Merchant of Venice:

A Clash of Feudal, Banking, and Commercial Capitalisms

David M. Boje, Ph.D.

Updated December 17, 2000; February 10, 2002; This was a presentation of the 1999 Academy of Management session, "Reclaiming Indigenous Knowledge." 

David Boje and Grace Ann Rosile, as Bassanio and Portia

The Merchant of Venice (Shakespeare, 1597 is year play is said to be first performed) presents us with a model of Princely Leadership (Boje, 2000) that is relevant to today's Business student. To me this play is a critique applicable to today's global corporate model of financial capitalism, with the relocation of Third World sweat labor and resources to First World consumers and adventurer-investors, who stay-at-home, conveniently oblivious to what goes on. Shakespeare brilliantly demonstrates, what I call the Theatrics of Leadership through art, poetics and biting critique to portray a conflict between courtly (feudal) usurer's capitalism and bourgeois merchant (commercial and financial) capitalism, the triumph of the new forms of adventuring over the old in the 16th century. 

I would like to apply Burke's (1945) Pentad (act, scene, agent, agency, & purpose) but make it a Hexad by adding from from his 1937 (Attitudes Toward History). See Boje (2002a) for more on Hexad.

1.      Act – What was done? Names what took place, in thought or deed (sequence of actions). There are many Machiavellian act. 

2.      Scene When or where it was done? Background of the act, the situation in which it occurred; physical, geographic and cultural environment or setting in which the act or action takes place. Acts can dramatically affect scene and vice versa; scenes can motivate or influence characters to take action (e.g. crisis on a battlefield versus reunion after give different motivation or a more comic frame).  I shall argue the scene is not Venice, but England, and Shakespeare is making a veiled critique of the slave trading in Africa and the Americas.

3.      Agent  - Who did it? What actor or kind of person (agent) performed the act? The Actor’s identity and role- played out in terms of the action. Non-human elements can be agents, e.g. the tornado tore up the town. I shall assert that Antonio is a Royal Merchant, a corporatist who symbolizes Capital, while Shylock symbolizes the banker who charges interest and who saves (hoards). 

4.      Agency – How it was done? The instruments (means) agents used; how characters initiate and accomplish action. Or characters can claim there are instruments, tools of those they report to in the chain of command. Antonio's tool is the entrepreneurial adventure, taking risks to win fortunes. Shylock's tool is charging interest and saving.

5.      Purpose – Why? Intended effect or outcomes of the action. There are motives (often multiple and conflicting) for each character. There is also the purpose of the author, Shakespeare. 

6.   Frame - Burke (1937: iii) begins with defining how Frames are comprised of terms that are attitudinal, and frame is also a process. Frames center attention on some practical/critical factors but draw attention away from others that are ignored or marginalized. Frame is also a dialectic between "Frames of Acceptance"  and "Frames of Rejection." A Frame of Acceptance has an over-emphasis on what is favorable, and an under-emphasis on any unfavorable consequences. A Frame of Rejection keeps the focus on the unfavorable, on for example the "culturally dispossessed" (Burke, 1937: 40-41). 

Agents - There are two antagonists in the play, Antonio who earns his money through venture/merchant capitalism, and Shylock who earns his money like a banker, by lending it at interest.  Antonio's capitalism is to make investments in two types of ventures (1) he is among the Renaissance merchant capitalists who finances trading ships that head for Africa and the Americas in search of slaves and gold; (2) Antonio bankrolls Bassanio in a risk-taking adventure to win the fortune of the beautiful Portia. Antonio is a rich and successful and prosperous Royal Merchant Adventurer: this is the definition of the Trading Corporation.  Antonio has been out to ruin Shylock, who is Banker Capitalism personified.

SHYLOCK  ... He lends out money gratis, and brings down the rate of usance here with us in Venice.

Antonio hates Shylock because, as we shall explore, Shylock is a mirror on the even more perverse ways that Antonio makes his money (slavery and colonial exploitation). Whereas Shylock charges high interest (35% was the going rate for loans), Antonio gains a 1,000 or more percent in interest from successful investments in slave-plantations in Africa and the Americas.  To Shylock, Antonio is a slave trader and rapacious financier of conquests and genocide. And he hates to see this in the mirror Shylock holds up to Antonio's face.  So Antonio, as the story goes, tricks Shylock into loaning him 3,000 Ducats for a strange contract.  In this contract to not repay in three months gives Shylock the option to cut one pound of flesh from Antonio instead of the usual 35% interest fee (see full text of Merchant of Venice play).  Here is an example of the mirror Shylock holds up to Antonio. In this scene before the judge, Shylock speaks to Antonio:

SHYLOCK. What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
Which, fike your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them
; shall I say to you
'Let them be free, marry them to your heirs-
Why sweat they under burdens?- let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands'? You will answer
'The slaves are ours.' So do I answer you:
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgment; answer; shall I have it?

