In preparing for a production of The Merchant of Venice the director is faced with several problems. Among the choices which are basic to picking a directoral approach are deciding what the play is about (the main theme), and how to enhance that choice through the physical setting. A key to both of these decisions is found in the definition of the character of Shylock.
The easiest, or readiest, interpretation of Shylock is that which paints him as a cantakerous, miserly old man. Filling Shylock’s role in this way we immediately set up a good/evil split between him and...
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