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An Evolution of Shylock, as Performed by Al Pacino

Al Pacino portrays Shylock in three different settings in the twenty-first century: once in the film The Merchant of Venice (2004), once through the theatrical program Shakespeare In The Park (2010), and once on Broadway in The Merchant of Venice (2010). While there are many interpretations on the Shylock character from Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice, it is less common to have one actor performing the same character in different medias. Pacino’s portrayals of Shylock illuminate not only the complexities of this multifaceted character, but also elaborate on a common Shakespearean controversy; is Shylock a sympathetic character or one imbedded in the anti-semitic culture of Shakespeare’s Venice?

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