The Merchant Of Venice

Note: This review was originally published by The World Jewish Digest on 1/05:

The title character in Venice is a prosperous businessman named Antonio who makes his living managing huge commercial ventures. Cash-short when his young friend Bassanio asks to borrow money from him (so he can woo a beautiful heiress named Portia), Antonio sends Bassanio to a Jewish moneylender named Shylock. Shylock agrees to lend Bassanio the money, but to prove to Antonio that he’s motivated by more than greed, Shylock asks for a mere “pound of flesh” as collateral. Thinking he’s joking, and certain, in any case, that his current investments are secure, Antonio agrees. But at the very moment these men are signing their deal, Shylock’s daughter Jessica elopes with Bassanio’s friend Lorenzo. When Shylock hears that Antonio’s ships have all gone aground, he plots his revenge; he demands Antonio’s heart as compensation for the heart ripped from his own body when his only child left home, deserting both him and the entire Jewish community…”

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