I would like to see my retellings of classic literature used in schools, so I give permission to the country of Finland (and all other countries) to buy one copy of this eBook and give copies to all students forever. I also give permission to the state of Texas (and all other states) to buy one copy of this eBook and give copies to all students forever. I also give permission to all teachers to buy one copy of this eBook and give copies to all students forever.
Teachers need not actually teach my retellings. Teachers are welcome to give students copies of my eBooks as background material. For example, if they are teaching Homer’s “Iliad” and “Odyssey,” teachers are welcome to give students copies of my “Virgil’s ‘Aeneid’: A Retelling in Prose” and tell students, “Here’s another ancient epic you may want to read in your spare time.”
One theme of the play — told here in novel form — is the harmful effects that prejudice can have on people. It can make someone want to cut a pound of flesh from a living person. It can make someone spit on the clothing and the beard of an old person.
We can sympathize with Shylock because he is the victim of prejudice, but he also is guilty of prejudice. He hates Antonio in part because he is a Christian, although he has some other very good reasons for hating Antonio. We ought not to sympathize with Shylock when he wants Antonio to pay the penalty that is in the contract that Antonio signed.