Alan Bray's book Homosexuality in Renaissance England argues that in the time period of The Merchant of Venice's composition, "homosexuality" did not refer to an individual's sexual identity but only to specific sexual acts any individual might engage in. As Bray writes: "To talk of an individual of this period as being or not being 'a homosexual' is an anachronism and ruinously misleading. The temptation to debauchery, from which homosexuality was not clearly distinguished, was accepted as part of the common lot ... homosexuality [as understood in 15th-century England] was a sin 'to which men's natural corruption and viciousness [were] prone' " (16–17, Rainolds qtd. in Bray, 17).
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Shylock’s daughter, Jessica, has eloped with Bassanio’s friend Lorenzo, taking her father’s money with her. Shylock is devastated. When Antonio cannot repay the loan, Shylock demands the pound of flesh. When the news reaches Belmont, Bassanio returns to Venice. Portia and Nerissa also travel to Venice, disguised as a lawyer and his clerk. Portia uses the law to defeat Shylock and rescue Antonio.
No, it's The Merchant of Venice . A play that will make you writhe in discomfort even while you laugh, snicker even while you get weepy, contemplate the evilness of men even while feeling kinda warm and fuzzy inside when they do the right thing, root on one of the fiercest heroines in all of drama... and, because this is Shakespeare, gawp in amazement at the language acrobatics, wit, and poetry of this dang masterful play.