The Fools of Shakespeare: An Interpretation of Their Wit, Wisdom and Personalities

9780217294782: The Fools of Shakespeare: An Interpretation of Their Wit, Wisdom and Personalities

This historic book may have numerous typos, missing text, images, or index. Purchasers can download a free scanned copy of the original book (without typos) from the publisher. 1913. Not illustrated. Excerpt: ... I LAUNCELOT GOBBO IN THE MERCHANT OF VENICE "A Merry Devil" N that delightful comedy, "The Merchant of Venice," we have a type of the shrewd but ignorant serving man, or boy, drawn on the same lines as Launce and Speed in "The Two Gentlemen of Verona," and the two Dromios, in "The Comedy of Errors," but apparently younger and less matured than either of them. His name is Launcelot Gobbo, a fact of which he is somewhat proud. He has a crude philosophy and a rude kind of wit. He uses big words and misapplies them most ingenuously. He is good-natured, full of fun, and rejoices in a practical jest. Launcelot is the servant to Shylock, a wealthy Jewish merchant and money lender of Venice, with whom he lives and of whom he stands in wholesome awe. His fun-loving nature, however, has served to brighten the dull and dreary home of that stern and revengeful gentleman, a fact that Jessica, the Jew's daughter, frankly acknowledges in her first interview with the boy. Our house is hell, and thou a merry devil Did'st rob it of some taste of tediousness. Launcelot does not appear till the second scene of the second act of the comedy, when we find him stealthily leaving his master's house. We learn that he feels aggrieved at some apparent wrong at the hands of his employer, and is debating whether to remain in his service, or to run away. His soliloquy or self-argument on the point is most entertaining. He would be just, but being both plaintiff and defendant, as well as advocate and judge of the question at issue, he can scarcely be credited with impartiality. However, the motives that he frankly acknowledges, and the reasons he advances are most delightfully human, and most humorously expressed. The entire passage is a quaint, and by no means unnatural, self-content...

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