11 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: Plato and Aristotle

The two biggest names that come into mind when one speaks of politics are Plato and Aristotle. The two names stand tall, undefeated and unquestioned in the golden pages of political dialogues, reflecting the hearts and minds of people of their times and many more to follow. They devoted their entire lives understanding and interpreting individual citizens and their influences on political beliefs.  Their observations and descriptions of political motives and government forms, have established one of the main traditions in today’s political conceptions.

Plato’s idyllic city is established on the four qualities of astuteness or wisdom, valor, temperance and righteousness. Astuteness or wisdom formulates the city into a wiser one, valor makes it valiant. Temperance is the perception that all and sundry distinguishes his or her own role and righteousness denotes the “harmony that results when everyone is actively engaged in fulfilling his role and does not meddle with that of others” (Plato 85). “His understanding of the city is that it evolves because it fulfills certain functional needs” (Plato 39).

The requirements that are most apparent are provisions, which supports sustenance, protection, and last but not least clothes.  The metropolis can endow with every single one of these for the reason that each person that formulates the place has a definite responsibility. “The association with each other,” offers Plato, “was the very purpose for which we establish the city” (Plato 41). The metropolis would make an assemblage of the rich and the poor, the strong and the weak. The majority of men is only apprehensive of consequences and is commonly unmerited, not many are righteous as much as necessary to guide the city.

Nevertheless justice and virtue only are not adequate. The guardians – those who rule – must be physically strong, lovers of wisdom and knowledge and impervious to outside experience (Plato 46-51). The guardians also lived by a separate set of rules.Plato’s analysis said that each person had a different, but a significant, responsibility in the city. The earliest of Plato’s books were related to the appreciative of righteousness and integrity. One of his famous books, Republic was committed to the strategies of ruling.

Aristotle, on the other hand, speaks of a perfect or ideal society and puts a high value on moderation (Hacker 81). Several groups support temperance since it is partly open-minded and partly traditional Plato’s utopia remains vague and it is conceded to limits that no individual could ever execute them (Hacker 81). Aristotle supposes that Plato is underrating the qualitative alteration in individual temperament and traits that would have to take place in order to attain his utopia (Hacker 81)

The influence of Aristotle on the history of Christianity, virtues and modern politics is a subject that has been discussed for many years. The importance of Aristotle on the formulation of political theories, outside of the Mediterranean region, is not in dispute. The understanding that he had of the political influence of religion resulted in his permanent placement in the annul of political history.

Through the years, many historians, and writers have written about Plato’s influence on all genres. With points of view that are separated by decades, as well as philosophies, the wide range of influence of Plato has been regarded throughout history. Plato desired to inform the reader of his nation how men would operate and what their stance would be in an ideal social order (Hacker 81). Aristotle endeavors to employ actual men in the actual world. (Hacker 81).

In 1992, E.J. Hundert wrote that the changes in the view of the “nature of power”, stem from the Confessions of St. Augustine. In Augustine’s Confessions, he attempted to answer questions about personal and political power. The will of an individual to pursue power, of a political nature, calls into question the moral imperative. Augustine’s question implicates that the pursuit of power could be on the verge of sin; however, that would depend on the source of the desire. It is Augustine’s question, therefore, whether one’s desire for power comes from God, or Satan.

This question influenced the progression of the Christianizing nations throughout the post-Reformation eras. As Hundert stated, it was “one of Augustine’s significant achievements […] to convey the inadequacies of the inherited account of evil”.[1] By this, he meant that the idea of inherent evil, IE, original sin, was an inadequate explanation for the trials of the human spirit. Morality instead would be the primary judge of one’s motivations. The idea that one’s primary motivations were inherently evil seemed ludicrous. Therefore, the desire to seek personal power was not an inherently evil action – only through the conscious choice to pursue evil is it a sin.

The rhetorical statements of Aristotle created room for a shift in political ideology. By suggesting that intent was the source of sin, rather than actions themselves, one would be able to absolve himself of sin by believing that he was following a righteous path.

On the reverse of this, as Augustine wrote, “apparently virtuous acts, like prayer, sacrifice, or the risk of one’s life could in fact stem from vicious, self-regarding motives”.[2] This understanding called into question the root motivations of all people. However, looking at the actions of another, one could not see these motivations, and therefore, could not place judgment on their righteousness or validity.

