By Stephen Clarke
Used to be the conflict of Hastings a French victory? Non! William the Conqueror used to be Norman and hated the French. have been the Brits rather liable for the dying of Joan of Arc? Non! The French sentenced her to demise for donning trousers. was once the guillotine a French invention? Non! It used to be invented in Yorkshire. Ten centuries' worthy of French historic 'facts' chunk the airborne dirt and dust as Stephen Clarke seems at what has particularly been happening on the grounds that 1066...
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Additional info for 1000 Years of Annoying the French
Xxiv-xxvii, and J. Dover Wilson's edition (NS), 1966, pp. Ixxiv-lxxxii. 3 See the summary and discussion, pp. 2 - 4 above. 95. Shakespeare: A Survey, 1925, p. 117. The Merchant of Venice 24 is presented in a favourable light. Indeed, the very strength and authenticity of Antonio's feelings may be at the root of the uneasiness that many critics express about Bassanio. The story of Giannetto, then, could have appealed to Shakespeare first and foremost as the portrayal of a friendship and only secondarily as the story of Ansaldo's escape from the Jew.
There was also a similar law in England, as the audience very well knew. 3 Our normal human reaction here is again satisfaction. Shylock has got what was coming to him. Yet there swiftly follows a no less spontaneous misgiving. Like Angelo in Measure for Measure, Shylock has willed more evil than he has performed. Because our sense of right decrees that he ought not to die, the equivalent of equity, the mercy of the Duke, in the end overrules statutory law. But there are conditions to the Duke's pardon, and here a modern audience's responses are likely to differ widely from those of an Elizabethan one.
We watch with mounting satisfaction as first Morocco and then Arragon makes the wrong choice of casket ; all is progressing according to the folk-tale pattern in which the third contender always wins. By contrast, the scenes in Venice build up our concern for Antonio ; we expect Bassanio to gain Portia and her fortune, but can he do so in time to save his friend ? Finally these rising hopes and fears converge with vivid dramatic effect in the beautifully orchestrated scene of Bassanio's success.
1000 Years of Annoying the French by Stephen Clarke