The Merchant of Venice (Retried)

By George Elliott Clarke

The Merchant of Venice (Retried)
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Whether you’ve encountered his celebrated verse-dramas (such as Whylah Falls or Québécité) or the lush, animated language of his poetry, it is not difficult to recognize George Elliott Clarke’s affinity for the genius of William Shakespeare. In this new work, Clarke borrows ... Read more


Overview

Whether you’ve encountered his celebrated verse-dramas (such as Whylah Falls or Québécité) or the lush, animated language of his poetry, it is not difficult to recognize George Elliott Clarke’s affinity for the genius of William Shakespeare. In this new work, Clarke borrows brazenly from and rewrites (The Bard’s very own working method) one of Shakespeare’s most contentious comedies, The Merchant of Venice, reinvigorating a play that on many points seems “retrograde politically and retarding dramatically”. The result is a spectacle of swinging lyricism that casts Jewish Shylock not as the villain, but as the victim of the ingrained bigotry of the Venetian State.

 

George Elliott Clarke

Acclaimed for his narrative lyric suites (Whylah Falls and Execution Poems), his lyric “colouring books” (Blue, Black, Red, and Gold), his selected poems (Blues and Bliss), his opera libretti and plays (Beatrice Chancy and Trudeau: Long March, Shining Path), George Elliott Clarke now presents us with his epic-in-progress, Canticles, a work that views History as a web of imperialism, enslavement, and insurrection. A native Africadian, Canada’s 7th Parliamentary Poet Laureate ranges the atlas and ransacks the library to ink lines unflinching before Atrocity and unquiet before Oppression.

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