Plato spoke on this as well. There was no rational process by which one could judge the actions of another – other than one’s personal reason. Reason, therefore would become the most important of the human virtues. He felt that reason, in the mind of any man, could not be corrupted by the passions of evil or by the sinful motivations of others.

Because of these theories, Hundert wrote that Augustine became the “integral feature of Christian moral psychology, secular moral philosophy and the history of political theory in Europe and North America”.[3] This effect would secure the motivations of leaders for centuries.

Hundert suggests that like Augustine, Aristotle argued there was a difference between reason and passion. For a reasonable person, the pursuit of power would be a safe action. However, one who served their own passions would be apt to sin. By maintaining, Aristotle suggests, a well managed ideology and conception of moral value, the pursuit of power would be just as viable an option as piety.

Together, Aristotle and Plato have an incredible power in the political scenario of today. Aristotle facilitated the formation of a few independent and sovereign thoughts. In the finale, Aristotle and Plato were great philosophers and intellectuals. Their judgment of the public and the social order were moderately dissimilar. With regards to virtues, they strived to explain and justify the obvious presence of an omnipotent and omnipresent power, much superior to mortal imagination; a power that the common man so casually calls God.  They aspired to save Christianity from the disruption of heresy and the calumnies of the pagans, and most importantly to renew and exalt the faithful hearing of the gospel of man’s utter needs and God’s abundant grace.  Even today, in the important theological revival of our own times, their influences are the most potent and productive impulses at work.  They were never against celebrating God’s abundant mercy and grace but also fully persuaded that the vast majority of mankind was condemned to a wholly just and appalling damnation. They never denied the reality of human freedom but never allowed the excuse of human irresponsibility before God, vigorously insisting both double predestination and irresistible grace.

Nevertheless they both had an identical objective, to fabricate an enhanced means of existence for the civilization they survived in and for the civilizations that were yet to come.Plato’s city operated akin to a life for, each one executing their customary to precision.

Works Cited

Hacker, Andrew. Political Theory: Philosophy, Ideology, Science. New
York: Macmillan, 1961.

Hundert, E.J. “Augustine and the Sources of the Divided Self”. Political Theory 20 No. 1 (1992): 88

Ibid Studia Patristica Vol. XXXVIII – St. Augustine and His Opponents. E. J. Yarnold, M. F. Wiles Peeters Publishers, 2001 ISBN 9042909641,

Hundert, E.J. “Augustine and the Sources of the Divided Self”. Political Theory. 20 No. 1 (1992): 88

Sample Essay: The Essential Elements of a Christian Understanding of God

Even the most faithful of today’s Christians are confused regarding the concept of their God. This is partly due to the fact that the Church has lost much, if not most of its influence over the flock and partly due to the information availability. As opposed to the middle ages or even the 19th century, the people are much more educated on matters of spirituality and theology, which brings on many doubts about the infallibility of the Church and the understanding of God himself. Of course when the authority of the Church began to loosen, many questions arose regarding God and dogma. One of the most important questions regarding the Christian concept of God is the trinity and the differences between the Old Testament and the New Testament god, or subsequently, do Christians, Jews and Muslims adore the same God? The basic answer would be yes but in practice, the three religions have a very different concept of the same deity. Even though they all acknowledge the Old Testament God as their principal deity, due to different cultural and historic influence, they have different beliefs and understanding of their God. Many ask the question that haunts the religious authorities in modern times regarding the identity of God: “is the Old Testament and the New Testament god the same one”? And this inevitably rises another one: “is the Christian and the Jewish God the same one and what is the difference between the early Christian understanding of God as opposed to the modern Christians understanding of the same God. (1a)

The Trinity is the main problem regarding the Old and the New Testament regarding the concept of God. Those who support the idea of trinity claim that The Father, The Son and The Holy Spirit are three different aspects of the same God. (1b) On the other hand many view the Trinity as a direct violation of the first commandment. They insist name “GOD” on a notion of monotheism, the idea that there is one God. As they understand this idea, God cannot be made up of parts, even if those parts are mysteriously united. The Christian notion of Trinitarianism is that God is made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. Such a view, even if called monotheistic because the three parts are, by divine mystery, only one God, is incompatible with the view that such a division is not possible. Those who argue against the idea of trinity have a strong case when they claim that the entire Christian concept of god including the trinity was invented and adapted to suit a Jewish Religion to the understanding and beliefs of European polytheists.