More characters (agents) are explained below. 

Agency - The agency of the play is the struggle of banker's investment capitalism with merchant's venture capitalism. Antonio symbolizes investment (capital) and Shylock symbolizes money lending (banking). And a third agency, the lady Portia symbolizes Fortuna (the goddess Lady Luck). Accumulation and hoarding to the financial or merchant capitalist (Antonio) is the ultimate sin (tragic flaw of character he sees in Shylock); For Antonio it is better to keep on betting and investing (in Fortuna) and moving factories and plantations to ever-cheaper places of labor-exploitation (colonial gold and slave trade). In this aspect, the play echoes the way the modern transnational capitalism game is being played today (not with slaves, but with the global search for cheapest labor, and appropriating one country's Natural resources as another's). The Merchant of Venice play is the story of the rise of modern bourgeoisie capitalism (Shylock's banker capitalism and Antonio's investment entrepreneurship) over the feudal condition of accumulation (becoming Renaissance); but the final act has yet to be staged on the stage of global capitalism.  There is also much to be learned about leadership, in this case, the alienated leader who makes monetary wagers of high risk (risking ships at sea to make mega gains), instead of actually going on an adventure (Bassanio sails on adventures, Antonio is a stay at home risk-taker, risking money not his own body) .  In sum, the three agencies are banker capitalism, merchant (venture) capitalism, and risks of fortune. 

Scene -  Scene is where and where and when the act takes place. My thesis (following Nerlich, 1987 a, b) is that this play is about England, not Venice.  Shakespeare wants to keep his head and stages the play's scenes in Venice, so he is free to satirize England. I will defend this thesis by pointing out historical facts and circumstances of Shakespeare's day. 

Purpose - Purpose is the intended effect or outcomes of the action by agents (actors) and agencies. Purpose answers the question Why?  Shylock's purpose, for example, is revenge for the ways that Antonio has sought to ruin his lending business (e.g. giving away money at lower rates so as to force Shylock out of business). Shylock also believes Antonio hates the Jews. Nerlich (1987a, b) disputes this common interpretation. Rather, Nerlich argues that Antonio's motivation is his hate for investors such as Shylock that do not take bigger risks, and risk their fortune. Shylock hoards his accumulation, and has disdain for the free-spending extravagances of the society around him. For Antonio this is hoarding, whereas Antonio believes wealth needs to recirculate through investment and reinvestment in order to build an economy.  Their respective purposes clash over Jessica (Shylock's daughter). Shylock insists his daughter be kept in doors to keep her away from the feasting and merrymaking of the Venetians. Antonio, by contrast, believes this to be a form of bondage and slavery, and uses the wealth gained from Shylock to set her free. Throughout the play Antonio enacts the most Machiavellian motives; his moves and actions are plots to set up, then ruin Shylock; to set up Portia, so her fortune can be split between Bassanio and himself; to overturn Feudalism, through the Renaissance rise bourgeoisie values .

Frames  - Frames stretch and break. There are three competing frames in the play. The Feudal frame is being stretched to hold on a bit longer against the competing frame of modern capitalism. Renaissance is a transition in values, a transvaluation between Feudalism and Modern Capitalism. Usury, once abhorred by the feudal church, is now revalued as appropriate to the times. The casuistic stretch of the Church was a revaluation, its "anti-business fiction" became an embrace of the "organization of business" (Burke, 1937: 72). The Popes gave their revenues to the Italian bankers for investment (p. 72). A third frame is the merchant capitalism, risks of adventure to attain wealth through slave trade and resource accumulation from the colonies.  The stretch by and old frame (Feudalism) hanging on to oppose an emergent frame (Merchant Capitalism and Usury Capitalism)  is a casuistic one.  

