top of page
the jew
Anchor 1

Dramatis Personae: Shylock.

Text & Context: An anonymous play performed in 1577 at the Bull's Inn. Now lost, it may have been an early version of The Merchant of Venice. Speculation has The Jew's portrait of Shylock closer to Marlowe's overtly anti-Semitic Jew of Malta. The masque scene, which shows signs of redaction in Shakespeare's play, may have originally included a performance witnessed by Shylock, perhaps involving Jessica in her Page disguise.


 Printed by William Jaggard in his Shakespeare Tarot False Folio of 1619, The Jew claims to be printed by J. Roberts, and falsely dated to 1600.


9 of Crowns - The Jew

(The Practice of Parasites)

Anchor 2
the tragedy of portia

Dramatis Personae: Portia, as Balthasar; Shylock.

Text & Context: Printed by William Jaggard in his False Folio, the title The Tragedy of Portia is actually lifted from an oblique reference in Thomas Kyd's translation of Robert Garnier's Cornélie, addressed to the Countess of Sussex, and falsely ascribed to Shakespeare. Kyd's work, itself lost [if it ever existed in the first place], is likely a translation of Garnier's earliest Tragedy, Porcie, making the eponymous Portia the woebegone wife of Marcus Brutus, and an inadvertent addition to Lancelot's gambols viz. "the price of pork".


 This version of The Shakespeare Tarot sees the original numbering scheme of Justice VIII, with the roles of Shylock and Portia reversed, and Strength XI, the roles of Helen & Bertram and Innogen & Postumus reversed respectively.

Justice Viii - The Tragedy of Portia

bottom of page