Jews and Christians in The Merchant of Venice

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GRIN Verlag, 2013 - 16 pages
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Seminar paper from the year 2002 in the subject English Language and Literature Studies - Literature, grade: 2, University of Osnabruck, course: The Merchant of Venice, 5 entries in the bibliography, language: English, comment: Differences between Jews and Christians in The Merchant of Venice is a divergent topic discussed quite a lot by various scholars during diverse decades. Especially the question whether William Shakespeare was anti-judaic or not was and is of great concern, since the complex protagonist Shylock arises hate and pity by the audience (or reader). This fact left critics wondering what Shakespeare was really trying to achieve with the play..., abstract: Although one is able to find a lot bias towards Jews in the play The Merchant of Venice, William Shakespeare is not to be blamed as an anti-Judaic person. Regarding the historical background and the probability of him not knowing a Jewish person, Shakespeare is to be declared as a typical mind of the Elizabethan age. The mentality of the Elizabethan age is resembled in the plot, therefore it was easy for the audience to understand and laugh about this comedy, particularly about the image of the Jew Shylock. Shylock himself has a dominant aversion towards Christians and it is not mentioned whether this attitude derives from his sufferance or is a streak of him. The reader of the past-holocaust-age has a tendency to criticize the Christian behaviour throughout the plot, to feel pity with Shylock and to defend his actions and conduct. A lot of evidence demonstrate fundamental differences and bias between the Jews and Christians in the play The Merchant of Venice. But one ought always consider the time, when the play was written, and the audience, for whom it was written. Fact is that Jews as Christians both pretend to act pious but evidently do not."
 

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good book

Contents

11 Shakespeares knowledge of Hebraic Accompany
21 Jewish bias
Attitude towards Jews and Christians by authorities
32 The treatment of Shylock
The portrait of the Christians in The Merchant of Venice
412 Antonios charity and Christian values
43 Jessicas conversion
Conclusion
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