Early Christianity was very different to the Christianity we know today.  The age of the early Christians is commonly defined as the Christianity of the three centuries between the Crucifixion of Jesus (c. 30) and the First Council of Nicaea (325). The term is sometimes used in a narrower sense, referring only to the very first followers  of Jesus of Nazareth and the faith as preached and practiced by the Twelve Apostles, their contemporaries, and their immediate successors as bishops, a period also called the Apostolic Age. This is the age Jesus and his disciples, who set the base of the religion as we know it today. The Age of the Apostles produced many different scriptures and brought on a division between many followers in a sect that was neither organized nor canonized until a Roman Emperor decided to make Christianity the official new religion of the Empire and modified it’s holy scriptures and God in order to suit his ambitions and make it more acceptable to the Empire’s polytheist population. Constantine the Great had to balance his own beliefs and the steps necessary to secure the unity of the state. Whatever his exact religious beliefs were Constantine choose Christianity to be the new official religion of the Empire and to shape it according to his own beliefs, thus creating a Church that would rule the Country for another thousand years and prepare the basis for all Christian dogma and beliefs today. (2a)  Of course while Christianity was being introduced as the new official religion, different branches started arguing on many matters regarding the religion. Being a pragmatic Constantine decided to put an end to it and oficialise the teachings of his new church. The first ecumenical council in the history of the church was convened by the emperor Constantine at Nicaea in Bithynia (now Isnik, Turkey). (3)

The purpose of the council was to determine the very concept of god himself and the role of Jesus as part of god. Nevertheless the need to oficialise the religion was due in order to attempt to heal the schism in the church provoked by Aryanism. (3a) Aryan claimed that Jesus was neither God nor part of God but a mortal prophet.(3b) On the other hand many other missionaries used the idea of the Trinitarian god in order to simplify the concept to generations of polytheist who had problems accepting one deity and saw it as worshiping nothing. The issue which culminated at Nicaea arose out of an unresolved tension within the theological legacy of Origin concerning the relation of the Son to the Father. Aryan’s teachings were rejected and declared heresy and the Trinitarian god was introduced as the official one. He has become the one Christians were going to worship for almost two millennia without daring to question its concept.

Constantine did not only change the concept of god (from one and only to Trinitarian) but also changed many rules, rituals and practices of early Christians in order to better suit Greek/Roman people as they were about to embrace the new religion.(2b)(5a)

Since the council of Nicaea the concept of god hasn’t changed much, even though as the original church divided and many different branches of Christian religion sprang off the Catholic Church the Trinitarian concept of the god remained without suffering much personality changes but all that was to change by the beginning of 19th century and as Karen Armstrong puts in her “History of God”, the death of god. Mrs Armstrong states in the above mentioned chapter that :”by the end of the 19th century a significant number of people were beginning to feel that if god was not yet dead it was the duty of rational, emancipated human beings to kill him.(4) Furthermore she states that the 19th century was the one in which Ludwig Feuerbach, Karl Marx, Charles Darwin, Charles Darwin, Friedrich Nietzsche and Sigmund Freud forged philosophies that had no place for God.(4) And effectively in the 19th and the 20th century the belief in God has become more of a tradition and people were less interested in the concept of God and more concentrated on economic than spiritual well being.

Nevertheless by the second half of the 20th century there was a re emergence of spirituality but less and less people were ready to take the word of the Church for granted and many looked for alternative religions. Those who remained faithful to the Christian religion are today divided between those who accept the dogma and the concept of God as oficialized by the Nicaea council and those who believe that the Bible and the concept of God were badly falsified but respect the rules and accept the dogma out of tradition and conciliation. One of the first Christians to complain about the council was the emperor Julian writing the following: “It is, I think, expedient to set forth to all mankind the reasons by which I was convinced that the fabrication of the Galileans is a fiction of men composed by wickedness. (6) But not even the Emperor himself could influence or change what has become dogma and official policy.

