Beyond Violence: "The Merchant of Venice"

Lion, Caroline (2021). Beyond Violence: "The Merchant of Venice". University of Birmingham. Ph.D.

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Beyond Violence: “The Merchant of Venice” borrows from Jewish and postmodern thought to engage in an epiphanic analysis of Shakespeare’s play. This thesis begins with the important and foundational critical history of 'Merchant', tracks the epiphanic drive of five characters in five chapters, reviews the humiliating trial scene as an important moment in the plot, and finally points to the rings as the material realization of the epiphany itself. This thesis argues that the epiphanies in "The Merchant of Venice" finally merge in the figure of the rings revealing a transformed spiritual and societal paradigm. The corrupt, racist, and antisemitic characters of 'Merchant' do not necessarily form heavenly bonds with God or the other by the end of the play. They each, however, drive themselves beyond religion to a potential trace of an epiphanic transcendence. This trace of transcendence indicates that even within the cruelest cultures, there is the eternal possibility of astounding love and a world community beyond violence.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ph.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ph.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Arts & Law
School or Department: The Shakespeare Institute
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BL Religion
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BM Judaism
P Language and Literature > PR English literature


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