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The Merchant of Venice: The Quintessential Problem Play | Lunch 'n Learn with Deborah Orens

Past Sessions
Monday, December 18, 2023 6 Tevet 5784 - 11:00 AM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, December 11, 2023 28 Kislev 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, December 4, 2023 21 Kislev 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, November 27, 2023 14 Kislev 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, November 20, 2023 7 Kislev 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, November 13, 2023 29 Cheshvan 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, October 30, 2023 15 Cheshvan 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge
Monday, October 23, 2023 8 Cheshvan 5784 - 12:15 PM - 1:30 PM - Adult Lounge

Mondays at 12:15 pm in the Adult Lounge
Class Dates: October 16, 23, 30; November 6, 13, 20, 27; December 4, 11, 18
Cost: Free for CAI Members and Nonmembers

Everybody has problems in Venice! Shylock is a Jewish moneylender because there are very few other options in Venice. Everyone needs Shylock in this commercial capital, but they certainly resent him. Bassanio is a handsome profligate, who wants to marry a rich woman from Belmont, Portia. She, however, cannot choose a husband, since she is bound by her father’s will that her husband be successful at a “strange” challenge. Bassanio needs money to woo Portia, so asks his rich, older friend, Antonio to borrow money. It is well known that Antonio loves Bassanio, so sets out to get money for his friend’s venture from “The Jew.” Problems: From a Shakespearean point of view, is this a comedy or tragedy…to be discussed. Is Portia as noble and wise as some maintain, or is she a flighty female with a sadistic edge? Is Bassanio a true gentleman, or a user? Just what is the basis of Antonio’s “love” for his friend? Does Shylock initially seek Antonio’s death through the “merry bond,” or is he pushed towards vengeance through the actions of the characters. AND THE BIG QUESTION…is this an anti-Semitic or anti-Christian play…also to be discussed. Please join Deborah Orens to watch the play (technology permitting), read the highlights of the play together, and discuss these and other controversial questions.

On October 16, a dairy lunch will be provided – afterwards please bring a bagged dairy lunch – we will provide drinks!


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July 14,2024 /  8 Tammuz 5784