Saturday, February 23, 2019

Book 3 of 2019 -- TheMerchant of Venice

Because sometimes you just need to read a classic.

To be honest I do not think I have read any Shakespeare since I was in University, which would mean either Richard III or Othello is the last play I read.  I might have looked up a sonnet or two in the interim but certainly the last play was for a drama class. Which puts it pretty close to 30 years ago.

It took me a scene or two for me to get the rhythm and get my language back under me. All the more so since this is one I have never read before. I have heard some passages like Shylock's contention that as a Jew he is much the same as other men "if you prick us do we not bleed" and Portia's plea for mercy "the quality of mercy is not strained" but had little more than a passing understanding of the plot.

Interesting play. To read it in an English class today would not only lead to discussions of love and mercy and revenge (definite themes of the piece) but also to the racial dynamics of how Shylock is written and described.

And I need to read such things more often.

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