Venetian Times

Today's Edition Written By: Chaitanya Srinivasan

Disclaimer*

This is written in the perspective of a Christian scribe in Venice, hence hatred for Jews is displayed. However, this is not meant to be offensive or stereotype a particular culture in any way.


Breaking News: The Fate of Antonio's Ships

The last time these ships, which belong to a Christian named Antonio, were seen was when they departed from the port of Venice. Antonio is one whom many aspire to be; wealthy, successful, and able to live a happy life. At the moment, Antonio worries that if his ships do not return, he will not obtain his profits, and hence be unable to pay Jewish Shylock back his money. If Antonio is unable to pay Shylock his money, he must provide Shylock with one pound of his own flesh that Shylock will cut off himself, which would result in many sufferings and possibly death.


Several weeks prior to this, Antonio had borrowed money from the Jewish Shylock since Bassanio was in need of money to marry Portia. The agreement was that Antonio would not pay interest, however, if he was unable to present his sum of money to Shylock on time, Antonio would have to give up one pound of his own flesh to Shylock. Many question the motives behind Shylock's desires. Was this a form of usury, or just an opportunity for justice to be served for the Jews?


At the moment it is unclear what has happened to Antonio's ships and whether or not Shylock will take mercy on him, however it is clear that tension is rising between the Jews and the Christians.

Bassanio weds Portia

A week ago, Christian Bassanio and Christian Portia were pronounced lawfully wedded husband and wife, after Bassanio had chosen the lead casket, which contained the qualities Portia looked for in a husband.


Two weeks ago, it had been known across town that he who chooses the correct casket would marry Portia and hence, have all the riches he could desire. Of all the men that rushed to Portia's house, many chose the gold casket as it symbolized what every man desired, and it shined, as did Portia, with beauty. This showed Portia's father that these men did not care about her, but more about her looks, hence these definitely were not the men for her.


Next, the silver casket was chosen by those who considered the gold casket a trick by Portia's father. Portia's father believe that those who have too much pride in themselves would not be fit to marry Portia, and those men are the ones that choose the silver casket.


Bassanio had chosen the lead casket, which contained a dull message, but it did show to Portia that he was daring, and willing to take risks just to be with her.


These are the details on how Bassanio had succeeded in choosing the right casket. Details will follow, soon, on how the new couple are living their new lives together.

Upcoming Trial? Jew wants a court case against Christian

It had come to the attention of the court that Jewish Shylock had full intentions from the beginning to obtain one pound of flesh from Christian Antonio if he was unable to present the money he had borrowed from Shylock.



Today, it is more than two weeks since, and there is no news of Shylock taking any further action. However, Christians of Venice and Antonio, himself, fear that Shylock will exact revenge on Christians for having mistreated him and his kind.


What no one understands is how this is lawfully justified, and even enough to cope with what Christians have done to the Jews almost ever since time had begun. Some see this as usury, while others speculate the case as a Jew attempting to do whatever he can in his power to harm a Christian, under the code of law.


Nothing is for certain, however it is clear that if this case carries out, it will shatter Christian pride and question its control over the city of Venice. However, will it boost the morale of Jews? Are they for the trial? Against it? Or do they not care at all?


Stay alert for further details.

The Ongoing Dispute with Jews

Foreign to our lands, Jews have lived in Venice only after settling in Oxford and dispersing across Europe. They have been of great help in spiking facilitated trade and promoting English economic integration with French settlements. However to us, they have been of absolute no use, and they must leave because we do not appreciate them and their long noses, pig-like voices, and filthy souls.


All they do, here in Venice, is benefit from protection from the Crown, practice their religion freely, seek refuge in castles in times of war, and be exempt from tolls. They are living in a homogenous Christian society in which they are not welcome, hence we force them to wear red hats when they leave their ghettos. This way, we can recognize them without having to look at their filthy faces.


One must admit, they have generated wealth for the Crown by facilitating trade (which is the only reason they are still here), however, we have abused the right to seize their property at any time and extract special taxes from them. Ever since we have heard of Shylock's outrageous "interest rate", we have begun to question the motives behind Jews still living in Venice, despite the plagued canal water from which they drink, and the scraps of food they manage to eat. Money lending is a sin, and they are not making a profit off it. What is the point of their existence in our society?


Many have tried to push Jews away by treating them as garbage to influence them to move away, however, they continue to stay until one can exact revenge in a way supported by law. This is what frightens Venetian Christians, as there is a possibility that a court case against Christian Antonio will by held by Jew Shylock.



Interview with Shylock the Jew

Not too long ago, we were able to catch up with Shylock on what his intentions are, however, he was not very clear on whether or not he will proceed with the court case.



Interviewer: Hello Jew, how are you today?


Shylock: *slight pause* Fine...


Interviewer: So there is much talk going around about you and Antonio.


Shylock: Is there? What do they say? Is it that what I am doing is unjust? Because I am a Jew?


Interviewer: You are trying to obtain one pound of flesh from a man. How does that not seem unjust?


Shylock: I laid out the conditions to borrowing money from me, and Antonio agreed. That is that.


Interviewer: So you will have your pound of flesh,


Shylock: ... *changes topic* What is it with Christians and Jews? We are normal people! We do not even have large noses, or talk like pigs! It is all just a joke to you - our appearance, our purpose. We are just normal people trying to live, just like any other person here in Venice.


Interviewer: ...


Shylock: We both have humane characteristics, we both had a mother and a father, and people we care about. Why is it that we are continued to be treated like dogs?


Interviewer: Shylock, I am here to speak about the court case.


Shylock: Speak what you desire! I will make it clear, however, that Jews in Venice have had enough of this torture. It is time for Christians to understand how it feels!


Interviewer: Good day, Shylock.


Shylock: Keep your pens and paper high in stock, because this won't be the last time you are writing a story about me. The next time, it will be on the headlines!