Retrial for Shakespeare's Shylock

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Seven senior lawyers convened in New York last month to reconsider the case against Shylock, Shakespeare's money lender in The Merchant of Venice.

One of those lawyers, Anthony Julius - best known for representing Princess Diana in her divorce from Prince Charles - explains why he voted to let merchant Antonio keep the money after all.

In the play, the young man Bassanio asks his friend Antonio to lend him money so he can woo the beautiful and wealthy heiress Portia. Antonio promises to cover a bond, so Bassanio turns to the moneylender Shylock and names Antonio as the loan's guarantor.

Shylock, who hates Antonio because he had insulted and spat on him for being a Jew the week before, proposes a condition: if Antonio is unable to repay the loan at the specified date, Shylock will be free to take a pound of Antonio's flesh....

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