This essay reflects on the civic import of the first staging of The Merchant of Venice in the Ghetto of Venice. The Ghetto (whose name has become a global metaphor) is not explicitly mentioned in Shakespeare's Merchant but is presupposed by its plot and setting. The Ca’Foscari/Colombari promenade production of July 2016, 400 years after the death of William Shakespeare and 500 years since the establishment of the Ghetto as a segregated Jewish quarter, marked the encounter between two fundamentally ambivalent documents of Western civilization, a place and a play that have been both instruments of intolerance and catalysts for cross-cultural understanding, vehicles of antisemitism and portals of knowledge of the Jews. This Shakespearean event is analyzed in the context of the unprecedented crisis faced by the city of Venice, suffering under the unregulated pressure of tourism but also offering itself as a 'thinking machine' where heritage communities can resist the homogenizing tendencies of globalisation.

Shylock in the Thinking Machine. Civic Shakespeare and the Future of Venice

Bassi shaul
2018

Abstract

This essay reflects on the civic import of the first staging of The Merchant of Venice in the Ghetto of Venice. The Ghetto (whose name has become a global metaphor) is not explicitly mentioned in Shakespeare's Merchant but is presupposed by its plot and setting. The Ca’Foscari/Colombari promenade production of July 2016, 400 years after the death of William Shakespeare and 500 years since the establishment of the Ghetto as a segregated Jewish quarter, marked the encounter between two fundamentally ambivalent documents of Western civilization, a place and a play that have been both instruments of intolerance and catalysts for cross-cultural understanding, vehicles of antisemitism and portals of knowledge of the Jews. This Shakespearean event is analyzed in the context of the unprecedented crisis faced by the city of Venice, suffering under the unregulated pressure of tourism but also offering itself as a 'thinking machine' where heritage communities can resist the homogenizing tendencies of globalisation.
New Places: Shakespeare and Civic Creativity
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/10278/3696474
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