August 04, 2007

Graham Greene as Shylock

Native empathy

Graham Greene tackles Shakespeare’s ShylockThe idea of having Canada’s best-known First Nations actor play Shakespeare’s Hebrew antihero is an inspired stroke of casting. Sadly enough, if you’re trying to put the marginalized, ghetto-confined Jews of Renaissance Italy into a Canadian context, this country’s aboriginal people immediately spring to mind. “Shylock’s forced conversion to Christianity is not unlike the First Nations people being forced into Christianity,” notes Greene, an Oneida who was born on Ontario’s Six Nations Reserve.

And the fundamental misunderstanding between Shylock and his Christian clients brings to mind such ongoing disputes as the continuing Caledonia land claim dispute in southern Ontario. “There are a lot of parallels there,” says Greene.

1 comment:

writerfella said...

Writerfella here --
That's strange -- he doesn't look it!
All Best
Russ Bates