Is Antonio or Shylock The Merchant of Venice"? Is Antonio or Shylock The Merchant of Venice"?
Is Antonio or Shylock The Merchant of Venice"?
Good question - both are plausible readings!
Shylock has taken the centre of most modern interpretations of the play (of the modern filmed version of the play which, with Al Pacino as Shylock, puts Pacino's face right under the title on the cover!) largely due to the extra frisson created post-Holocaust by the anti-semitism directed towards him. He is indeed a merchant, and his "bond" for a pound of Antonio 's flesh forms the centre of the main plot of the play -...
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Thought both of the above interpretations are good, in a Shakesperian context, in venice all Jew's were banned from the merchantile proffession. The fact that the title charachter is the "Merchant," regardless of Shylock's occupation, he would not be regarded by Shakespeare or his audience as "The Merchant."