Vol 6, No 1 (2010) Economies of Sacrifice in The Merchant of Venice: God, the Gift and Shakespeare

ECONOMIES OF SACRIFICE IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE: GOD, THE GIFT AND SHAKESPEARE

Em McAvan

ABSTRACT

In this paper, I read Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice in relation to the Kiekegaardian influenced thoughts Derrida developed in the The Gift of Death. I trace the religiously mediated economies of debt and sacrifice through the play. Who sacrifices, and to what end, I find, is a highly contentious and pressing question for both critical theory of religion and the study of Shakespeare.

KEYWORDS

Shakespeare; Merchant of Venice

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