SHYLOCK AND THE FOUNDATIONS OF LIBERALISM.
In this article we will seek to demonstrate how the themes of natural law, freedom and private property, central to classical liberal thought, can be analyzed in a fictitious context in which a socially marginalized individual, but possessing financial assets, is restricted and limited in terms of their freedom in the face of socially accepted individuals and representatives of collective values and customs. This context will be provided by Shakespeare's splendid work, 'The Merchant of Venice', through his most emblematic character, the Jew Shylock. We will analyse Shylock's case and how it can be taken as the prototype of a case that illustrates the points that underlie modern liberalism. We hope to be able to construct an analysis that is philosophical, but, at the same time, allows an exercise in literary interpretation.