Letter: Merchant of modernity

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NO PLAY could be less politically incorrect than The Merchant of Venice ("Teachers defend Shakespeare's `anti-Semitic' play", 14 March). With amazing prescience of modern trendy worries Shakespeare tackles not only anti-Semitism but also sexism (Portia and her maid beat the men hands down) and colour prejudice (of the rejected suitors the noble Ethiopian is the one Portia fancies).

Indeed if you think (as I do) that the love Antonio bears for Bassanio has a homosexual element, the play tackles "gay issues" too, in that justice in the end decrees that Antonio should not bleed for his love.

Very suitable for today's classrooms.

TONY RIDGE

York

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