Shakespearean Character Spotlight: Jessica

I've seen three productions of The Merchant of Venice, but still don't feel that familiar with the play. Jessica seems to be to be one of those parts that is criminally underwritten. She has an immense impact on the play, and possibly is the root of Shylock's insane decision to claim his pound of flesh, but when you actually look at her speeches you find yourself wanting to know more. It's one of those parts that really needs an actor who can fill in the gaps in the text.(Shout-out to Sara Farb of the Stratford Festival, who was a remarkably poignant Jessica in their 2013 production.)

But regardless of how poignant the Jessica... trading your dead mother's ring for a monkey? That's just cruel, girl. 

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