This essay is intended as a philological annotation on the anthropological plot that underlies the story narrated in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. This Shakespearean play stages a conflict of and among generations (fathers and sons), families (the nuptial theme), and political choices (to love/to hate), in which the circulation of money as interest takes a pivotal role. Such a complex scenario cannot be sufficiently explained by means of the Plautinian comic scheme – that match full of twists in which the adulescens wins treasure (and a wife) against the senex, transparent representation of the exogamous exchange. I therefore invite the readers of The Merchant of Venice to recall the Platonic stage of The Republic where the Athenian philosopher defines democracy as a «general store of regimes» trigged by the circulation of money/gold as an interest-bearing capital. Is thus Modernity devised in Shakespeare’s ironic representation as a society of shrewd gamblers and money-makers in a way that recalls the Platonic depiction of democracy?

The Children of Usury: the Market of Democracy between Plato’s Republic and The Merchant of Venice by W. Shakespeare

STELLA MASSIMO
2021

Abstract

This essay is intended as a philological annotation on the anthropological plot that underlies the story narrated in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice. This Shakespearean play stages a conflict of and among generations (fathers and sons), families (the nuptial theme), and political choices (to love/to hate), in which the circulation of money as interest takes a pivotal role. Such a complex scenario cannot be sufficiently explained by means of the Plautinian comic scheme – that match full of twists in which the adulescens wins treasure (and a wife) against the senex, transparent representation of the exogamous exchange. I therefore invite the readers of The Merchant of Venice to recall the Platonic stage of The Republic where the Athenian philosopher defines democracy as a «general store of regimes» trigged by the circulation of money/gold as an interest-bearing capital. Is thus Modernity devised in Shakespeare’s ironic representation as a society of shrewd gamblers and money-makers in a way that recalls the Platonic depiction of democracy?
V
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Estratto STELLA(1).pdf

embargo fino al 21/08/2022

Tipologia: Versione dell'editore
Licenza: Accesso gratuito (solo visione)
Dimensione 637.65 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
637.65 kB Adobe PDF Visualizza/Apri

I documenti in ARCA sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/10278/3748593
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact