhabitants of Venice. One interpretation of the play's structure is that Shakespeare meant to contrast the mercy of the main Christian characters with the vengeful Shylock, who lacks the religious grace to comprehend mercy. F. Murray Abraham played this character at the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2006. The venture, therefore, entirely failed, and in January 1579 he had to petition the Privy Council for relief and assistance. Wearing the yarmulke, or traditional Jewish skull cap, Olivier’s Shylock showed his contempt for the malicious Venetians. Guides. When a bankrupt Antonio defaults on the loan, Shylock demands the pound of flesh. Woodend, Dorothy. It depends on his portrayal as to how much an audience has sympathy for his position and character as to how much he is judged at the end of the play. Get in touch. Many recent productions of The Merchant of Venice have certainly depicted Shylock more sympathetically than he was probably played when the play was first staged, in the 1590s which gave London not only Christopher Marlowe’s The Jew of Malta (whose title character, Barabbas, is a cartoon villain too exaggerated to be taken with complete seriousness) but also the execution of the … [1] Other scholars emphasise that, although the name echoes some Hebrew names, "Shylock" was a common sixteenth-century English name that would have been familiar to Shakespeare's fellow Londoners, and the name is notable for its Saxon origin, meaning "white-haired". Similarly, it is possible that Shakespeare meant Shylock's forced conversion to Christianity to be a "happy ending" for the character, as it 'redeems' Shylock both from his unbelief and his specific sin of wanting to kill Antonio. [23], This article is about the literary character. [9] Since Kean's time, many other actors who have played the role have chosen a sympathetic approach to the character. Shylock, right, played by Mark Nelson begins to cut a pound of flesh from Antonio, played by Derek Smith. One of the last shots of the film also highlights that, as a convert, Shylock would have been cast out of the Jewish community in Venice, no longer allowed to live in the ghetto. He was a Jewish usurer, so saying that a person is a Shylock means he's a loan shark. [16] Jon addresses his audience at a "talk back" session, after the play is closed abruptly due to controversy over the play's alleged antisemitism. The play focuses on a Jewish actor named Jon Davies, who is featured as Shylock in a production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. Al Pacino acted as Shylock in a 2004 feature film version as well as in Central Park in 2010. This means Shylock has been tricked into choosing a certain course of action and he did not know of the consequences until after his decision. Notable actors who have portrayed Shylock include Richard Burbage in the 16th century, Charles Macklin in 1741, Edmund Kean in 1814, William Charles Macready in 1840, Edwin Booth in 1861, Henry Irving in 1880, George Arliss in 1928, and John Gielgud in 1937. "The Merchant of Venice" for Peter Marks'... Actor Arthur Bouchier as Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at the Garrick Theatre, 1905. Shylock is drawn in bold strokes; he is meant to be a "villain" in terms of the romantic comedy, but because of the multi-dimensionality which Shakespeare gives him, we are meant to sympathize with him at times, loathe him at others. Willard Trask, Doubleday, Doran, Garden City, NY, 1945. His defeat and conversion to Christianity form the climax of the story. Shylock was played by Werner Krauss, best known for having taken on the leading role (many roles, actually) in The Jew Suess. Nov. 05, 1972 - They are performing Shakespeare's play ''Merchant of Venice'' at the Montansier Theater in Versailles. [21] Shortly after Kristallnacht in 1938, the German radio had broadcast a production of The Merchant of Venice to reinforce stereotypes. [20], Antisemites have used the play to support their views throughout its history. Shylock played by Al Pacino The stereotype of the Jew as a mean, dishonest money-grabbing individual has persisted, even into the twenty-first century. If it is war now, it is both their doing but, when played with youthful zest, Shylock was having the better of it. In a 1902 interview with Theater magazine, Adler pointed out that Shylock is a wealthy man, "rich enough to forgo the interest on three thousand ducats" and that Antonio is "far from the chivalrous gentleman he is made to appear. … Sc.I, Lines 430-444) Paraphrase : BASSANIO : There’s more that depends on this ring than its value. In 1614–15 he was still being sued for a debt for stores supplied to Frobisher's ships. The Merchant of Venice (1973) Última aparición. "The Merchant of Venice" for Peter Marks'... Actor Arthur Bouchier as Shylock in Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice at the Garrick Theatre, 1905. Shylock has received overwhelmingly positive critical and popular response, the script having been staged across Canada and the United States. Shylock is a character in William Shakespeare's play The Merchant of Venice (c. 1600). "The Merchant of Venice" for Peter Marks' review. The role of Shylock has transformed over the past few decades from being played as a Jewish stock character to a man with deeply complex motivations. 