Tag Archives: The Merchant of Venice

Shakespeare and All Those ‘Big’ Questions: Introducing the Shakespeare and . . . project

Speaking after the bombings that took place at the Boston marathon, President Obama stated his determination to ‘get to the bottom’ of the atrocity and promised that those found to be responsible would ‘feel the full weight of justice’. The word ‘justice’ resounded each time I heard the sound bite in the days that followed; […]

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Tolkien and Shakespeare: An Unexpected Discovery

I recently transitioned my voracious readers, in my elementary ESL (English as a Second Language) classroom, from a steady diet of Shakespeare to a more balanced literacy model incorporating other gifted writers, such as J.R.R. Tolkien.  While varying their literary choices has allowed me to introduce them to such great Tolkien works as The Hobbit and […]

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Shakespeare For Fear of Death 2

“England. Be it known that William Shakspere, Francis Langley, Dorothy Soer wife of John Soer, and Anne Lee, for fear of death…”. King’s Bench, Controlment Roll, Michaelmas Term 1596, K.B. 29/234: In the England of 1596 those fearful of “death or mutilations” could appeal to the judicial process to head off a potential attack. In […]

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How did they (stage the casket scene) in The Merchant of Venice

    In Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, Portia’s father has left a riddle for any potential suitor. To Win Portia’s hand in marriage the suitors must choose from three Caskets – one of gold, one silver and one lead. (Anyone who has ever read a fairy tale will be able to hazard a guess […]

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Year of Shakespeare: The Merchant of Venice

This post is part of Year of Shakespeare, a project documenting the World Shakespeare Festival, the greatest celebration of Shakespeare the world has ever seen.   The Merchant of Venice, Habima National Theatre, Dir. Ilan Ronen, May 28 2012 at The Globe, London By Peter Kirwan, University of Nottingham The Globe to Globe performance of […]

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Infinite minds: Shakespeare and Giordano Bruno

On 17 February 1600 the philosopher Giordano Bruno was burned at the stake in Campo de’ Fiori, today one of the most colourful squares in Rome. A former Dominican friar born near Naples, this wandering intellectual disseminated his revolutionary ideas throughout Europe. He studied in Geneva and Toulouse, taught at Wittenberg (Hamlet’s alma mater, remember?), […]

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Walking Shakespeare’s Venice 6: Can Shakespeare Save Venice?

In my earlier posts I shared the joy of walking around Venice with Shakespeare’s lovers. As a conclusion of this series, instead of focussing on a specific site, I want to point out that Venice should not be taken for granted. Far from feeding some of the most apocalyptic scenarios about Venice sinking and vanishing […]

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Shakespeare and the Senses: The Pain of Seeing

Paul Edmondson and I gave a talk at Shakespeare’s Globe recently on Shakespeare’s sonnets and the senses. We shall probably blog about it all before long, but in the meantime here are a few thoughts about Shakespeare and sight which didn’t go into our talk. Shakespeare’s writings are packed with references to the value of […]

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Shakespeare’s Sources – The Merchant of Venice

Continuing my series exploring Shakespeare’s sources this week I will take a look at The Merchant of Venice. There are many variants of the story in which a trusting Merchant makes a bond which includes a part of his body. Here I paraphrase just one of these stories found in some early 13th C versions […]

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