Yesterday we performed at Chicago Theological Seminary, with an audience of seminary students and 7th and 8th graders from the Lab School (affiliated with the University of Chicago.) For the kids, their questions about the play were simple. They, often, couldn’t understand why a character would do something so hurtful to another. It was a great reminder that hate isn’t something that we are born with.
For the characters in the play, where did all this hate come from? Who taught Shylock and Antonio to hate each other? Was this something that was taught in their homes, prejudice being served with along with their breakfast cereal? How can we prevent our own aversions being passed along towards our children?