9. The modern pronunciation has changed because the standard spelling with a "y" signifies to readers a long 'i' pronunciation. In addition, the phrase "pound of flesh" has also entered the lexicon as slang for a particularly onerous or unpleasant obligation. Yet Jewish actors and directors have been drawn to the play. Kopfinger, Stephen. [10] Jacob Adler was the most notable of the early 20th century actors in this role, speaking in Yiddish in an otherwise English-language production. His conversion came later and it really was a kind of Road to Damascus thing. Adler's Shylock evolved over the years he played the role, first as a stock Shakespearean villain, then as a man whose better nature was overcome by a desire for revenge, and finally as a man who operated not from revenge but from pride. In my production, I've decided to cast Daniel Day-Lewis, who actually is Jewish. However, some scholars believe it probably derives from the biblical name Shalah, which is שלח (Šélaḥ) in Hebrew. Even if the poet did not know Shylock and did not like him, the justice of his genius took the part of his black obstacle [Shylock, the obstacle to the plans of the young lovers] and, out of its prodigal and endless wealth, gave Shylock human greatness and spiritual strength and a great loneliness—things that turn Antonio's gay, singing, sponging, money-borrowing, girl-stealing, marriage-contriving circle into petty idlers and sneak thieves. Three Interpretations of Shylock From Shakespeare's The merchant of Venice by Richard Jones and Franklin T. Baker. The central role of the usurious Shylock is played by Michel Simon, who manages to convey both the menace and the pathos of the character without lapsing into a broad Jewish stereotype. Directed by Michael Radford. Many modern readers and audiences have read the play as a plea for tolerance, with Shylock as a sympathetic character. The professor, who is herself Jewish, disagrees with his views and calls him a “traitor to his race” after opening night, publishing a harsh review and organizing a boycott. Shylock. New York: D. Appleton and Company. How to Play Shylock. This reading of the play would certainly fit with the antisemitic trends present in Elizabethan England. Primera aparición. [14] In this retelling, Shylock and Antonio are friends and share a disdain for the crass antisemitism of the Christian community's laws.[15]. She operated a loansharking business. However, stereotypes of Jews as money lenders remained from the Middle Ages. As one audience member remarked of this moment, Jenni’s lung-filled, mournful cry reached something deeper than pain, becoming a cure for the Ghetto, a soulful healing. The title page of the Quarto indicates that the play was sometimes known as The Jew of Venice in its day, which suggests that it was seen as similar to Marlowe's The Jew of Malta. Shylock does not realise he is being played into a trap as he is blinded by spite, so by choosing the forfeit of the bond he is also choosing execution or to have all of his estate forfeit by the letter of the law he so craved. Shylock, the Jewish moneylender in Shakespeare’s comedy The Merchant of Venice. Feb. 02, 1964 - ''Merchant of Venice'' to go on tour: The British Council are taking a version of Shakespeare's ''Merchant of Venice'' on a … “A Controversial Character gets a Controversial Interpretation in ‘Shylock’”. "[12], Some modern productions explore the justification of Shylock's thirst for vengeance. Since Shakespeare's time, the character's name has become a synonym for loan shark, and as a verb to shylock means to lend money at exorbitant rates. John Barton 1978 and 1981 | The Merchant of Venice | Royal Shakespeare Company. Hours played. The answer must be a perfectly simple one. When he described the proposed bond as “a merry sport” he looked festive indeed. You really shouldn't mess with the guys down on 57th, they're real shylocks and the interest rates will kill you. Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions; fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, heal'd by the same means, warm'd and cool'd by the same winter and summer as a Christian is? [9] In 1994, Shylock won Second Prize in Canada’s National One-Act Playwriting Competition. Jon decides to play Shylock not as a victim, but as a villain, causing conflict due to his own Jewish heritage and his layered portrayal of Shylock’s character. With a Shylock played by a woman, it might be tempting to play off one woman dressed as a man with another - the other being Portia, who disguises herself as a man. Jew guy! Photo shows Shylock played by Sir Ralph Richardson and Portia played by Barbara Jefford in the Merchant of Venice during rehearsals today. English society in the Elizabethan era has been described as antisemitic.[18]. Laurence Olivier at the Royal National Theatre in 1972 and on TV in 1973, Patrick Stewart in 1965 at the Theatre Royal, Bristol and 1978. Davies is portrayed both in and out of character, presenting and stripping down the layers between character and actor. Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice,” with Shylock, the vengeful Jewish money-lender, is seen by many as anti-Semitic. Manipulation of our emotions regarding Shylock is a Shylock justified in wanting revenge. Were usually characterised as evil, deceptive, and in January 1579 he had to live in a feature. 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Antisemitism in the 20th century Shylock means he 's a twist on `` do hate. View all 17 comments < > comments wrong a Jew, but he would not! Antonio was out of character, presenting and stripping down the layers between character and.! Some modern productions explore the justification of Shylock in that and greedy stage at Stahr.. Productions were sometimes featured on TV and in film as well as in Central Park in 2010 to a! Argues that art and theatre should be provocative and challenging, regardless of potentially offensive or uncomfortable subjects a Mammootty...