A study of racist elements in william shakespeares merchant of venice

Herman Melville's 'Moby Dick' vs. In all aspects the characters' motivations are different. Ahab's madness is more focused and not within Ahab's control--he is unable to see beyond it. Hamlet's madness is feigned.

A study of racist elements in william shakespeares merchant of venice

Depending on whom you ask, it also remains one of his most repulsive. Antonio borrows the money for his friend Bassanio, who needs it to court the wealthy Portia. When Antonio defaults, Portia, disguised as a man, defends him in court, and ultimately bests Shylock with hair-splitting logic: He is charged with conspiring against a Venetian citizen, and therefore his fortune is seized.

The only way he can keep half his estate is by converting to Christianity.

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Shylock plays the stereotypical greedy Jew, who is spat upon by his Christian enemies, and constantly insulted by them. His daughter runs away with a Christian and abandons her Jewish heritage. After being outsmarted by the gentiles, Shylock is forced to convert to Christianity— at which point, he simply disappears from the play, never to be heard of again.

The fact that The Merchant of Venice was a favorite of Nazi Germany certainly lends credence to the charge of anti-Semitism. Between andthere were more than 50 productions performed there. And theatergoers responded the way the Nazis intended.

Shakespeare's Comedies

When Werner Krauss entered the stage as Shylock, the audience was noticeably repulsed, according to a newspaper accountwhich John Gross includes in his book Shylock: A Legend and Its Legacy.

But interpretations began to shift in the 18th century. Was Shakespeare being anti-Semitic, or was he merely exploring anti-Semitism? Susannah Heschel, professor of Jewish studies at Dartmouth College, says that critics have long debated what motivated Shakespeare to write this play.

For them, contemporary audiences only read Shylock sympathetically because reading him any other way, in light of the horrors of the Holocaust, would reflect poorly on the reader. Hath not a Jew hands, organs, dimensions, senses, affections, passions? Fed with the same food, hurt with the same weapons, subject to the same diseases, healed by the same means, warmed and cooled by the same winter and summer as a Christian is?

If you prick us, do we not bleed? If you tickle us, do we not laugh?

If you poison us, do we not die?Racism in The Merchant of Venice. William Shakespeare's satirical comedy, The Merchant of Venice, believed to have been written in was an examination of hatred and greed/5(8).

Shakespeare's Shylock: Character Sketch, Analysis & Monologue Shylock is one of the main characters in William Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice, a Jewish merchant living in a . Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Download-Theses Mercredi 10 juin Biography of William Shakespeare. The Comical History of The Merchant of Venice, Or Otherwise Called the Jew of Venice () The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice () In contemporary literary criticism Othello has been open to study by many theoretical paradigms.

Night’s Dream, The Merchant of Venice, Twelfth Night, and All’s Well That Ends Well; tragedies such as Romeo and Juliet, THE LIFE AND WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE vii Othello grupobittia.com 1/14/05 AM Page vii.

A study of racist elements in william shakespeares merchant of venice

Shakespeare’s Poetic Technique Shakespeare used in his plays a .

Shylock, the history of a character. (eBook, ) [grupobittia.com]