Valuable & Able to Value: A Shakespearean method by Pratibha Rai
In this article, I analyse Shakespeare’s versatile play on the theme of ‘value’ through his employment of metallurgical coinage as human metaphor. My discussion revolves around artefacts from the British Museum: a Venetian gold ducat (1523–38) and a wooden box containing brass coin-weights and hand balance (1600–54), as well as a foray into Shakespeare’s plays. Through the lexicon of finance, Shakespeare unravels the complexity of the human condition as money is enmeshed with human instincts and emotions. That is to say, the metal of coinage reveals human mettle.