Merchant of Venice in Yemen (The Lamp Will Keep You Company)

Hazaber, Amin 2012

This Yemeni adaptation of The Merchant of Venice was performed in November 2012 at the Cultural Center in Sana’a and in March 2013 at the Yemen-American Language Institute (YALI)  in Sana’a. “The Tale of ‘Aidarus Bin Mohammed al-Kindi,” A Yemeni adaptation of The Merchant of Venice Read More

Court scene

Performed in March 2013 at the Yemen-American Language Institute (YALI) in Sana’a.

The video begins mid-scene, with the characters in traditional Hadhrami (eastern Yemeni) dress. Fitna (in blue, with a black cloth covering her mouth and nose) has already entered the square where the qadi is about to reluctantly pronounce judgment on ‘Aidarus, and has pointed out that the qadi’s judgment is correct, but the sentence passed upon ‘Aidarus is wrong. The qadi has angrily requests an explanation of how he has erred. The first line of dialogue we hear in the clip is Fitna explaining that the merchant has a right only to ‘Aidarus’s flesh; when ‘Aidah protests that it is impossible to remove flesh without shedding blood, Fitna unsheathes her sword and threatens to kill the merchant if he sheds even a single drop of ‘Aidarus’s.

The rest of the scene proceeds as noted in the Production Description below; when ‘Aidarus is released, the disguised Fitna explains that she has intervened because she detests injustice, and asks whether ‘Aidarus believes that his wife is worth all of this trouble, and the risk of losing a pound of his flesh. To this, ‘Aidarus responds with a paean in praise of Fitna, whom he describes as the summation of every good quality, and as being worth not merely a pound of his flesh but all of it. The clip ends just before ‘Aidarus invites the masked knight to his home.