shakespeare and anti-semitism

Download Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism

Post on 24-Feb-2016




3 download

Embed Size (px)


Shakespeare and Anti-Semitism. Shylock and the Merchant of Venice. Was Shakespeare Anti-Semitic?. What is the Shylock’s tone in this scene? What evidence is there in the text to support this?. - PowerPoint PPT Presentation


  • Shakespeare and Anti-SemitismShylock and the Merchant of Venice

  • Was Shakespeare Anti-Semitic?

  • What is the Shylocks tone in this scene?

    What evidence is there in the text to support this?

  • What evidence exists in this scene that Shakespeare portrays Shylock in a negative light? Explain, using specific examples.

  • What is Shylocks argument in this scene? Give the claim, warrant, and impact that he uses.

  • How is Shylock portrayed in this scene? Give examples from the text to support your answer.

  • From the evidence in the text, do you believe that Shakespeare was anti-Semitic? Write your argument, using claim, warrant, and impact.

    William the Conqueror in 1066 was the first one who brought Jews to England. However, during this time period, Jews were experiencing pogroms in Europe and being blamed for the kidnapping of Christian children. *William the Conqueror invited Jews into England from Normandy around 1060, but the Jewish community of merchants and money lenders formed an uneasy relationship with the English crown and people. Medieval Jews were considered to be the king's property, and received certain protection, despite ruthless exploitation of their finances by the crown. However, their religious beliefs created suspicion that resulted in frequent persecution.*One of the main charges leveled against the Jews was that they were participating in Blood Libel sacrifices of Christian children, seen here in this medieval woodcutting. Notice the man in the left-hand corner in the Jew Hat.

    *This is a cartoon that appeared in the mainstream Arabic press in 2012 referencing the Blood Libel myth. Even today, this propaganda has power to influence others. *Edward I expelled the Jews from England in 1290. At that time, it is estimated that there were about 3,000 Jews in England, but they did contribute a great deal to the economy since they were usurers (money-lenders).*When Shakespeare is born in 1564, there are no Jews left in England. They were not let back into the country until 1655. So, why did he write The Merchant of Venice, which is perceived as an anti-semitic play. How would he have known anything about the Jews?*In 1594, Dr. Roderigo Lopez, a Jewish Portuguese doctor serving Queen Elizabeth was accused of trying to poison her and so the subsequent trial and hanging of the Jewish doctor caused a huge deal in London at the time that Shakespeare was writing the play. The question then becomeswas Shakespeare Anti-Semitic? You draw the conclusion from the play*In 1655, under the rule of Oliver Cromwell, a group of Jews were found living in England and secretly practicing their faith. They were allowed to remain in the country, but it wasnt until the 1800s that there were official laws passed allowing Jews to live in the country. **Portia is seeking a husband through having her suitors choose a chest, either gold, silver, or lead. The Prince of Morrocco chose the gold one, the Prince of Arragon chose the silver one, while Bassanio, the one Portia really wanted, chose the right one, the lead one. But first, he had to have 3,000 ducats just to woo her and get the privilege of opening the chests. To do that, he went to his rich friend, Antonio. *Antonios wealth is tied up in his ships, so he has to borrow money from Shylock, a Jewish moneylender in town. He has previously had some negative run-ins with Shylock, and even spit on him more than once. *