A very disturbing popular belief began to bother Christian authorities at the end of 20th century. Namely evidence emerged of a possibility that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene and had a child with her. Of course evidence is scarce but just the possibility of it shakes the foundations of the Christian concept of God and makes the issue re emerge 2000 years after Arian. Because if Jesus was married to a mortal and had children with her, he can definitely not be God himself and if Jesus is not God then there is no trinity and if there is no trinity there is no Christian God. What many discovered is that they were lied to by their churches and that the way they understood their God is going to change forever.

Acquiring knowledge does not give one answers, it only raises more questions. And the same happens when one starts exploring the Christian concept of God he or she will realize that what they know as God and religion was something completely different before it was made official Church policy in order to suit pragmatic reasons of Roman Emperor and Clergy. We also cannot claim the bible to be accurate even before Constantine and we are going to need much help from God himself to properly understand and obey the bible. It’s been subject to interpretation and debate for millennia. It inspired people into causing countless genocide, wars, murders, robberies, conquests, slavery and all kinds of immoral deeds. One has to also keep in mind that the bible is a collection of many ancient, cryptic, mythological texts that have become doctrine and the basis for the foundation of empires that in some way or another exist even today. From the time of the Genesis the texts that serve as the foundation of the three major religions of the western world have been falsified, changed edited erased, re written and re interpreted in order to suit the will of a ruler or the political situation. Unfortunately those contradictions have much influenced the way modern people envisage god and has misled many into having different concepts of god than it was originally intended in both the new and the Old Testament.

Footnotes and References:

(1a) The Christian concept of God as creator holds a middle ground. Christianity conceives of God as One. But it is not an isolated One. Rather, God is a person, who is capable of affecting and being affected by others. This is implicit in the concept of God as Father, which is one of the most characteristic teachings of Jesus. The concept of God as personal ultimately led to the Trinity, which is surely one of the most distinctive (and controversial) ideas in Christianity. (Source)

(1b)For the Trinitarians the Father typically refers to God’s role as creator and father. The Logos refers to God’s word, his creative power. The Holy Spirit refers to God’s presence with us and the rest of his creation.  As used in the Bible and other writings, the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit seem to have a certain distinction among them. That is, they seem to be more than just different ways in which God works with us. Rather, each seems to have a distinct personal existence. Nevertheless, it is clear that they are intended to be distinct roles of a single God, and not separate gods. The Father is the source of the love, and the Son its recipient. The Holy Spirit can be understood as the presence of the Father with the Son. Thus these are separate personal roles within a single God.”(Source)

(2a) Valerius Aurelius Constantine (c. 272 – 337), better known as Constantine the Great, was perhaps the most important person in the development of the early Christian Church (after Jesus and Paul, naturally). He ultimately gave Christianity political and social legitimacy in the Roman Empire, thus allowing the young religion to establish itself, obtain powerful patrons, and ultimately dominate the Western world.”

(2b) Constantine embraced the god of the Christians, essentially legalizing Christianity, and an underground persecuted mystery cult that was in grave danger of dying out; suddenly found itself at the pinnacle of the greatest nation on earth. The contribution of Constantine was enormous, and with his assistance, the drama was set upon the stage that continues to play until the present day. With Roman assistance Christianity began the battle to wipe out the old pagan gods, in the process overlaying much of earlier pre-Christian tradition, incorporating pagan ideas and religious holidays into its own structure, and ensuring that the sun would become the glorious figure of Christ. Ironically, Constantine being a pragmatic Roman, interpreted Christ as a war god, not the “prince of peace,” and he apparently never truly understood the mysteries of Christianity, retaining his right to worship the pagan gods, especially the sun. He never took baptism until shortly before his death.

(3a) The teaching of Aryanism is well documented. The central controlling idea is the unique, incommunicable, indivisible, transcendent nature of the singular divine being. This is what the Arians referred to as the Father. Logically pressing this definition of the Father and making use of certain biblical language, the Arians argued that if the error of Sabellius was to be avoided (and everyone was anxious to avoid it), then certain conclusions about the Son were inescapable. And it is this view of the Son which is the central significance of Aryanism.

(3b)He cannot be of the Father’s being or essence (otherwise that essence would be divisible or communicable or in some way not unique or simple, which is impossible by definition).

