Thursday, March 15, 2018

“Shakespeare’s Shylock and The Merchant of Venice” by Showerman and Delahoyde presented at Folio: Seattle Athenaeum Tuesday


Earl Showerman, MD and Michael Delahoyde, PhD
 at Folio: Seattle Athenaeum, March 13, 2018
by guest correspondent Tom Townsend
March 14, 2018

Two Shakespearean scholars, Earl Showerman, MD and Michael Delahoyde, PhD discussed critical topics about Shakespeare’s impressive work The Merchant of Venice.

Dr. Showerman discussed a real person, Gaspar Ribiero, as the likely model for Shylock; Dr. Delahoyde showcased the need to view different perspectives in Merchant. These presentations took place Tuesday, March 13, 2018 at Folio: The Seattle Athenaeum where approximately 50 people attended. These conversations are timely because The Seattle Shakespeare Company is producing Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice March 20-April 15, 2018.

Showerman’s thesis: Ribiero is Shylock
Earl Showerman clearly presented many excellent reasons why Gaspar Ribiero, a Sixteenth-century, Portuguese Jew living in Venice — and forced to convert to Christianity — could likely be the model for Shylock. Dr. Showerman added that he believes Edward de Vere, seventeenth earl of Oxford, was the true Shakespeare. Both de Vere and Gaspar Ribiero attended the same church in Venice; and de Vere may have known Ribiero. 
Ribiero’s reputation in the Venice and Jewish community, however, was well known during the time de Vere visited and lived in Venice in 1575. Further, Ribiero’s daughter eloped with Ribiero’s ducat’s — just as Jessica, Shylock’s daughter, elopes with Shylock’s money and jewels.
While Showerman offers several additional similarities between Ribiero and Shakespeare’s Shylock, perhaps none is more convincing then the unusual language used by Ribiero: he repeated words and phrases just as someone with dementia. In fact, Ribiero’s language style is mirrored in Shylock’s speaking style, with similar repeating words and phrases.

Delahoyde’s discussion
Dr. Michael Delahoyde insightfully integrates the art of Sixteenth-century Venice with the play The Merchant of Venice. He believes The Merchant of Venice should be viewed from different perspectives. He demonstrated that Venetian painting during the Sixteenth Century showed different perspectives of the same scene from different vantage points. He pointed out that while Shylock appears to be a villain, Antonio and Portia are villains to him. In the trial scene, Portia asks Shylock for mercy, but offers none to Shylock. We know both Jewish and Christian religions endorse mercy, but no one does in the Merchant. To paraphrase a critic of the play: In The Merchant of Venice we see everyone behaving badly.

There was a lively and interesting question-and-answer session after these discussions by Earl Showerman and Michael Delahoyde. Many questions and comments centered on how the true author of Shakespeare — a man from Stratford, or Edward de Vere — could have known these intimate details of characters and ambience in Sixteenth-century Venice.

Note: For more information on this topic, read:

Resources

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Report on Oberon March 2018 meeting

Mara Radzvickas, Robin Browne, Rosey Hunter, Richard Joyrich, Pam Verilone, and Sharon Hunter at Oberon Shakespeare Study Group meeting March 10, 2017 at Bloomfield Twp. District Library, MI.

by Linda Theil
March 10, 2018

Oberons had a nice study session at our March 10, 2018 meeting with lots of information sharing.

Books

My Shakespeare: the Authorship Controversy -- experts examine the arguments for  Bacon, Neville, Oxford, Marlow, Mary Sidney, Shakspere, and Shakespeare edited by Professor William Leahy, Deputy Vice-chancellor at Brunel University, London; published in 2018 by EER Brighton, UK. Available at Amazon.

The Fictional Lives of Shakespeare by Kevin Gilvary (Routledge Studies in Shakespeare) published by Routledge, New York and London, 2018. 
Available from Routledge.

The Seven Steps to Mercy: with Shakespeare's Key to the Oak Island Templum.
Available at Amazon.

The Royal Secret by John Bentley (John Bentley, 2014) in the style of Dan Brown according to Oberon member Robin Browne.
Available at Amazon.

William Shakespeare Punches a Friggin' Shark and/or Other Stories: a Secret Book Only Smart People Own by Ryan North (Ryan North, 2017) a choose your own adventure book available from Kickstarter.

Other discussion

Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship news article: Steve Steinburg exposes "Fallacies in Jonathan Bate's Debate Performance". Robin Browne said of Steinburg's commentary, "He tears Bate's arguments to shreds." Info on SOF new blog at https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/steinburg-exposes-fallacies-jonathan-bates-debate-performance/
The Waugh/Bate "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" debate is on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HgImgdJ5L6o

Diana Price's "Chart of Literary Paper Trails" Appendix B from her book Shakespeare's Unorthodox Biography (Greenwood, 2001) is online at
http://rosbarber.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/01/RBarber-DPhil-Thesis-Appendix-B.pdf. The 2013 edition of her book is available at Amazon.

Tom and Joy Townsend will attend an Oxfordian presentation about Merchant of Venice at the University of Washington in Seattle March 12 and 13, 2018. Info at
https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/oxfordians-presenting-merchant-seattle-march-12-13/

Several of our members have signed up for Ros Barber's new online authorship course, "Who Wrote Shakespeare?" from the University of London. Kevin Gilvary wrote a post about the course as a guest blogger on the Oberon weblog at http://oberonshakespearestudygroup.blogspot.com/2018/02/university-of-london-sponsors-online.html

We discussed "Shakespeare Identified Centennial (SI-100) progress update: December 2017" compiled by Kathryn Sharpe, and available on the SOF website at https://shakespeareoxfordfellowship.org/shakespeare-identified-centennial-si-100-progress-update-december-2017/

Performances

National Theatre Live will present Julius Caesar on movie screens worldwide -- including Ann Arbor and Detroit locations --  at 7:30 p.m. March 22. For more information see https://www.fathomevents.com/events/nt-live-julius-caesar.

UMS will sponsor a showing at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor on May 6, 2018. More information at
https://ums.org/performance/national-theatre-live-in-hd-shakespeares-julius-caesar/

NT Live will broadcast Macbeth on May 10, 2018. Info at http://ntlive.nationaltheatre.org.uk/productions/66375-macbeth