Shylock Is Shakespeare

Shylock Is Shakespeare

Kenneth Gross


Shylock, the Jewish moneylender in The service provider of Venice who famously calls for a pound of flesh as safety for a mortgage to his antisemitic tormentors, is certainly one of Shakespeare’s most intricate and idiosyncratic characters. along with his unsettling eloquence and his various voices of protest, play, rage, and refusal, Shylock is still a resource of perennial fascination. What explains the unusual and enduring strength of this personality, so in contrast to that of the other in Shakespeare’s performs? Kenneth Gross posits that the determine of Shylock is so robust simply because he's the voice of Shakespeare himself.

Marvelously speculative and articulate, Gross’s booklet argues that Shylock is a leap forward for Shakespeare the playwright, an early awareness of the Bard’s strength to create dramatic voices that talk for hidden, subconscious, even inhuman impulses—characters greater than the performs that include them and able to break out the author’s keep an eye on. Shylock is usually a masks for Shakespeare’s personal desire, rage, vulnerability, and generosity, giving shape to Shakespeare’s ambition as an writer and his doubtful bond with the viewers. Gross’s imaginative and prescient of Shylock as Shakespeare’s covert double results in a probing research of the character’s odd isolation, ambivalence, opacity, and darkish humor. Addressing the wider resonance of Shylock, either old and creative, Gross examines the character’s carry on later readers and writers, together with Heinrich Heine and Philip Roth, suggesting that Shylock mirrors the ambiguous states of Jewishness in modernity. 

A bravura severe functionality, Shylock Is Shakespeare will fascinate readers with its diversity of reference, its union of rigor and play, and  its conjectural—even fictive—means of coming to phrases with the query of Shylock, finally taking readers to the very center of Shakespeare’s humanizing genius.

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