Four Frames - First the Tragic Frame - In the Tragic Frame the heroic agent (Antonio) and counter-agent (Shylock) are magnified as  embodying the historical drama. Second, there is a Comic Frame, such as Lancelot Gabbo, who embodies the Knight Errant; an anti-hero caught in acts of "happy stupidity" snatching whatever mild pleasures are at hand (Carpe Diem). Third, the Grotesque Frame can be seen in the surrender in "ironic humility: to the misfortune that is all around (slavery, colonialism); defeatism and escapism are stressed as options. It is the Grotesque frame that Shylock holds up before Antonio (and the audience of spectators) to see. Fourth, in the Burlesque Frame of Feudalism, the serf is bound to the soil through duties and obligations; the daughter Jessica is bound to her house bond, until set free in Renaissance style by Antonio's gift. Shakespeare introduces a Burlesque ambivalence in property relations, redefining Jessica and Portia as properties. 

The storyline: Antonio, a Royal stay-at-home merchant (commercial) capitalist loans 3,000 Ducats to his subcontractor, Bassanio to outfit ships and a voyage to conquer the fair, but more important, rich Portia in the utopia that is Belmont.  This is a tale of the wheel of fortune, the capitalist gamble to win a game of chance; to choose gold, silver or a lead casket (but of course fortune shines on Bassanio and Portia gives him hints to the correct choice). 

More about the Agents (actors) - I will next give some insight into each of the characters of this Theatrical drama (For theory and background paper, see Boje & Luhman, 1999):

Antonio is an English merchant, a stay-at-home (want a be) adventurer in Venetian garb. He personifies faceless, indifferent, and alienated capital; capital that is separates producer, owner, and consumer.  He is the Royal Merchant who finances others to take the adventure, to trade in East Indies, Africa, and America.  This stay-at-home adventurer has a trade business to conduct through his agents, employees and apprentices. Antonio owns a Trading Corporation. He is without family, and is a ghostly character, representing, I think, the abstractness of capital. And this alienation explains his sadness:

I hold the world but as the world, Gratiano; A stage where every man must play a part, and mine a sad one.

What stuff 'tis made of, where of it is born, I am to learn; and such a want - wit sadness makes of me that I have much ado to know myself.'

He invests in the overseas adventurers (the conquerors and slavers of other nations), converts his cash to commodity capital and in this play borrows money from the Shylock.  Antonio leads a shadowy existence in the play. Antonio is in search of the risk of fortune, and reinvests the gold, silver and raw materials in his trading corporation on new adventures.  The action heroic theme shifts to his junior partner, Bassanio, to employees like captains and sailor, who make the journey.  Antonio personifies capital, the faceless, shadow, with no private and human life and no wife or children or family at all.  Why does Shakespeare do this?  I think it is to reveal how Antonio's social function in an English society (made to appear Italian to avoid the consequences of open critique of the crown). Antonio, as a financial capitalist has liquid assets. 

ANTONIO Believe me, No. I thank my fortune for it. My ventures are not in one bottom trusted, nor to one place; not is my whole estate upon the fortune of this present year: therefore merchandise makes me not sad.

Again, we see that what makes Antonio sad is not his financial situation.  Antonio is Mr. Finance, a successful CEO of a Trading Corporation, who subcontracts to those without wealth, to finance their adventure and risk.  Rather, Antonio is sad because he is the enemy of feudal capitalism.  Antonio is not just a merchant capitalist, he is a "Royal Merchant Adventurer" a Trading Company chartered by the Crown. Antonio is representative of 16th century modern commercial capitalism. And he politicizes against usurer capital (represented by Shylock). He certainly does not represent the church and only pretends to be pious when attacking Shylock. Antonio only lends money to adventure, for a share of profit.  There is risk in adventure, as in the fact that Antonio's ships are reported sunk and his bond agreement falls due to Shylock. The usurer charges up to 35% to make the loan against Antonio's property. Antonio pretends he has no money to pay (but this turns out to be a trap that Portia sets for Shylock).  David Nerlich makes three points:

In sum, Antonio hates Shylock not because he is a Jew, but because he is part of Feudal oppression of financial capitalism, engages in the material and spiritual slavery of his daughter Jessica as well as the servant Launcelot, and most of all for charging interest rates on loans instead of gaining profit by the wheel-of-fortune of market forces. And we could add, for hoarding his wealth instead or circulating it in investments. Antonio desires to conquer feudal capitalism and liberate financial (commercial and merchant) capitalism from feudal enslavement.  He conquers Shylock by trickery and by buying up and then dumping Shylock's loans. 