He therefore exists only by the Father’s will, as do all other creatures and things. The biblical description of his being begotten does imply a special relationship between the Father and the Word or Son, but it cannot be an ontological

(5a) According to Joseph Atwill, the Gospels are not accounts of the ministry of a historical Jewish Jesus compiled by his followers sixty years after his death. They are texts deliberately created to trick Messianic Jews into worshiping the Roman Emperor ‘in disguise’.


1. Charles Hedrick, The section on Christian worship. SRC homepage retrieved from: http://geneva.rutgers.edu/src/christianity/major.html

2.Cline, Austin, Christ, Constantine, Sol Invictus: the Unconquerable Sun. Your Guide to Agnosticism / Atheism. Retrieved from: http://atheism.about.com/od/constantinethegreat/p/ConstantineBio.htm

Armstrong Karen, A History of God. New York, Alfred A. Knopf. 1993,

3.Monday . Ralph,Council of Nicaea, General Information, Nicea, 325. Retrieved from: http://mb-soft.com/believe/txc/nicaea.htm

5.Atwill . Joseph,Caesar’s Messiah – The Roman Conspiracy to Invent Jesus (2005)

Retrieved from: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/article_006.htm

6. Julian, Invectives Against the Galilaeans (c.362 CE) Retrieved from: http://www.mountainman.com.au/essenes/article_006.htm

05 Oct 2009

Sample Essay: The Politics, Economy, and Liberal Cosmopolitanism of Venice

Justice and Mercy in “The Merchant of Venice”

The Merchant of Venice is one of the most frequently performed plays of Shakespeare. Written between 1594 and 1598 in Elizabethan England where the playwright lived, the play is thematically rich. The themes of mercy, religion (Christianity and anti-Semitism), love and revenge, law and justice are all inextricably interwoven into the plot lending it the complexity that is characteristic of human emotions and relationships. The inexplicable unfolding of these underlying emotions and ideas contribute to the drama. One school of critics are of the opinion that the play is fundamentally allegorical, addressing such themes as the victory of mercy over justice, New Testament forgiveness over Old Testament law and love over money. Shakespeare also portrays the economic trends of the Renaissance period, the growing power of money and emerging capitalism in Merchant of Venice.

The dramatist has interwoven the ideas of justice and mercy throughout the plot, rendering them one of the prominent themes. The Christian merchant Antonio was forced to enter into a contract with Jewish usurer Shylock when he had to borrow money from him to help his friend. His friend was Bassanio, who was living in debt, but required the funds to travel to Belmont and woo Portia, a rich heiress. Because most of Antonio’s money is tied up in his ships, he cannot help Bassanio, but agrees to post his property as collateral so Bassanio can obtain a loan. Bassanio borrows money from Shylock who had reason to hate Antonio and his Christian friends as they often ridiculed him. Antonio had treated Shylock disdainfully, had spat upon him and had threatened his livelihood by lending money to others without interest, Shylock insists on the condition that if funds were not returned in three months, Antonio must forfeit a pound of flesh. Antonio agrees to this strange condition, confident that his ships will return with merchandise soon and he will be able to repay the loan. Meanwhile when Shylock’s daughter Jessica elopes with Bassanio’s friend Lorenzo, taking with her jewels and gold and converts to Christianity, Shylock’s hatred for Antonio and his friends intensifies. This is depicted in Act 2, Scene 8, when Salanio and Salarino exchange news in a Venetian street. They inform him that Antonio’s ships are lost and ask him if he will exact the forfeit of his bond. Shylock answers that he will as he was always ill treated by Antonio and his friends. His sentiments are evident in the following extracts:

“I am a Jew. Hath not a Jew eyes? Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer, as a Christian is? If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? (3. 1. 23)”

“…if it will feed nothing else, it will feed my revenge; he hath disgraced me, and hinder’d me half a million, laughed at my losses, mock’d at my gains, scorned my nation, thwarted my bargains, cooled my friends, heated mine enemies – and what’s his reason? I am a Jew.” (3. 1. 47-52)

The multiple themes of justice and mercy, love and revenge, Christianity and anti-Semitism all come to a climax in the court room scene in Act 4, Scene 1.

