Chapter

The House of the Three Caskets

Kenneth Gross

in Shylock Is Shakespeare

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print December 2006 | ISBN: 9780226309774
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226309927 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7208/chicago/9780226309927.003.0004
The House of the Three Caskets

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This chapter discusses how the quality of Shylock's presence in The Merchant of Venice depends on Belmont's being a place that excludes him, a place where he is indeed scarcely mentioned, and then never by name. Shylock's money funds Bassanio's voyage to Belmont in quest for his bride, and it is from Belmont in turn that Portia journeys to Venice to save Antonio. Shakespeare's Belmont has something about it at once dangerous and vaguely tacky. It's as if it housed brilliant children who toy with a nuclear reactor, or who forget that their imaginary palace is built of rags, bits of wood and paint, and plaster, everything found by accident, by chance, put together like a stage set.

Keywords: Shylock; The Merchant of Venice; Belmont; Shakespeare

Chapter.  4645 words. 

Subjects: Shakespeare Studies and Criticism

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