Bassanio - takes out loans to go on his adventures. He is representative of the victorious bourgeoisie who conquer indigenous lands, returning profit to the empire. He has no capital. He borrows 3,000 ducats from Antonio to outfit a ship, sail to Belmont, and woo Portia. Portia is his adventure and enterprise. It is her profit he pursues, love is not his priority; this is an investment.  If Antonio does not finance his junior partner, then he risks losing his investment to date.   It is also a way for Antonio, as leader, to see how his junior partner will do in a small private matter, before trusting him in more turbulent matters.  When the suitor from Morocco, chooses gold, it represents Spanish nobility and their conquest for gold and what it will then purchase.  When Anragon chooses silver, it represents nobility who in a feudal-princely worldview, originates their authority by birth.  But Bassanio chooses lead, "who chooseth me must give and hazard all he hath."  here we have a symbolic representation of fortune (the wheel of fortune), and the new capitalism. Bassanio does not accumulate gold or silver as greedy ornament; he seeks to fortune through the recirculation of capital and the betting that comes from waging one's fortune on adventure.  Bassanio is the adventurer. 

Salanio, Salerio & Guatiano are brokers (untrading bretheran) who provide apprentices to Antonio, but have no capital of their own. 

Launcelot Gabbo - note the implication of being a Knight (Launcelot), but this knight does not engage in adventure.  This Launcelot is a mere servant to Shylock and is kept like a slave. 

Shylock after the Trial

Shylock - Shylock is representative of the banker, someone who charges interest on loans or repossesses collateral. Following Nerlich, I contend that this play is about the transition in England (not Italy) from the early phases of capitalism (usurer's capital) to merchant's (adventure) capital.  Shylock is a lender who says "repay 3,000 in 3 months or I cut out a pound of flesh."  Usurers accumulate money in ways Antonio thinks hinder trade; the money is hoarded and used to increase the accumulation of possessions for Shylock. The point, I think, of Merchant of Venice is the libratory power of commercial capital.  Human freedom is possible by investing one's capital in adventurers of fortune and gaining liberator (liberty) power. Feudalism, by contrast, makes human freedom impossible (the rich accumulate by charging excessive interest and do not recirculate their gains). In addition, Shylock keeps his servant on starvation rations, much the same way as today's Robber Barons (global corporate capitalists) keep Third World labor on poverty wages.  Shylock even keeps his own daughter, Jessica, as an in-house prisoner, locked away from the world. 

Many critics have assumed that Shakespeare is an Anti-Semitic, but my read is Shakespeare is writing about the clash of two forms of capitalism. Shakespeare does not appear to approve of Antonio's slimy pseudo-Christian polemics. There is ample text to argue neither  Jew nor  Christian is without prejudice. Shakespeare assaults the bourgeois illusions of utopia (Belmont) and the spiritual prejudice of his day.  Shylock has the great lines. In response to Portia (who is pretending to be a lawyer):

PORTIA To bait fish withal: if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge. He hath disgraced me, and hindered me. Hail a million; laughed at my losses, mocked at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted by bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies; and what's his reason? I am a Jew.

SHYLOCK What judgment shall I dread, doing no wrong?
You have among you many a purchas'd slave,
Which, like your asses and your dogs and mules,
You use in abject and in slavish parts,
Because you bought them; shall I say to you
'Let them be free, marry them to your heirs-
Why sweat they under burdens?- let their beds
Be made as soft as yours, and let their palates
Be season'd with such viands'? You will answer
'The slaves are ours.' So do I answer you:
The pound of flesh which I demand of him
Is dearly bought, 'tis mine, and I will have it.
If you deny me, fie upon your law!
There is no force in the decrees of Venice.
I stand for judgment; answer; shall I have it?

Shakespeare uses the Shylock character to critique the feudal system of feudal usury and in a more radical move to severely criticize the methods of commercial capitalism (the stay-at-home, faceless, want-a-be adventurer who is a hypocrite, complaining of 35% bankers' interest as too high, when he is gaining a 1000 or more percent from investing in slave trade and human carnage). For example, Drake's voyage netted 4,700% profit.  Shakespeare is holding up a mirror the the new world of commercial capitalism, and he sees many atrocities in the reflection. And what we see, is the critique of global capitalism, the alienation of capital when it separates investment, production in a foreign land, and consumption of goods by the rich nations whose consumers are able to deny all complicity in the sweat and burden, denying Third World the soft beds and plates of the First.

