A Momaria and a Baptism: A Note on Beginning and Ending in the Globe Merchant of Venice (2015)
Keywords:Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice, beginning, ending, New Globe, Jonathan Munby
AbstractThe New Globe 2015 performance of The Merchant of Venice made a very dark comedy of a so called ‘romantic’ one. Not only is Shylock shown as a victim of Venetian anti-Semitism from the very beginning, but he also turns out as a pitiful – and deeply pitied – character because of the addition to the end of the play created by the director Jonathan Munby. The article, after summarising the role of the initial and final phases of dramatic texts, discusses the beginning and ending added by Munby, also through some reviewers’ responses to the production both in London and in the USA. It then articulates its own standpoint claiming that the additions made by the director to the original text, while legitimate as artistic objects and directorial choices, diminish the play’s complexity and constitute sort of performative paratext to the play. (The research is based on the “Globe on Screen” DVD version of the play).
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