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Shylock Unbound

Shylock Unbound

Chapter:
(p.55) Chapter Six Shylock Unbound
Source:
Shylock Is Shakespeare
Author(s):
Kenneth Gross
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226309927.003.0006

From the very first moments of its being broached in the play, the question of the bond is linked to Shylock's habit of verbal repetition. This chapter suggests that the matter of the bond can be approached by looking initially at this aspect of Shylock's speech, in which he makes his own the most basic of poetic schemes. Repetition becomes, paradoxically, one mark of his singularity, crucial to the building up of his peculiar idiom or dramatic idiolect. It gives form to an eloquence increasingly mysterious, unanswerable, and self-consuming, an eloquence that starts to undo more rational or harmonious pictures of the work or place of eloquence.

Keywords:   The Merchant of Venice, bond, verbal repetition, eloquence

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