  1. First, the concentration of capital by commercial trading companies goes against the ethic of fortune (to recirculate and risk capital). He describes that commercial traders engage in wolfish, bloody, starvation, and ravenous tactics in the West Indies, and Mexico (p. 159). "You have among you many purchased slaves" says Shylock, commenting on Antonio's form of capitalism.  "The pound of flesh, which I demand of him, is deadly bought" (p. 160). This is further evidence that Shakespeare is not crafting an Anti-Semitism, but is doing a self-reflective critique of British commercial (or merchant) capitalism, as well as commenting on the transition from usurer capitalism to commercial capitalism (and their contest played out in the characters of his theatrics). 

  2. Second, Antonio is "a participant in this looting, enslavement, and murder" (p. 159). Commercial capitalism (what we call global capitalism today) shuts its eyes to the horror of slavery, exploitation, murder, and plunder" (p. 161). There is much indigenous enslavement, murder, and appropriation in Shakespeare's England.  England makes fun of Spain's conquests of the New World, but engages in its own bloody adventures. 

  3. Finally, Shakespeare appears to disapprove of religious intolerance towards the Jews, and his play is a critique of all forms of religious fanaticism. Therefore this play is not about anti-Semitism, it is about the critique of leaders of global capitalism. 

For example, about Shylock (Klein, 1998): 

Quickly, the audience learns that he lends money because there are laws which prevent him from pursuing any other career. He resents that Antonio lends to his friends without charging interest, thus cutting into Shylock's market. When Bassanio requests a loan, Shylock clearly feels he at last has an upper hand in his dealings with Antonio. He takes full advantage of his edge, asking not for his standard fee, but rather for a pound of flesh should the debt not be repaid in three months' time. Since Antonio is sure his ships will return by then, he is not afraid to make the deal.

... the plight of Shylock is tragic by anyone's account. His controlled rage at the beginning of the play, fueled by a life of discrimination and isolation, gives way to a thirstful quest for
revenge. Indeed, the Jew appears as a complex character, molded by the lot life has given him, full of wrath born of mistreatment, spreading hate which spills from him without control. It is not difficult to understand how treatment by oppressors can beget anti-social, hateful behaviors. It is the stuff of many modern-day sociological studies of the ghettos.

Portia - Portia represents the Goddess Fortuna. She is the symbol of adventure for the adventurers who would win her fortune.  She is also the ultimate symbol of the Goddess Fortuna; All of Antonio's ships are reported sunk (but fortune smiles on Antonio and they are all returned). A wheel of fortune is a machine of investment and risk (in this story the choice of gold, silver or lead casket). She is already a rich and beautiful heiress.  Suitors are after her fortune, they want to win her money not her love. The beautiful Portia is prisoner to her dead father's bond, that she can only marry the man who solves the riddle of the three metal caskets. Portia and Jessica are both in bond to their father. 

She returns to Venice disguised as a lawyer and tricks Shylock into taking the pound of flesh wager, providing that not one drop of blood is spilled in the transaction.  She is well aware that the law of the time, is that if a Jew spills a drop of blood of a non-Jew then they forfeit all their estate. Portia returns secretly from Belmont disguised as a lawyer and says "pound of flesh. But do not spill one drop of blood." Since for a Jew to spill the blood of a Christian was a capital offense.  And Shylock in this play ends up giving one half of his estate to the Venetian State (actual British, since Venetian is a metaphor to prevent Shakespeare from being tortured for his criticism). The other half of the Shylock estate goes to Antonio, who gives it to Jessica, Shylock's daughter, who is marrying a Christian, and being freed from paternalistic bondage. The point of Portia's character is the transition from feudal capitalism to merchant capitalism, from nobles and lords to bourgeois merchants and commercial investors in the adventures of fortune. 

