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Title: Asymmetrical Reciprocity and Shylock’s Gift in William Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice
Authors: 張秀芳
Chang, Hsiu-fang
Contributors: 英文系
Keywords: 牟斯;德希達;禮物;不對稱互惠;威尼斯商人;待客之道
Mauss;Derrida;Gift;Asymmetrical reciprocity;The Merchant of Venice;Hospitality
Date: 2012-09
Issue Date: 2015-02-11 11:32:15 (UTC+8)
Abstract:  在莎士比亞《威尼斯商人》這部劇裡,互惠這個概念是驅動整部劇情的一個主要元素。巴塞紐 (Bassanio) 籌措了價值不菲的禮物去追求富有的名媛波黠 (Portia),得到了比原先送出去還要多的回禮。波黠回贈給巴塞紐的禮物除了一枚定情戒以及她的所有財產外,透過與巴塞紐結婚,波黠本人也形同禮物般贈給了巴塞紐。本文根據故事中幾個主要角色的互動來探討禮物交換所蘊含的不對稱互惠關係,並指出收送禮物的過程引含了某種建立或鬆動送禮者與收禮者之間關係的可能性,此種可能性正是禮物交換的意義所在。本文第一部分首先檢視禮物交換中的「不對稱互惠現象」,進而透過此概念重新詮釋《威尼斯商人》中複雜的收禮與送禮關係。本文試圖指出,波黠作為一個交換者以及被交換物,儘管處心積慮想藉由禮物收送的過程中獲得對等的互惠,但仔細檢視她與情郎巴塞紐的互動即可證實人與人之間的關係並不是理性算計可以掌控。換言之,她與巴塞紐的交流依然充滿了不對稱的互惠關係。本文第二部分則重新閱讀夏洛克與安東尼的借錢情節,進一步指出在借錢的當下,夏洛克不取安東尼任何利息並轉而要求割下安東尼的一磅肉,其最初的意圖並非要謀殺安東尼,相反地,從夏洛克與安東尼的互動中,夏洛克的割肉提議反而暗示著他想展現友誼以及消弭他與安東尼之間敵對關係的可能性。本文第三部分則從德西達的外人問題出發,指出《威》劇中波黠在法庭上的判決加深了外人與本地人的區別,反而讓待客之道變的更加不可能。
In William Shakespeare’s tragic comedy The Merchant of Venice, the notion of reciprocity dominates and propels the plot. Bassanio brings “[g]ifts of rich value” (2.9.90) to court the wealthy heiress Portia only to find that he receives more than he gives. While giving Bassanio a ring and her monetary inheritance as material gifts, Portia is required to give herself as a symbolic gift to marry Bassanio. In view of this situation in the play, the present paper intends to explore the asymmetrical reciprocity among the major characters, arguing that the logic of gift giving is mainly based on its possibility to loosen and build relations during the exchange. In the first section, the paper focuses on Portia’s role as both an object of exchange and an exchanger, suggesting that although Portia expects equal reciprocity in her act of gift giving, her interaction with Bassanio is dominated by asymmetrical reciprocity. The second section argues that the moneylender Shylock has no initial intention to murder Antonio at least at the very beginning when Shylock decides to lend his money without charging any interests from Antonio. Shylock’s single bond starts a possible moment of gift which aims to express his genuine friendship to Antonio and soften their tensions. In the last section, the paper examines the question of the foreigner presented by Jacques Derrida, suggesting that Portia’s judgment makes a distinction between the foreigner and the citizen and collapses the possibility of hospitality.
Relation: 文化越界, 1(8), 103-134
Data Type: article
Appears in Collections:[英國語文學系] 期刊論文

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