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Emilia Bassano Lanier provided the model for Shakespeare’s Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. A dark Venetian Jew When Baptiste Bassano, Venetian converso Jew and court musician, died in 1576, he left his daughter Emilia penniless; she would receive a legacy of £100 only on attaining the age of twenty-one. For reasons

in Reading Shakespeare’s mind

This book will come as a revelation to Shakespeare scholars everywhere. It reveals the identity of the playwright and Shakespeare’s colleague behind the mask of Jaques in As You Like It. It pinpoints the true first night of Twelfth Night and reveals why the play’s performance at the Inns of Court was a momentous occasion for shakespeare. It also the identities Quinapalus, the Vapians, Pigrogromitus and Feste, as well as the ‘Dark Lady’ of the Sonnets and the inspiration for Jessica in The Merchant of Venice. And it solves Shakespeare’s greatest riddle: the meaning of M.O.A.I. in Twelfth Night. In sum, this book reveals William Shakespeare as a far more personal writer than we have ever imagined.

Open Access (free)
Fetters of an American farmgirl

’s ‘park’-set home in The Merchant of Venice, would have sought such harmony in the sixteenth-century Veneto (where Palladio built his villas) and, just as Shakespeare’s play exposes the underlay of money and legal trickery supporting Belmont, so Frado exposes what supports her Bellmonts’ white house.56 The effect of these dense allusions is to summon up a transnational pastoral web ensnaring Frado in a fruitfully embellished sheen of beauty she cannot escape even when she comes of age, because beyond it lies only beggary.57 Indeed, once Frado risks all and leaves the

in Special relationships
Open Access (free)
The art of performance and her work in film

, especially those of Portia in The Merchant of Venice.21 These were predictably successful with audiences who would be glad to pay to see her appear on the stage at all, and they arguably served to raise the tone of the Coliseum’s programme. Terry’s popularity with the Coliseum audience was demonstrated in 1918 by the presentation of a wreath from ‘Admirers of Shakespeare at the Coliseum’ to mark her birthday.22 As part of the wartime charity and fundraising entertainments, Ellen Terry’s performances in scenes and recitations at this time have hitherto been regarded in

in Stage women, 1900–50

warders on the ghetto gate were expected to be reliable and well-informed witnesses to occurrences in the Jewish quarter, and two of them were summoned by the Inquisition to testify in Moreto’s case. One was the elderly Domenico Spadini, called ‘the Gobbo’, otherwise ‘the hunchback’; the other was his son, Antonio, whom Giorgio accused of bearing false witness against him. Did Shakespeare get to hear of them, transform them into Lancelot and his gravel-blind father, ‘Old Gobbo’, and include through them an oblique reference to the ghetto in The Merchant of Venice? The

in Judicial tribunals in England and Europe, 1200–1700
The unknowable image in The Winter’s Tale

. 2 Spectators are, for example, forewarned that Portia intends to appear before her husband disguised as a man before the scene in which she appears as a lawyer in order to resolve the dispute between Shylock and Antonio, in William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice , ed. John Russell Brown, The Arden Shakespeare, second series (London: Methuen, 1955 ), 3

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama
The ends of incompletion

Kalas’s. 32 Kalas, Frame, Glass, Verse , p. 88. 33 Natasha Korda, ‘Dame Usury: Gender, Credit, and (Ac)counting in the Sonnets and The Merchant of Venice ’, Shakespeare Quarterly , 60:2 (2009), 129–53, 148. Korda quotes from Jan Ympyn Christoffels

in Making and unmaking in early modern English drama