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Plenary 1: The Merchant of Venice

 venezia ponte di rialto 2


Major thinkers throughout history—Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas, Adam Smith, Karl Marx, and John Maynard Keynes, to name just a few—considered moneylending, at least under certain conditions, to be a major vice. Dante, Shakespeare, Dickens, Dostoyevsky, and modern and popular novelists depict moneylenders as villains. […] Moneylending has been and is condemned by practically everyone. But what exactly is being condemned here? And what are its consequences? […] It seems that every generation has its Shylock — a despised financier blamed for the economic problems of his day."

“The Morality of Moneylending: A Short History” - Yaron Brook | Economics, History From The Objective Standard, Vol. 2, No. 3.


This first plenary will focus on the themes of moneylending and financial education, borrowing some techniques from the Theatre of the Oppressed, where theatre is a means of promoting social and political change. In such theatre the audience becomes active, such that as "spect-actors" they explore, show, analyse and transform the reality in which they are living. The session will be based upon some extracts from “The Merchant of Venice” by William Shakespeare.

Definitely not an academic lecture… be ready to get involved!

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