Orson’s Shylock

A few weeks ago, I accidentally stumbled across the following clips. I don’t remember what I was searching for at the time — definitely not “Orson Welles’ Shylock Monologues,” since I didn’t even realize they existed prior to my unknowing-yet-grateful stumblings — but their presence on YouTube reminds me of why I love the Internet so dearly (despite its many and manifest flaws).


I’ve always been fascinated by that Shylock monologue. And I find Orson Welles one of the most mesmerizing, most watchable human beings ever captured on celuloid. In terms of sheer talent and charisma, he has few equals, and when he’s on screen, I can barely tear my eyes away.

These clips are certainly no exception; an acting master class in just under 4 minutes. And while the performances are definitely similar, the differences are as fascinating as their performer. (Also, watch F for Fake. Please. I’m beggin’ you.)

Attribution(s): Shylock” by Sir John Gilbert, from Emory University (GA) and licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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