I know straight up agreement can be rather boring, but I like placing Willy next to Shylock, and I think Randall's nailed one of the reasons this play is so hard to stage successfully. For me, the play ends (emotionally speaking, at least) with Act 4 – we get the resolution/lack of resolution of the potential tragic – and then the "comedy" resumes with Act 5 and my response is usually a resounding, "Whatever. Let the callow Christians frolick."
Some Richard Research
14 hours ago