Lawyers and Judges Address Shylock's Case

Edna Nahshon and Michael Shapiro, eds., Wrestling with Shylock: Jewish Responses to The Merchant of Venice (NY: Cambridge U Press, 2017), 105-119.

Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 550

12 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2018 Last revised: 2 Aug 2018

See all articles by Richard Weisberg

Richard Weisberg

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Date Written: February 1, 2017

Abstract

From the early 19th century to the present, lawyers and judges have fruitfully contributed to the ongoing discussions about Shylock: his character, his motivations, and the rightness or wrongness of his legal claims. In so doing, they further a tradition, beginning perhaps with Heine, that validates Shylock in most respects and that helpfully engages the text's clear indications, often from the mouth of Portia, that the mainstream Venetian characters are loose and egocentric men, casual oath-breakers, and no respecters of law or love. Legal analysts, many but not all of them Jewish, are identified, ranging from the eminent German Rudolf von Ihering (and an Austro-Germanic tradition that follows him to this day) to late 20th and early 21st century American essayists.

Suggested Citation

Weisberg, Richard H., Lawyers and Judges Address Shylock's Case (February 1, 2017). Edna Nahshon and Michael Shapiro, eds., Wrestling with Shylock: Jewish Responses to The Merchant of Venice (NY: Cambridge U Press, 2017), 105-119., Cardozo Legal Studies Research Paper No. 550, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3216271

Richard H. Weisberg (Contact Author)

Yeshiva University - Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law ( email )

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