..    At the Venetian court of justice before the Duke of Venice, the duke asks Shylock to show mercy by giving up his claim for a pound of flesh. Shylock refuses. Bassanio then offers Shylock more than he is owed, but Shylock continues to insist on exacting a pound of flesh. Nerissa, dressed like a law clerk, arrives and introduces the disguised Portia as Bellario, a learned doctor of law. Portia entreats for mercy on behalf of Antonio,

‘The quality of mercy is not strain’d,
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath: it is twice bless’d;
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes:
‘Tis mightiest in the mightiest: it becomes
The throned monarch better than his crown;
His sceptre shows the force of temporal power,
The attribute to awe and majesty,
Wherein doth sit the dread and fear of kings;
But mercy is above this sceptred sway;
It is enthroned in the hearts of kings,
It is an attribute to God himself;
And earthly power doth then show likest God’s
When mercy seasons justice.” (4. 1. 180-193)

She tells Shylock mercy cannot be forced from someone; it must be freely given. Ordinary people are seldom asked to display this quality. It is a gift given from kings and rulers. Shakespeare explores the tension between justice and mercy through the attitudes of Shylock and Portia. Portia’s understanding of mercy is based on the way Christians in Shakespeare’s time understood the difference between the Old and New Testaments. According to the writings of St. Paul in the New Testament, the Old Testament depicts God as stern and exacting. The New Testament portrays a God who forgives rather than punishes and offers salvation to those who forgive others.

The theme of mercy also ties in with the theme of religion. Portia says, “it is an attribute to God himself” and refers to the God of the New Testament, who is seen as merciful. The idea that Christians are merciful is repeatedly enforced in the play. In the extract Shylock says that mercy is for fools, or Christians, “I’ll not be made a soft and dull-eyed fool, to Christian intercessors.”

The theme of revenge is linked to the theme of religion as Shylock believes that revenge is a Christian quality (just as Portia believes that mercy is a Christian quality).

“If a Christian wrong a Jew, what should his sufferance be by Christian example? – why revenge!” (3. 1. 63-64)

Shylock seeks revenge by exploiting the power of the law, and Portia manipulates the law to turn it against Shylock.

This theme is also repeated in the scene that Shylock demands his justice by the letter of the law and the forfeit of his bond. Portia lets Shylock have the chance to take the moral path or the letter of his bond. Shylock insists on the penalty, complacent in the knowledge that law and justice is on his side, deaf to appeals for mercy. Then suddenly the balance of power in the trial changes. Portia warns Shylock that when he cuts away the pound of flesh, he must take only flesh, not blood; for the signed agreement calls only for a pound of flesh and nothing else.

‘Then take thy bond, take thou thy pound of flesh;
But, in the cutting it, if thou dost shed
One drop of Christian blood, thy lands and goods
Are, by the laws of Venice, confiscate
Unto the state of Venice.” (4. 1. 308-312)

Portia expounds on mercy, but it is doubtful whether Sherlock was granted this mercy. All his worldly goods were to be divided between his daughter and Antonio, although Antonio gives them back on the condition that he gives up his religion and adopts Christianity.

“The Jew shall have all the justice, soft no haste!

He shall have nothing but the penalty.” (4. 1. 317)

Bloom in “Shakespeare’s Politics” says that Shylock and Antonio act as representatives of Judaism and Christianity, respectively, and that it is Shylock’s absolute deference to the law that necessarily brings about his downfall. In this interpretation, Bloom illustrates the limits of law as to its ability to ultimately protect and maintain justice.     In Tovey’s “The Golden Casket: An Interpretation of the Merchant of Venice”, the play is treated as an allegory relating philosophy and politics.

In “The Merchant of Venice”, justice and mercy are recurring themes, and the interplay between them has a key role in determining the outcome of the play.

Works Cited

1.     Bloom, Allan with Harry V. Jaffa. Shakespeare’s Politics, 3rd ed., Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1981. pp. 16

2.     Cummings, Michael J. The Merchant of Venice – A Study Guide, http://www.cummingsstudyguides.net, 2003.

3.     Tovey, Barbara. The Golden Casket: An Interpretation of The Merchant of Venice, pp. 261-287, ISI Books, 2000.

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