All is resolved in the ending of this play.  Antonio's lost ships return, making him even richer than before.  In the end, Antonio annihilates his enemy Shylock, just as commercial capitalism is triumphant over feudal capitalism. But, Shylock has given Antonio a black eye.  Shakespeare knew what was going on in the colonies of the British Empire (the Italian empire was defunct by the time Shakespeare wrote this play). The Las Casa diaries of the Spanish conquest of the West Indies as an eye witness account of the lack of heroism of the Spaniards in their rape and pillage of the Americas was well known at the time Shakespeare wrote this play. And Shakespeare and the audience know that this play is not about Merchants of Venice it is about the Merchants of the British Empire who are behaving in like manner to the Spaniards.  Christopher Columbus was not yet invented by the US as a hero; During Shakespeare's day, he was relatively unknown, just one more slave trader and mass murderer. Columbus as hero, was an invention of the US to have a national hero to celebrate, a fiction invented by Washington Irving, that departs from the greed for accumulating possessions (gold, slaves, and women) that was his avarice (See Yewell, Dodge & DeSirey, 1992)

During the time Shakespeare wrote Merchant of Venice, the treatment of indigenous people in plantation-colonies was brutal and bloody.  The slave plantations set up exclusive export trade between the Third and the First World, between poor and rich countries.  Mexico, Africa, and India were given over to plunder and depopulation, to genocide. Slaving was a growth industry for Shakespearean global capitalism, just was sweatshops are of today's global capitalism.  Genocide of Native Americans was well underway in Shakespeare's time.  It was justified to consumers and investors by the belief that since native tribes did not own the land, all territories were now open, and could be occupied by sedentary stay-at-home investors or by settlers.  Genocide was also a way to rid the land of the indigenous, who did not provide higher levels of yield and productivity that the 1st World settlers could provide (in later analysis this productivity turns out to be mythic, i.e. free range farming and organic practices are more healthy and efficient than burning out the land so only with expensive chemicals high-yield crops can be grown. 

And in the Information Age, we have computer manufacturers and software vendors who employ Net-Slaves, while hoarding their accumulation. And we see a market of sty-at-home investors who are defined as modern adventurer's but have never seen what does on inside the Third World or the Inner city sweatshops of the First World. The adventurers of today manipulate TV and Web screen symbols, substituting image and simulacra for first hand immersion into the world of sweatshop work; then engaging in Machiavellian denial that any sweatshops exist. And hiring Price Waterhouse Coopers to verify that some 6,000 overseas subcontract factories to corporate capitalism are model factories and not sweatshops at all. Meanwhile journalist and academic reports expose the illusion as a clever and deceptive lie that does Wag the Dog.

Implications for Theatrics of Leadership

 Shakespeare is the premier leadership theory text far surpassing anything that has come from the science of leadership with all its surveys and gurus. We learn from Shakespeare that  Antonio is the dark Prince, a false hero, who is formless, abstract, without family and alienated from real life adventure (Boje, 2000). This leader pretends to be a hero in a noble cause, to conquer feudalism and the repression of Shylock. But he is a hypocrite who is complaining about a 35% interest fee when he charges a 1000 percent. Shylock is the miser, the bureaucratic leader, who hoards his possessions.  Portia is the superwoman, able to endure men waging for her riches, and able to reinvent herself as a lawyer and a man to pull the rug out from under Shylock. Bassanio is a middle manager, another dark prince, who conquers indigenous people appropriating their bodies and worldly resources. He is like the new MBA, in debt from investments in the marketplace, seeking the tutelage and finances of a master schemer. 


Boje, D. M. (2002a). Beyond Pentad to Hexad

Boje, D. M. (2000a) Leadership in and Out of The Box: The Leadership of Princes, Heroes, Bureaucrats, and Supermen & Superwomen

Boje, D. M. (2000b) "Global Theatrics of Capitalism." Paper for the 2001 Academy of Management symposium on Theatrics, Washington D.C. August. 

Klein, Judith (1998). 'Merchant of Venice' Entertains and Disturbs. The Jewish Journal Archive. Volume 23; Issue 4: October 16'98 - October 29'98. 

Nerlich, M. (1987a). Ideology of Adventure: Studies in Modern Consciousness 1100-1750. Vol. 1. Trans. By Ruth Crowley. MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Nerlich, M. (1987b). Ideology of Adventure: Studies in Modern Consciousness 1100-1750. Vol. 2. Trans. By Ruth Crowley. MN: University of Minnesota Press.

Shakespeare - main web site (Also see full text of Merchant of Venice play).  

Yewell, John, Dodge, Chris & DeSirey, Jan (1992Confronting Columbus: An Anthology. NC: McFarland & Company, Inc. Publishers.


For additional references consult Boje & Luhman, 1999