Now that the Bassianus dynasty is discerned as the role model chosen by the Medici/Bassano family, Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice emerges in a slightly different light. Merchant now appears less as a celebration of Medici cunning and more of a subtle incrimination of the Medici willingness to exploit the Jew. The ironic message of Merchant is that Queen Elizabeth can be absolved in the brutal execution of her Jewish physician, because she unlike the Medici is not using Jews merely for profit! Her killing of a Jew in England is put forth (by comparison) as more righteous than the Medici who are preserving the lives of Jews for the purpose of scamming them!
Shakespeare's Merchant is then an incredibly bizarre "holier than thou" posturing.
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.